Thousands of students and family members brought their nervous excitement to Killeen ISD schools Thursday during the district’s annual Meet the Teacher visitation.

The huge, excited crowds gathered at all the district’s elementary and middle schools, including those in Harker Heights and Nolanville.

The high schools will host open house events later in the semester.

“Getting to meet the students is the best part of Meet the Teacher night,” said Mountain View Elementary School kindergarten teacher Allison Widacki.

“They come into the room for the first time and they are so excited. It also really helps put the parents at ease, especially for the kindergarten parents.”

Mountain View third-grade teacher Mason Nickels said the visitation day is a good time to meet students and to begin to see the different personalities and ranges of needs and levels of excitement.

Across the street at Union Grove Middle School, seventh-grade language arts teacher Russell Jones said he was already seeing the innate curiosity of middle school students.

“I love their passion for learning,” Jones said. “They really blossom at this age. I expect a lot of curiosity tonight and a lot of questions from parents. I can’t wait to see them grow throughout the year.”

“It’s important to start building relationships with the parents and students early on and I think that Meet the Teacher really helps with that,” Widacki said.

“I still get nervous ever year. It’s going to be a good year.”


Across town, a large, expectant crowd paraded into Alice Douse Elementary School as Principal Pamela Disher opened the door and gave a big welcome to the brand-new school.

Moments before the surge of guests arrived, first-grade teachers Val Kennedy and Shelly Holcomb expressed the emotions of starting another year of school and opening a new building.

“This is about getting them excited about learning,” said Kennedy, entering her eighth year teaching. “We’re all nervous so we’re all going into this together. It’s exciting.”

“We want to help them to be less nervous,” Holcomb said. “They can come in and see themselves here and it’s all less foreign when it starts.”

Across the school, educators at the new school in south Killeen acknowledged they were working hard and loving it.

Eight-year-old Lizzie Steinrich was feeling the excitement. The incoming third-grader said her teacher seemed nice and that she noticed the school included two playgrounds.

“It’s awesome,” the Douse Elementary third-grader said, “because I get a new teacher and we get to learn new stuff.”

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