After three years away, history teacher Mrs. Katie Staggs returns for the 2022-23 school year as a regular and AP World History teacher. Staggs has been working for the school since 2013, and after hearing there was an open position two weeks before the start of the school year, Staggs made the decision to return.
“I love it here, I’m from California and my family is here, and there are not many schools I would come back to teach at. [However,] I love the students, they are amazing,” Staggs said. “I love hanging out with the students everyday. My department is awesome; it’s an amazing adult faculty, and a great staff. [It’s] a community where people care about each other and it’s a good atmosphere.”
In the past decade, Staggs has left and returned to the school three separate times as an AP, regular world history teacher and as well as a long-term substitute. Staggs’s husband works for the U.S. Air Force, which causes her and her family to move around a lot. Throughout her years on campus, Staggs also worked as an AP Psychology and special education teacher. Staggs got her start at Notre Dame High School in Belmont and was there seven years before her first time as a teacher here.
“I came to Whitney halfway through the year, went to England, came back and was a long-term sub at Whitney. Then, I got hired back full-time and was here for two years, and then moved to San Antonio to teach at the Christian School at Castle Hill,and now I’m back,” Staggs said.
Due to her past experience, Staggs has made strong bonds with the staff. Within those connections includes geography/culture and world history teacher Mrs. Suzie Strain, who she has been friends with since 2013.
“I am very excited to have Mrs. Staggs back. She has always cared for her students, her colleagues and has always been a great friend to me,” Strain said. “She is also knowledgeable, she knows what she’s doing and is an amazing teacher. Lastly, she is accountable, you can always count on her and she is always there when you need her.”
Staggs’s experience in teaching for 16 years, both on and off campus has allowed her to gain knowledge on student learning styles for world history, which pays off with her students.
“She’s a very nice teacher and it seems like I can learn a lot from being in her class. I like that she has taught AP World before and she seems like she knows what she’s doing, in terms of teaching for this class,” Nathan Martires said.
Within all the schools and courses Staggs has taught, she keeps a similar philosophy to encourage depth of knowledge and thinking within her students.
Staggs said, “I love history. I think it’s really important to be an educated, informed citizen in any country. You have to know history and why things happen, and you have to understand why people act the way that they do. We have to care about our past because it colors our future. It’s hard to make teenagers care about that sometimes. [But], if I can make somebody question something to do some research and dig a little bit deeper, then I feel like I have done my job.”
by GABBY AOUN, SOFIA DUNMORE, KAITLYN EL-SAYEGH, JULIA LEVERON HIDALGO, DESIREE MONTEJANO & KEIRA WONG