Christie Skinner awarded Tompkins’ Teacher of the Year


Christie Skinner receiving the teacher of the year award.

A painter since she was young, teacher Christie Skinner was always had a passion for art.  Skinner started out in college planning to go into advertising, but after working at a daycare for several summers trying to help pay her way through college, she realized her calling was to work with children. Skinner attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and went on to complete her teaching certification at the University of Houston.


Skinner has taught Art for all 21 years of her teaching career. She began teaching in Alief at the district’s alternative school for four years. Then she taught at Elsik High School until she eventually found her way to Katy, Texas. Skinner taught one year at McMeans Junior High when it first opened. She then spent the next 12 years at Cinco Ranch High School until the opening of Tompkins in the fall of 2013.


“There is such a supportive and positive mindset among the faculty and students at Tompkins that is unlike anywhere I have taught before.  The energy is contagious,” Skinner said. “It is a complete joy to come to work every day. That is a testament to the climate of this school and all the people who work together every day-faculty and students alike-to make it a wonderful place to learn and grow.”


Skinner teaches AP Studio Art, Advanced Drawing classes and Painting class. She finds her job very enjoyable. Skinner also holds the position as Fine Arts Department Chair on campus. Skinner says it is pretty common to find students in her room after school working on their amazing talents. One of her favorite parts about being an art teacher is getting to watch her students grow and realize their potential.


“I love watching them experience that ‘aha’ moment when they realize they can do something that perhaps they didn’t believe they were capable of before,” Skinner said.


Apart from helping her students accomplish outstanding achievements, Skinner has personal achievements to be proud of. She has illustrated the cover of a published book and has been selected as Tompkins 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year.


“I believe the commitment to oneself to constantly strive to be a better teacher is what makes a good teacher,” Skinner said. “I try to remain a lifelong learner, always asking myself ‘What can I do better?’ ‘What do my students need most from me?’ ‘What can I learn to help me grow in my profession and be the best I can be for my kids?’”


Skinner has two active daughters who she says keeps her on her toes outside of school. After leaving campus, Skinner plays taxi driver for her girls who are involved in various fine arts activities such as dance and theatre. Skinner finishes her day at home relaxing with her family. Additionally, she enjoys going to the movies with her kids and getting in a workout if she is not too exhausted. Skinner loves to take pictures of the sky and also has an obsession for inspiring quotes. (She keeps her classroom walls covered with them.)


“I have been beyond blessed to get to meet and know some of the most amazing people I have ever known walking the halls here at Tompkins,” Skinner said. “I’ve become a better person by getting to teach some amazing kids over the past three years and they make me want to be a better teacher and a better version of myself.”