Teacher Monica Hatchel grew up watching her mom run a dance studio and later realized that same too had the same dream. Hatchel may loved to read and write, but dancing was her passion. Hatchel shares her passion with her students everyday and shows them that nothing is impossible if they just their your best.
Hatchel is going on her 12th year teaching at Henderson High School. She teaches dance and Odyssey, a credit recovery class.
“I love the variety in my job,” Hatchel said. “I love that I get to teach Odyssey and reach those students, and then I get to teach all levels of dance, which brings me great joy!”
Hatchel, a Kilgore native, realized her dream of teaching at a young age.
“I always wanted to be a pharmacist when I grew up,” Hatchel said. “And then I realized math and science weren’t my strong subjects. I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to share my passion with younger people and be a small part of their lives.”
Although Hachtel loves to dance, her interests expanded during her high school years.
“English and journalism were my favorite subjects,” Hachtel said. “My favorite teacher, John Hefner, was actually my trigonometry and precalculus teacher because he gave me confidence in math and was extremely patient with me and kind.”
Hatchel says she looks up to her mother, who ran a dance studio.
“My mom is my inspiration because I watched her build and run a successful business, her dance studio, for 50 years,” Hatchel said. “I lived at the studio with my mom, so I loved dancing from the time I could walk.”
Hatchel first worked at Tyler ISD for six years.
“It [Tyler ISD] was my first drill team job,” Hatchel said. “I loved how welcoming the students were.”
Hatchel’s goal the year is the same for every school year she teaches.
“My biggest strength is my heart for my students and my biggest weakness is my heart for my students,” Hatchel said. “My goal for this year and every year is for my students to leave me knowing they were loved and can do anything they set their minds to and to grow them in not only dance but life.”