Bet on Booker


Lacey Hughlett

Chimere Booker earned the Teacher of the Year award which came as no surprise to her colleagues.

Though there are many dedicated teachers at Lake Ridge, there can only be one that wins “Teacher of the Year.” It is a great honor, as others in their field can recognize and appreciate that teacher’s work. This year, Success teacher Chimere Booker won the award, after years of making a positive impact on many people at Lake Ridge. 

“I’m just really honored, because my family is from old Mansfield, as far back as being a part of a school that was segregated, so we have a lot of roots in Mansfield. There are so many of us in the education field, and I’m really humbled and grateful that I get to extend my family’s legacy in Mansfield, Texas,” said Booker. 

Booker is known to connect with students and work with them through their struggles. She teaches students about social and emotional learning skills and guides students through the path of high school. Junior, Roslin Shurtz, has worked with Booker for over two years and has felt the ways she has impacted her. 

“She’s impacted me in many ways because she’s been there step by step. She puts herself aside to help others, and she’s always helped me get through things. She has such a big heart for helping others, and not many people have that,” said Shurtz. 

Booker has impacted many people throughout her time at Lake Ridge. While her main job is to care for her students, many have seen how she cares for and helps others as well. English teacher, Shameeka Smith, has seen how Booker has made valuable connections with students and teachers alike. 

“She builds strong relationships with the students. In the time that I’ve known her, we’ve shared some mutual students, so I’ve seen how she goes the extra mile to provide them with support and care. She provides me support as well, so not just building relationships with kids, but building relationships with adults in the building as well,” said Smith. 

Students’ lives can be complicated and inconsistent, and many struggle to find stability. Sometimes they need a teacher or mentor who can be a consistent source of guidance and comfort. Principal, Ashley Alloway, has seen how Booker has been that source for many of her students and peers.

“Mrs. Booker works with some of our students who have some of the highest needs on the campus. She does it well, and she does it with grace. Almost every time we’ve been dealing with something really difficult, she’s always that calm in the storm. Even when I’m frustrated, she’s calm,” said Alloway. 

Many students in today’s generation seem to face mental health issues, and the pressures of high school can add to those struggles. Having a teacher that empathizes with these students can greatly improve their experience, as well as the environment of the classroom. Booker has inspired others, including Social Studies teacher, Alexander Sandles, to empathize with students’ struggles. 

“She’s definitely helped me to be more open with my students and try to look for the best in every kid. She does a really good job of helping you see the best in people. Sometimes we see a lot of their flaws and things on the outside that we can focus on, but really focusing on who they are as a person can go a long way. That’s something that I’ve learned from her that I try to use in my own teaching,” said Sandles. 

Booker did not originally choose to work in the teaching field, until others recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue her current career. She has been a teacher for seven years and has grown to love working with her students, while others have grown to appreciate her work. 

“I never thought that I would even be in this position, let alone a teacher, because this is not my first career. My favorite part about teaching is definitely connecting with my students. Just like I get to teach them, they teach me a lot of things. I also have the opportunity to use some of those skills that I’m teaching them on myself,” said Booker. 

Booker has impacted many of her peers at Lake Ridge and has made a difference in many students’ lives. She was awarded “Teacher of the Year” for all of her work and dedication she puts into teaching. Sandles feels that Lake Ridge would not be the same without Booker.

“She deserves this award because she’s amazing. She is someone who really makes a difference on the campus, and Lake Ridge is a better campus because she’s here,” stated Sandles.