Clements/Parsons Elementary first grade teacher Katrina White is still in charge of troopers. They are just much younger now and her training ground is now a classroom.
White retired with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3 after serving active duty in the U.S. Army for 22 years. She says the transition from the military to the classroom was a natural progression as caring about others was instilled in her by her mother as well as her service in the military.
White, and her brother, were raised by a single mother who instilled the values of hard work and empathy in her children.
“She would give her last and I would do the same for my students and other students that I come in contact with on a daily basis,” White said. “I was always shown unconditional love, and that love carries onto my students. I was taught to keep a smile on my face despite how I might be feeling.”
Walking into White’s classroom provides an instant feeling of comfort, and White is committed to creating that type of environment for her students.
“I treat my students as if they are my actual kids, with pure genuine love and respect,” White said. “I also believe that feeling safe and in a fun, comfortable setting will help students excel.”
White’s students and White herself start each morning in the classroom sharing one thing that they are thankful for to exemplify positivity and gratitude.
“Mrs. White teaches us, but she also loves us,” student Amore Parks said.
Principal Kathrine Baney said White is a special individual.
“She loves students with her whole heart and goes above and beyond in ensuring kids feel welcomed at our school,” Baney said. “She is a role model with the way she treats others. I am very blessed to have her at Clements/Parsons.”
With more than two decades of exemplary military service, White could have entered a variety of career paths after retiring from the U.S. Army.
“At the end of each day, my heart is happy, knowing I am making a difference in my students’ lives,” White said. “My mom tells me all the time, ‘Where you may go in life, there is a reason you are there.’ I know Clements/Parsons Elementary is the place for me to be.”