Kristin Falcon, left, new Anderson Elementary School Principal, is joined by new Assistant Principal LaToya Patterson. Both are graduates of Spring ISD.
HOUSTON – Oct. 2, 2017 – When new Anderson Elementary School Principal Kristin Falcon first came to the school as an assistant principal four years ago, it was a return both to the district she grew up in and to the very same school she herself attended as a child.
“When I came here as a kindergartener, there were no walls, the school was wide open,” Falcon recalled. “You walked in and you saw the library and the main hall, and then you’d see cabinets and chalkboards that teachers would use to divide off classrooms. I remember it feeling huge!”
The school seems smaller to her now, as Falcon begins her fifth year as an Anderson administrator and her first year in a role her 10-year-old self might find hard to imagine – campus principal. Falcon is joined in the front office by fellow Spring ISD alumna LaToya Patterson, who began her own schooling at Hirsch Elementary and graduated from Spring High School, and who became Anderson’s assistant principal this fall after eight years spent teaching at the school. While Falcon’s career has included teaching at every elementary grade level, Patterson’s life in the classroom followed a different course, from high school math teacher to elementary school generalist and, most recently, to elementary art teacher.
“I have a degree in math, and I minored in theater,” said Patterson, who in 2015 was named Spring ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. “People will say, ‘Those subjects are so different,’ but that’s just me. I love theater and art, and it’s something I always wanted to teach. But being able to teach different subject areas was important to me, too. I didn’t like math at all when I was younger, and then I had a really great algebra teacher in middle school who showed me I could do it. Sometimes you just have to have that one teacher that can really inspire you.”
After several years teaching in neighboring districts – Falcon in Aldine ISD and Patterson in Humble ISD – both returned, as they put it, “home” to Spring ISD. Various factors were at play, but both cited their roots in the district and a feeling of connectedness to the local Spring community. In discussing what drew them to Anderson, they praised the strong faculty and depth of experience at the campus, citing the staff there as a major part of the school’s success over the years.
“We’re fortunate to be able to support and have a lot of unique programs in our school because we have a lot of continuity of staff,” Falcon said. “A lot of people come to Anderson, they stay at Anderson, they grow at Anderson. Because of that, we’re able to put long-term programs in place – to set our vision and watch it grow. That’s honestly the key to what we think makes Anderson successful. It’s the people that work here.”
Both were also excited about new campus programs and initiatives, including the launch this year of full-day prekindergarten and “The Leader in Me,” a grant-funded program to teach students leadership skills, beginning with being proactive.
“We really want our kids to be able to see that they are leaders,” Patterson said. “If we can build leadership in them, then we know that when they leave us, they’ll be successful, no matter what they decide to do.”