KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 16, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD teachers are hard at work preparing to welcome students back this Wednesday. While so many suffered (and continue to) through the pandemic, the Katy community found ways to lift each other up. The “Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher” program is an example and it continues to encourage and support Katy teachers working during unprecedented times.
From gifts, notes of encouragement, or requested supplies; the "Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher" program is helping our teachers. Photo courtesy: Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher
Katy Residents Wanted to Help
Katy resident, Melanie Dubendorff with MAD Properties Group heard about the challenges and difficulties of the 2020 school year from her Katy ISD teacher friends. She decided to help along with her friend Jennifer Matthai.
Program Launched to Overwhelming Response
“We thought we would see if there were other like-minded community members who felt as strongly about helping and supporting our teachers as we did,” says Melanie Dubendorff.
The Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher Facebook group launched last August to encourage teachers through the difficult year. The group is now matching teachers to community members for the 2021-2022 academic year.
“Teaching in the pandemic was the hardest even for seasoned teachers,” says Tricia Embley, a Katy ISD instructional coach. “Having support outside of our campus helped teachers continue!”
The group had thousands of members in its first few weeks.
“We were blown away by the engagement and so grateful for it,” says Dubendorff. “We are ever vigilant in protecting the privacy of all our members.”
The group currently has around 8,600 members.
Photo courtesy: Melanie Dubendorff
Recently, Dubendorff’s MAD Properties Group team held a “Thanks and Dranks” mimosa party to celebrate the program’s inaugural year and to look forward to the school year ahead.
“It was the coolest thing to see all sorts of adopters and teachers coming in together,” says Dubendorff. “They had become such good friends throughout the year, these once complete strangers, that they picked each other up and came to the event to celebrate together.”
Adopt a Katy Teacher
Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher is now matching teachers and community members for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can find the program on their Facebook page.
Anyone can participate. Last year Aimee Ingvoldstad, who teaches at Memorial Parkway Elementary was adopted by another teacher. This year she has been adopted by a former student’s parent.
Adopt a Katy ISD Teacher currently has 792 teachers waiting to be adopted. Dubendorff says they would like them all to be adopted by this week to help encourage these teachers during the first week of school.
“I was adopted, and it made me feel so supported from her words of encouragement to thoughtful gifts throughout the year,” says Shasta Glasenapp, a 5th grade teacher at Rylander Elementary.
Dubendorff asks those who adopt teachers to be consistent with their moral support and encouragement throughout the year.
The Katy community continues to cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year Katy ISD, like many school districts were split between in-person instruction and virtual. Katy teachers had to teach our students through a time of uncertainty and change.
“In such a stressful time, it was so nice to feel the community support as we were navigating all the new ways to help our students learn,” says Glasenapp.
Teachers continue to find love and support from their school campus’ PTA groups. This community led “Adopt A Katy ISD Teacher” program is an example of how the Katy community has helped each other during the pandemic.
Katy ISD starts the 2021-2022 school year Wednesday, August 18. If you’re a Katy parent, don’t miss Katy Magazine’s “Must Knows” to get your family ready for a great year.