Katrina Covington: 12 Unique Years in the Making


Chemistry teacher Katrina Covington has spent most of her time teaching at Lake Ridge since its opening back in 2012.

Lake Ridge High School, which opened back in 2012, has seen new faces in its teachers and staff each school year as many teachers have come and go. This is not the case for Advanced Chemistry teacher, Katrina Covington, who has been working at Lake Ridge since the start of it, showing how her uniqueness and experience as a teacher can help engage students in the classroom.

Before becoming a teacher, Covington attended Texas A&M University, where the hands-on nature of science interested her to pursue a career that was science-related. However, her journey to becoming a teacher wasn’t as direct from the beginning since she was initially hesitant of becoming a teacher. Instead, Covington says that it was more of her family’s history of teaching that influenced her decision to become a teacher.

“I actually didn’t want to get into teaching. When I graduated from college, I said that I would never be a teacher. My whole family are teachers- my sister, aunts, mom, cousin, and husband – so I was moving around a lot and it was hard to find jobs in the science field that I wanted to do while moving so much. The time that I started teaching, it was a permanent sub-job so it was a way to see if I liked it, and I did. So, I ended up getting a full-time job next year, and I just liked working with kids. I like teaching and getting to do something different everyday, so it’s not the same thing everyday like how some of the jobs in science are,” said Covington.

Nonetheless, Covington would go on to spend 11 years and continuing teaching at Lake Ridge as a science teacher and this is her 22nd year of teaching in her career. Being a chemistry teacher is beyond just teaching the class about chemicals and elements; it involves other things, such as maintaining a close relationship with both the students and colleagues as well as overall enjoying the job. Because science is more of a hands-on class, Covington believes that it can fascinate students to participate in her class activities, which helps her enhance the classroom experience. She also enjoys her job because of the interactions she has with her students everyday.

“The reason I like science is because it’s not a lecture-based class; it’s a hands-on class, and I get bored easy. So, for me, what makes science unique, and hopefully me, is that I try to do as much hands-on as I can to get y’all to see what it’s supposed to look like so that you have more of an idea in the real world. I think the best way to engage the class is hands-on but also competition, too. I try to do whether it’s a game or if it’s the first group that gets something will get extra credit. I try to make it a little bit competitive so that students hopefully are bought in,” said Covington. The most important thing when you’re teaching is to be flexible and also to not take everything so serious. I wouldn’t enjoy my job if I wasn’t able to have normal conversations and joke around with kids. That, to me, is the fun part of my job. Same thing with my colleagues, it’s more fun if you can play around.”

In 2018, Covington was named Lake Ridge’s Teacher of the Year for her hard work to engage students in the classroom and maintaining a good relationship with students. However, to earn this award, it takes much more than teaching a group of students who can earn good grades in the class. In fact, it was Covington’s experience at Lake Ridge and the life lessons she received from working with those around her throughout the years that influences her to improve her teaching methods every year to meet the expectations of a “unique teacher.”

“This is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in a school. I have actually worked at four other high schools; this is my fifth one. Lake Ridge is my favorite high school that I’ve ever worked at. Part of that is because I’ve made such good friends because I’ve been here since we opened and we had a much smaller group of people and then we got bigger and bigger and bigger, so I’ve had the same people around me for eleven years. So, I think as far as personally, it’s nice to work with the same people that you enjoy. But, every year, you get better as a teacher. Every year, you improve your lessons, and you get better ideas. With new technology, you improve so whether I worked here or somewhere else, I’d always be able to improve my lessons.

Just as Covington changes her teaching methods each year to accommodate her students’ interests, Lake Ridge has also changed from the very beginning from when she began teaching here. Over the years, the school has grown in capacity and students, and Covington, despite experiencing these changes, has stayed teaching and growing as a teacher with the ever-changing school.

“Lake Ridge is very different. It’s way bigger and we have way more students. When we first opened, we only had two grades and a lot of empty classrooms and now, we have no empty classrooms. There’s extra classrooms that we’ve turned into classrooms so it’s way more students. I don’t know if there’s anything else that’s changed except for just a whole lot more students. I don’t feel like anything major has changed besides that,” said Covington.

Although Lake Ridge has seen the coming and going of teachers each year, Covington has persistently remained a teacher in the science department since its opening. Each year, Covington implements new teaching methods and strategies as well as instilling an interest into chemistry for many students. The contributions she has made to Lake Ridge is a reason why she is appreciated by many of her students and colleagues, which highlights her unique aspect as a teacher, and Covington is also grateful for her experience here at Lake Ridge.

“Lake Ridge is definitely my favorite school that I’ve ever worked in and this is my 22nd year teaching,” said Covington.