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    By Samantha Solliday

    Blasting noisemakers and sirens, school administrators joined human resources and Education Foundation representatives to surprise a teacher worthy of the spotlight.

    Standing in front of her classroom, Rancier Middle School math teacher Lillian Braxton was reviewing problems with her students when the loud group entered her classroom to recognize her as the Killeen ISD Secondary Teacher Spotlight for the Month.

    When she learned the nature of the honor, the surprised teacher waved to the crowd of guests and smiled broadly.

    Principal Micah Wells expressed pride in his spotlight teacher.

    “We are so thankful to have you here at Rancier,” he said. “Our school is a better place for having you here. You are awesome.”

    She didn’t start out to be a teacher. Braxton began her education studying engineering, but experienced a change of heart.

    “I was bored in engineering,” she said laughing. “So, I decided that I wanted to teach math. My husband is in the military so that’s how we ended up in Killeen.”

    Having taught for three years in KISD, Braxton said she enjoys establishing relationships with students.

    “I love my students,” she said. “I love the interactions that we have in class. I appreciate that we can talk about things not math related and that they trust me enough to ask me questions.”

    The honored teacher said she wants her students to build the kind of confidence that transcends academic performance.

    “I want them to understand that sometimes life isn’t fair,” she said. “But, I want them to learn to never give up and to have perseverance. That’s what I tell them when they struggle with math problems. Keep working through the problem until you solve it. That helps them gain so much confidence.”

    Thanking the crowd gathered in her classroom, Braxton expressed gratitude to all of the Rancier Middle School staff.

    “I really want to thank Mr. Wells for this,” she said. “I just want to thank everyone here.”

    November 13, 2017

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