This is the first in a two-part series highlighting SAISD’s Teachers of the Year. Tomorrow, Lake View’s Rachal Brewster will be highlighted.
San Angelo - Glenmore second-grade teacher Veronica Stapper initially didn’t want to be a teacher once she graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1984 with essentially a home economics degree.
Growing up, all she wanted to be was a county extension agent. She fulfilled that dream for two years and even met her husband through the extension service. Still, through her position as an extension agent, she worked alongside many different teachers, which prompted her desire to make a career change to become an educator.
She earned her certificate and started teaching shortly after her own children reached school age.
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Since 1994, Stapper has taught at different school districts around Texas, starting with Marlin ISD.
Before coming to San Angelo, she most recently worked for fourteen years at Gregory Portland ISD near Corpus Christi and taught 2nd and 3rd grade.
Stapper credits her third-grade teacher as one of her reasons for wanting to become a teacher.
“My third-grade teacher was one of my favorite teachers, and you always have that one person. She was just so motivating, and because of her, and the kindness she had, I realized that was the person I wanted to emulate. So I thought, if I ever get the opportunity to teach, I will do that. She was the spark that set me on the path toward education.”
Stapper is not new to being named Teacher of the Year, however, as she was awarded that honor at Clark Elementary School in 2007-2008 and 2010-2011 when she worked for Gregory Portland Independent School District.
However, being named the Teacher of the Year for the entire district was meaningful to her.
“It’s an amazing honor, especially in a district this size…when I came here, everybody was so inviting. They're willing to help you with anything you want to do. There's so much love there. It's like one big family, and this district will care of you no matter what.”
When asked if she had any advice from a multi-time Teacher of the Year to students who are interested in a career in education, Stapper said, “You almost have to be people-oriented. The biggest thing you can do is build relationships with kids, their work, coworkers, or anybody you're working with. Let them know that you care about them. Keep an open door policy where anybody feels like they're always welcome to come talk to you. Finally, get to know the secretary in your school and the custodians because those are the people that are there for you.”