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Principal touches lives of a generation of kids

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Herald/CATRINA RAWSON

Sheri Welch, principal at Hettie Halstead Elementary School, stands with a student during STARR Math Camp on Saturday at the school in Copperas Cove.

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Sheri Welch doesn’t like taking photographs. She does love to read, ski and go to the movies, but being the principal at Hettie Halstead elementary is at the top of her list.

The Cove native has three children at home and a school full of kids whom she cares for in a special way.

“We’re more than just a school family here,” she said. “It’s about community. It’s so exciting to see and teach the kids of kids that I taught when I was a high school teacher. I’ve had a chance to touch a generation behind and influence a generation going forward.”

When she became principal a year ago, her second-grade teacher, Ellen Krause, sent her a bouquet of flowers to congratulate her.

“My family just bought land from her and when we finish building she’ll be my neighbor,” Welch said. “She impacted my life in a remarkable way and I get to give that back to kids. It’s amazing; it’s another full circle.”

Welch also credits her former principal, Mike Wilburn, who now serves on the school board, with influencing her as a teacher.

“The fact that these individuals are still here and still giving back to education and the community is invaluable,” she said. “They made a stand and I’m upholding it now.”

The mother of three children ages 9, 11 and 13, Welch said she was born to teach.

She has also taught at Clements Parsons and Williams/Ledger elementary schools and Copperas Cove High School.

“I’ve always felt blessed with the ability to manage and lead, and it’s important for me to use that gift,” she said, “Faith is what keeps me grounded and it’s why I can be mom at home and at school — that and the support of my family and the school district.”

As a mom and principal, she has found balance. “I instilled in my kids (the notion) of self-reliance and responsibility,” she said. “I may go grocery shopping but they unpack it, they do laundry, they do chores and help fulfil their roles at home. That’s the only way I can juggle it all.”

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro | Herald

2 images

Herald/CATRINA RAWSON

Sheri Welch, principal at Hettie Halstead Elementary School, stands with a student during STARR Math Camp on Saturday at the school in Copperas Cove.

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