Discover Your Island

Krystal Watson

Outstanding Islanders

Photo of Krystal Watson

Teaching from the Heart

Alumna Krystal Watson, a high school teacher who lives to pass on her enthusiasm for learning, was recently chosen as the 2015 HEB Excellence in Education winner in the Leadership Secondary category. The prestigious $20,000 award, which was split between Watson and her school, honors deserving teachers based on passion and commitment, innovation and creativity, and professional growth and development. Watson currently teaches 11th grade English and Dual Credit English at Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi.

Watson says her path to teaching was not straight and narrow. Although she was born in Corpus Christi, because of her father’s military career, she attended more than 10 different public schools across the United States. After graduation, Watson joined the U.S. Army as a medical laboratory assistant.

“After six years in the military, it was time to reenlist. Working in a lab was exciting, but I was being drawn to something different,” Watson said. “At the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what that ‘something’ was.”

After exiting the military, Watson moved back to Corpus Christi, and enrolled at Del Mar College, and then transferred to the Island University as an education major.

“The Island University is where I fell in love with English and the power of reading and writing,” said Watson. “Every course I’ve taken at A&M-Corpus Christi has taught me something new about myself and the world around me.”

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2002, Watson began student teaching at a local high school, but says ‘second-guessing’ her natural inclination to teach led her back to government work. After two years away from teaching, Watson was ready to come back to the classroom, and found her perfect fit at Collegiate High School.

“Collegiate High School is essentially a dropout prevention program,” said Watson. “My desire is to challenge these students to use critical thinking and to view ideas in new perspectives. I want them to realize they are worth the sacrifices to better their future and their families’ future.”

In 2012, Watson earned a Master in English-Rhetoric and Composition from A&M-Corpus Christi. In the future, she plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

“Teaching is the ‘something bigger’ I had always searched for. Teaching is not my job. It is my profession and my craft,” said Watson. “I am constantly told by others that they can tell that I love what I do. Teaching is not just what I do, it is who I am.”