SEE THE VIDEO — For newly named Teacher of the Year, it’s all about the students

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, December 20, 2023

SABINE PASS — There’s a certain skill set learned by students who are enrolled in Chris Rector’s theater classes.

Yes, the students learn acting, film and production, but there’s more than the obvious.

His students learn skills that can be used elsewhere in life.

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“It’s skills that are so transferable because being able to just get up in front of people and talk is a skill you’ll be able to use your entire life, and you never know when you’ll need that,” Rector said.

Through the years he hears from former students who come back and say they were able to do certain assignments in college and not be worried about standing up in front of the class.

Rector is in his 20th year teaching and his eighth year at Sabine Pass School. During the last school year, he was named the top 2A University Interscholastic League Theater School in the State and in 2019 Rector was named one of 15 best UIL sponsors in Texas.

On Tuesday he became the second winner of the Teacher of the Year award sponsored by Philpott Motors. The designation came with a $1,000 gift card.

Earlier this year Rector was named Teacher of the Month — he was chosen from this year’s monthly winners for the Teacher of the Year honor, which was presented by Daren Granger of Philpott.

Granger said Philpott is honored to present Rector with the award, saying he had heard stories of him through his coworkers and felt he was an amazing young man who is doing a heck of a job.

Superintendent Kristi Heid choked up a bit as she said they have watched Sabine Pass students receive scholarships to Columbia or MIT, places some didn’t know existed.

Some of these students have never traveled before, know how to stay in a hotel room or order off a menu.

Heid said it’s amazing to watch the growth of the students and they go out, land a huge job and come back and visit.

Some come back as judges for UIL contests, she said.

“It’s amazing to watch the whole big circle,” Heid said.

Granger called it leadership with compassion.

Rector’s wife Brette is an administrative assistant in the school office and also has a theater background and she assists with plays.

His students that compete in UIL events rely on what they learn from Rector during those events. Heid said the students have 40 minutes to present their show and if they go one second over, they are disqualified.

The theater students have some busy times in the coming months with competitions in film, theatrical design, set design, costume design and One Act Play.