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By Chelsea Lenamond 

Galveston ISD is proud to announce November’s E3 Employee of the Month, Ball High School robotics and engineering instructor Catherine Pickavance.

Pickavance, a Galveston native and graduate of Ball High School, enjoys all things career and technology education (CTE). Prior to working in education, she worked at an architecture firm that designed K-12 and higher education schools. In 2015, she received her master’s degree in educational philosophy from Texas A&M and began her teaching career instructing architecture, animation and engineering at Klein ISD. Pickavance then returned to her hometown to be closer to her family and to have her four kids attend Ball High School as she had.

“This has been a dream job with some of the best kids in the world,” says Pickavance. “Working with kids is so fun because they have a sense of being invincible. They really can do and be anything, and it is neat to see what some of them are doing now. Getting to do all of that here in Galveston at the school I graduated from is even more remarkable.”

Pickavance’s favorite part of working for her alma mater is the tight-knit community surrounding it. Not only does she know the families of many of her students, but she also grew up with some of her colleagues. She said she loves seeing her old classmates back in the hallways of their school leading the students.

“Because of these bonds, we are all pushing and doing whatever it takes to ensure our students succeed. Watching the whole community rally together to support the kids is inspiring and uplifting,” says Pickavance.

Seeing how resilient her students are is one of the most inspiring and rewarding parts of teaching to Pickavance. Before she began working at Ball High, she knew the robotics team had a reputation for being competitive. Last school year the team qualified for the World Championship, but were unable to attend due to COVID-19. Pickavance was impressed with how her students dusted themselves off and immediately started preparing for this year’s competition.

Based on their successes, the robotics team was granted a spot to compete in the Artificial Intelligence competition at VEX World Championship, an opportunity that only 50 schools in the world are given. Pickavance admires her students’ ability to get up and jump even higher after being knocked down.

“These kids are just like my family. Watching them achieve their goals and win tournament after tournament is just like cheering for your favorite sports team, but even better,” she exclaims.

 

Below is the description of why Pickavance’s nominator chose her for E3 Employee of the Month:

“Mrs. Pickavance dedicates her Fridays and many weekends to these kiddos and is a wonderful role model. I truly believe she goes above and beyond to make sure these kids are set up for success and that all can participate safely.”

 

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