KATY, Texas -- At the new Robert and Felice Bryant Elementary School in Katy, you’ll find hallway work spaces, open floor plans and even learning stairs.
“It’s all about collaboration and students working together,” says Principal William Rhodes. ”Students have lots of choice in where their learning takes place and how they learn.”
“It’s incredible. Our space is absolutely amazing,” says Amanda Fait, a kindergarten teacher in the new school.
In her classroom, the books are in order, the art supplies organized and the cubbies meticulous.
“Really, we just want our school and our community to feel loved, embraced and cherished,” Fait says, adding that that’s how her first teacher made her feel. “She’s an outstanding teacher and just loved her kids so well, including myself.”
That teacher just happens to be Felice Bryant - of Robert and Felice Bryant, the couple for whom the building is named. “Overwhelming” is how Felice describes the honor. Her husband, who goes by Bob, calls it “humbling.”
The pair boasts more than 70 combined years as educators, most of that in the Katy school district, including Felice’s time in that kindergarten classroom with an itty bitty Ms. Fait.
“She just always had a passion for learning. She always had a book in her hand,” Felice remembers.
It means a lot, she says, that that timid little girl decided to follow in her footsteps.
“I’m sort of bursting with pride. It just made me so happy,” says Felice. “Just the fact that she would even want to be here, you know, be here and teach here is just wonderful.”
Fait calls it an “absolute joy” to work in the building named after her kindergarten and first-grade teacher.
“It is a huge honor,” she says.
Fait’s generation of teachers will start making their mark on students at Bryant Elementary on Wednesday, influenced by the generation of teachers like the Bryants who left their mark.
“It makes this school more than just a school. It makes it a community,” says Felice.