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Algebra teacher Leigh Ann Mitchell receives 2017 Killough Teacher of the Year award

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Algebra teacher Leigh Ann Mitchell assists students in solving an equation.

Algebra teacher Leigh Ann Mitchell assists students in solving an equation.

Photo by Lily Gomez

Photo by Lily Gomez

Algebra teacher Leigh Ann Mitchell assists students in solving an equation.

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While algebra teacher Leigh Ann Mitchell has always had a passion for math, her love for teaching it to others sparked in college when she would help out her classmates.

“I was a super math geek in high school, like president of the math club, all that kind of stuff,” Mitchell said. “When I got to college I was doing a lot of study groups with my friends who were struggling in their math classes and I found that I really liked helping them.”

Mitchell has now been teaching for 11 years, previously teaching in different schools throughout the DFW area.

“I taught in Richardson for one year, that was my first year teaching,” Mitchell said. “Then I taught at Durham Middle School here in Lewisville for three years and [I’ve been] here at Killough ever since.”

Mitchell was presented the award for Teacher of the Year in December. After being nominated three years in a row, she was surprised when she found out she won.

“She always thinks of her team first [and] she works hard to make sure everyone has everything they need,” algebra teacher Allison Harris said. “She’s a real team player, not an individual player.”

The faculty nominates teachers who they believe should be in the running for Teacher of the Year, and then the faculty votes to determine who receives the award. The nominees share common qualities, but this year Mitchell stands out among others.

“She is amazing,” assistant principal Kyndra Tyler said. “I can give Mrs. Mitchell any type of student from low to high, any economic background and Mrs. Mitchell always gives 100 percent and ensures they always pass [the class].”

When teachers are announced as Teacher of the Year at Killough, they receive a personalized chair and school blanket, but the real reward is recognition from their peers.

“I think it’s important to recognize everyone; especially teachers for all their hard work and all the time they put into making lessons,” Tyler said. “Other teachers have been inspired by the hard work Mitchell puts into her teaching and have been ever since she first arrived at Killough.”

Mitchell acknowledges that not everyone likes math, but if a student likes at least one little thing that she teaches, she’s met her goal.

“I have a lot of patience and I have a lot of students who come to me with a lot of math anxiety,” Mitchell said. “I feel like I’m a good teacher because I really try to help relieve that stress when it comes to math. I have lots of techniques that I use and we do a lot of practice so students get real familiar with the material. I try to have a safe environment in my classroom where they’re not afraid to ask questions and come ask me for help.”

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