Hailee Russell

Hailee Russell knew she was going to be a teacher when she was in second grade.

“I love making lesson plans,” she said. “It’s dorky, but I love it.”

Russell graduated from Birdville High School in 2009 and began at TCC the following year. She is finishing up basics before transferring to either the University of North Texas or the University of Texas –Arlington to major in education K-12.

Russell credits her passion for teaching with her experiences very early at Smithfield Elementary. Her first- and second-grade teacher, Mrs. Biggers, was a huge influence early on.

During her junior year of high school, Russell quit the drill team to enroll in “Ready, Set, Teach!” a statewide career development program that allows students to mentor a teacher and have in-classroom teaching experience while in high school.

“I think it’s great preparation,” she said. “I’m using it at work right now. I feel like I don’t even need to go to school any more to be a teacher. I learned that much.”

Russell currently works full-time as a kindergarten teacher at a private pre-school in the area.

“I love it. It doesn’t even feel like a job,” she said.

With grim times ahead, Russell is proud to be seeking a job in education K-12. She feels as though her experiences and resume are strong enough to face a difficult job market. And the prospect of being a good teacher in an education system that is getting tougher and tougher to navigate is one she looks forward to.

“I don’t know what’s coming, and it’s scary,” she said. “But I’m going to be a part of it.”

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