Journey to Port Aransas

Education notes

Katie Patteson is the counselor for H.G. Olsen Elementary School and Brundrett Middle School.

Katie Patteson is the counselor for H.G. Olsen Elementary School and Brundrett Middle School.

Six months have passed since I stepped into my new role as the H.G. Olsen Elementary School and Brundrett Middle School Counselor here in Port Aransas ISD. I am pretty sure I blinked, and here we are! Every day I am reminded how lucky I am to work alongside so many incredible teachers, staff and leaders. With over 20 years of experience in education in a number of different school districts, I can say from experience that THIS is different. “#legacyofexcellence” and “#marlinpriderunsdeep” are much more than hashtags. These beliefs are real and thoughtfully embedded into the climate and culture of each campus, and when you walk in the door each day, you feel it.

I did not arrive here by chance or accident. My interest in PAISD began on a personal level as a parent. My search for a supportive, stimulating learning environment led me to discover a treasure sitting just across the ferry. With a leap of faith, my oldest child joined the Marlin community amidst a challenging pandemic in the fall of 2020. With initial virtual learning and no familiar faces, she dove headfirst into a brand-new school halfway through her high school career. I watched with anticipation (and fear) as she bravely navigated the ins and outs of a daily commute, demanding course load and new teammates. As a parent, you want the very best for your child, and I could only hope that we had made the right decision to take this path. It did not take long for me to realize that THIS was different. Teachers, students and the optimistic climate throughout were the very things I had hoped and dreamed for. The dedication of teachers and coaches, and their genuine interest in their students, was notable, a complete relief and something I had not seen in a long time.

Fast forward to May. We successfully made it through the school year, and I felt a wave of overwhelming gratitude as we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. I honestly could never thank the teachers and coaches enough for the role they each played in what felt like a dream come true. And then, I realized, I wanted more. The Marlin pride and excellence that I had witnessed over the last nine months – more. The genuine interactions, challenging classrooms and positive school climate – so much more. I knew wholeheartedly that I wanted the same for my younger child, and I quickly realized that I wanted it for myself as well. With my mind made up, and my heart on board, I started the process to (hopefully) join this little piece of paradise.

As you can see, the rest is history. I stand before you today, incredibly thankful and appreciative of those who have given me the chance to contribute to the legacy. There is something very special and unique about this community that does not go unnoticed and sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that I am now included. What a fabulous six months it has been, and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. I have learned that each campus has its own distinct personality, yet their goals and visions remain the same. It is truly a unified effort to encourage students to reach their full potential, while instilling pride, integrity and resiliency. All staff is committed to maintaining the highest expectations and standards while continuing to provide students with a wide range of engaging learning opportunities. We are an unbeatable team, but more importantly, it feels like a dedicated family, and that speaks volumes. Thank you, PAISD, for giving me and my children this opportunity to be invested in the greatness. I look forward to many more years!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.