This week's Teacher Feature recognizes Kristi Houska, an eighth grade English teacher in Grand Forks Public Schools who has recently been selected as the Distinguished Professional in English instruction through Women of Distinction Magazine (WDM). WDM spotlights women who can empower, inspire, educate, and encourage other professionals around the world. Thus, Kristi received this honor for her inspiring work during per past 30 years of teaching.
As a self-labeled "people person," much of Kristi's teaching inspiration comes from her social-oriented personality. Kristi told WDM that she “especially love[s] working with young people.” This desire for people has helped her maintain her focus on her students throughout the years of new initiatives and change in the field. Kristi emphasizes, “Through it all I have remembered that I must teach my students first, then the subject matter." This passion for helping others fuels Kristi to improve her teaching each day.
Kristi told WDM that participating in the RRVWP has been her most rewarding professional development opportunity. While we are grateful for the plug, we are even more proud to have helped such an impactful teacher like Kristi grow professionally. While Kristi likely learned something about developing as a writer through RRVWP, her strength in connecting with students can only come from her compassionate nature. Kristi asserted to WDM that "students many not remember much of what they learn, but they will remember the way they were treated."
Outside the classroom, Kristi also empowers students through her mentorship in both the Jr. Classical League and Latin Club. Kristi's efforts to make a meaningful impact on students both in and out of the classroom exemplify her dedication to excellence in teaching and relationship-building. Speaking about her career as a whole, Kristi says, "I’m not in it for the income; I’m in it for the outcome.”
If you know Kristi, make sure to congratulate her on her amazing work and this distinguished honor. Once the newest issue of WDM comes out, be sure to keep an eye out for Kristi!