Teacher Appreciation Series #1


MRS. ESTRADA- by Alvin Thao- Freshman

Mrs. Estrada is a teacher who works in Itasca teaching 5th grade math in elementary. She started working in Itasca in 2017, finishing her 6th year; which is surprising because I thought she taught longer when she taught me, but apparently not, it was just a year before she taught me! Mrs. Estrada is proud and amazed to see the kids she has taught all grown up and hearing how successful they have become during their middle and high school years. What’s even more surprising is that the oldest group of students Mrs. Estrada has taught in Itasca are currently finishing up their sophomore year! She looks forward to seeing them walk across the graduation stage in a few short fast years.

Aside from that, Mrs. Estrada works especially hard in giving her best and trying to lead her students ton the right path and be successful, even to go as far as working late into the night, as she struggles to balance that school life and personal/home life. That’s how much dedication she has to teaching the kids, and we are so thankful that you have chosen to teach at Itasca! Her goal is for all students to know that she cares for them and wants to be there to support them through triumphs and falls.

She is always willing to help out and support her students as much as she can. Mrs. Estrada has had many experiences where she was asked to help someone non-subject related, but this one really changed her. To discreetly sum it up if this ever goes out, a student of hers was having to deal with something quite sad during the school year, and that student would eat lunch with Mrs. Estrada to just talk about what is going on, and she would listen. Even I found this so wholesome and sad at the same time whenever Mrs. Estrada told me about this.

Similarly, I had an experience that involved her where one of my classmates would “bully”, but he never did and was just making jokes to me, even though I never thought it as a joke before getting to know him. It was pretty much something minor and dealt with easily as I told the situation to Mrs. Estrada, and that’s pretty much as far as I can remember. I don’t know what happened to him after that, but I feel bad that I kind of framed him over a joke. Do not worry, he still goes to this school and is in a few of my classes, but we are good friends now.

It certainly has changed since Mrs. Estrada taught me; she loved teaching me and working with me, as well as my classmates too. She continues to learn and grow every year, as every student she has taught has taught her new things to be a better teacher- comfortable for all. We are very thankful for your dedication and contribution to this school!


MRS. QUIJANO & MRS. MEARS– by Angel Bartley- Freshman

It is teacher appreciation week, so I get to show my appreciation for the teachers in my school that help me learn and understand new subjects and ideas. One of the Itasca teachers that I have chosen to talk about is Molly Quijano, who is my first period teacher that teaches Spanish I and II, at least to my knowledge. She is, in my opinion, pretty good at her job; she teaches basic Spanish, and she does it quite well. Before I took her class, I really didn’t know a whole lot of Spanish at all, only incredibly basic stuff and some of that stuff I’d forget half of the time. Now, I actually know a little more Spanish, and while it is a small amount, it is still impressive for me who only really knew “hola”. Not only that, but she is also fairly laid back; she makes sure to give us work and teach us Spanish, but she never (really) overdoes it to the point where it is absolutely unbearable and at least tries to make her teaching engaging, which is respectable. She also isn’t too strict with anything; things like tardies, talking, or slightly late work – then again, she obviously gets onto you if you just… don’t do your work.

Now, the second Itasca teacher that I have chosen to talk about is Kristin Mears, who is my eighth period teacher that teaches Journalism and English III (apparently). Now, I’m not just saying all this because she is the one who assigned this paper to me, no no no… I’d say she is actually a great teacher because she, like Quijano, does her job well; to teach news/journalism writing. Before I took her class, I was relatively okay at writing, but I really never liked having to do it. Now, I’d say that not only has my writing in general improved, but I also don’t find writing as much of a chore as I used to, and in fact, I’ve actually started writing (although not often) in my own personal time. She is also a fairly laid back teacher; She also doesn’t overwork us all that much either, although, sometimes I feel that the workload can be a little overwhelming, but most of the time it is bearable and doable. She also isn’t all that strict either;  again not really caring about tardies, and sometimes, people will get their stuff in late, but she is usually understanding, unless you of course just don’t your work.

Teacher appreciation week is great for teachers, obviously, because it is the week where everything that they do is finally given the recognition they deserve, as I can’t imagine how difficult it has to be for a teacher to go through. It’s also great for us students too because we get to show off our appreciation for these teachers.

MR. LOOPER- by Henry Bowman- Sophomore

 With teacher appreciation week right around the corner, it’s important to stop and think about everything that teachers do for their students. They put up with all kinds of kids all day, and still take time out of their daily lives to create tests, quizzes, and assignments. They also grade work completed by hundreds of students every day depending on how many/what classes they teach. As a student, it is shockingly easy to have no sympathy of any kind towards teachers, and we often forget that they too are human.

Everyone (hopefully) has a favorite teacher, and for me, the answer is easy to see. Every day for third and fifth period, I have the pleasure of attending classes taught by the infamous Mr. Looper.

Mr. Looper’s full name is Ryan Keith Moore Looper, and he was born in Fort Worth, Texas on February 4th, 1986. Growing up, his role model was his father, but now his co-workers are what inspire him most. He went to high school at Cleburne High School in Cleburne, Texas, which is where he also grew up. His primary interest and extracurricular activity was band, which he continued even through high school. He attended the college North Western State University of Louisiana located in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Mr. Looper has always been interested in sound design and engineering, so he attended college for music business, and graduated in 2015. 

Mr. Looper currently teaches graphic design, principles of design, and photography classes. The reason? Put simply, those classes interest him most. He currently teaches at Itasca High School in Itasca, Texas because it is close to his home and allows him to learn how to teach. What inspires him to teach is the ability to get students interested in media design. This is his first year teaching, and he has already learned many things that he did not know before. His favorite students are undeniably Henry and Brannon, and his advice to high school students is to always be open to new things. 

However, if Mr. Looper did not teach, he would have a career in film audio. When asked to describe himself in 3 words, he said “creative, determined, and passionate.” He currently has no children, but he does have multiple cats. A unique trait about Mr. Looper is that he has been playing the saxophone since 2004 when he was 18 years old. 

Despite his consistent denial that he is friends with his students, there is no denying that Ryan Looper is one of the best teachers at Itasca High School. He is usually calm and chill, which is a nice change of pace from other teachers. He is also always friendly and willing to help when you are confused or struggling. 

As both a teacher and friend, Mr. Looper is a great guy everyone should get to know. However, try not to get on his bad side. You will probably regret it.