Round Rock ISD named Katy Gray the 2019 Elementary Teacher of the Year at the District’s annual banquet Monday evening, sponsored by the Round Rock ISD Partners in Education (PIE) Foundation and A+ Federal Credit Union.

Gray was named the Teacher of the Year at Cactus Ranch Elementary School and was selected among 34 elementary educators to represent the District at the state competition. Gray has been an educator for over 30 years, three of which have been teaching fourth-grade students at the campus.

As an elementary teacher, Gray believes in the power of the word “yet,” which challenges students to believe in themselves and work through challenges to reach their goals. It is a small word but an essential tool in her classroom that helps students grow into successful future adults by getting them out of a fixed mindset. This belief also aligns with the qualities she hopes to instill in her students.

“I want to instill the importance of having grit,” Gray said. “By teaching my students how to have a growth mindset, I am showing them how to be gritty. They’re learning to see setbacks as an opportunity for growth and learning how to reframe fixed thoughts to thoughts that allow for growth. I want my students to go out in the world as resilient and persevering problem solvers.”

Gray has also served as part of a campus committee that helped implement a house system, which allows students to develop better relationships with teachers and each other, and the Amazing Shake competition. The contest gives students the opportunity to build social skills and professional qualities that are vital in succeeding in the real world.

Gray will continue to the 2019 Region 13 Elementary Teacher of the Year competition where she will represent Round Rock ISD in hopes of becoming the 2019 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“Katie Gray is an amazing educator and comes in each day excited to create an environment of support, understanding and encouragement for our students,” Superintendent Steve Flores Ph.D. said. “She is an embodiment of what it means to be a life-long learner and collaborator, and I am proud to celebrate her and her journey in representing our District.”