Galveston ISD is proud to announce March’s E3 Employee of the Month, Theresa Packebush, third and fourth grade math and science teacher at Crenshaw Environmental Science Magnet.
Packebush grew up on the Jersey Shore with the intention of being the first in her family to attend college, but says life had other plans for her. After serving in the U.S. Army as a military police officer, she moved to the Texas Panhandle, where she had a variety of adventures.
She worked for the Department of Energy as a security police officer for several years before taking advantage of her GI Bill and pursuing a college education after all. Over the years she was studying, she became the children’s advocate at a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center and also opened her own dance studio. In 2016, she earned a bachelor’s degree and began a master’s program in special education at West Texas A&M.
“I had a rough childhood. It was a handful of special teachers and coaches that understood me, helped me believe in myself, and most importantly, loved me. They definitely inspired me to do what I do and teach the way I do,” explains Packebush.
Packebush says her first three years of teaching as the Positive Attitudes for Student Success (PASS) teacher in Borger, Texas gave her invaluable experience with students who had behavioral and emotional diagnoses. She then spent one year as a general education fourth grade math and science teacher before a job opportunity for her husband brought them to Galveston. Packebush is now in her second year with Galveston ISD.
“I knew I missed the salt air, but I didn’t realize how much until we moved to Galveston. I still smile and pinch myself as I ride down the Seawall,” she says. “Although the location is a dream, my favorite part of working for GISD is being able to love on my students, celebrate each day with them, and to work with an administration and team that encourages me to be my genuine self.”
Her favorite teaching memory from the past school year is riding the bus through Crystal Beach to deliver food and schoolwork with her team. They had a new theme and costume each week and loved seeing the smiles and laughs of the parents and students as they walked off the bus.
Packebush describes herself and her husband as self-declared foodies. The couple and their kids love exploring all Galveston has to offer. Outside of the classroom, if she is not out sampling the local cuisine or trying to keep up with her four kids, she says she is probably curled up on the couch watching her latest Netflix obsession.
Packebush has been nominated multiple times since the Galveston ISD E3 Employee of the Month campaign began. Below are descriptions of why Packebush’s nominators chose her for E3 Employee of the Month:
“She's a great teacher that my son enjoys. She engages with her students and helps them to grow as leaders. She gives her students the excitement of learning.”
“She loves her students. I enjoy seeing everything she does in keeping her students’ attention and making learning fun.”
“A teacher who looks for ways to make learning fun for her students.”
“She is a wonderful teacher to my son. She has a lot of patience and does fun projects with her class.”
“She enjoys her students and her class loves her. She makes class fun instead of boring.”
“I nominated Ms. Packebush for her love of learning, which inspires her students through the innovative learning strategies used to make math fun for her third graders. She is a great teacher who is warm, accessible, enthusiastic, and caring. Ms. Packebush is always approachable, not only to students, but to everyone on campus.”
“She keeps the students engaged in fun and educational ways.”