Each month the faculty and staff at Harker Heights High gives a shout-out to any staff member they believe deserves one, from just going above and beyond their job duties. Once the month ends, they add up all the shout-outs and the two teachers that receive the most are named Staff of the Month.

The January award went to Nicole Irwin and Bethany Cowan.

Cowan, 25, is from Clear Lake, southwest of Houston and graduated from Texas State University in 2015. She teaches students through music, specifically choir.

“I have been teaching for Killeen Independent School District for three years,” Cowan said. She said she thinks students know when their teachers care about them, about their subject and about the integrity of their teachers.

“I hope my students always see this in me,” Cowan said.

She credits her high school choir director for inspiring her to teach.

“My choir director in high school had a profound impact on me and so many of my peers,” Cowan said. “She gave me so much that I felt I wanted to give back or somehow pay it forward. I feel a duty or a “call” if you will to teach a subject that drives me every day.

Irwin, 26, is the English Lead and teaches English I and English I and Pre AP. She is originally from Sacramento, California.

She has been teaching at Harker Heights High for two years and her favorite subjects are English and Literature Asset of English.

Irwin was brought to this area by the military. In Georgia, she taught English III, English II and English I, She also taught a Writer Workshop for SAT prep.

“I grew up in foster care and was tossed around alto and my final foster home mom encouraged me to find something I like, and I like English,” Irwin said. “My foster mom encouraged me to change my life through education. In 2015 I began teaching and been loving every moment of it. I credit my career to my foster mom, Denal Green.”

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