Willis Independent School District

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MVP for January 2016 Makes Chemistry Fun

Despite a quiet, humble demeanor, Granger breathes life and energy into a rigorous curriculum and challenges aspiring scholars to master the process. For instilling a love for learning in his students, he was named Willis ISD’s Most Valuable Player for January 2016.

“Gary always delivers great lessons. He runs a tremendous classroom. The students are always engaged and enjoy being in his room,” stated WHS Principal Travis Utecht.

“I look forward to Mr. Granger’s class every day because he gives a new perspective,” said WHS student Abby Irvine. “It’s interesting and never boring.”

WHS biology teacher, Heather Lebow explains why the students in his class really learn to enjoy chemistry.

“He puts together interactive labs that relate to the real world,” Lebow stated.

As a 19-year veteran educator, Granger believes that students want structure and he strives to create a safe, goal-driven atmosphere in his classroom.

“I want my students to feel that they have a teacher who cares,” stated Granger. “I don’t want them to be the best high school student; I want them to be the best adult they can be, in college and beyond.”

Comments from WHS student Kaylie Perkins show that Granger is achieving his goal.

“He’s really passionate and that shows when he is teaching us,” Perkins stated. “It’s interesting to learn about chemistry in the class and it might help me in college.”

In addition to his classes, Granger serves as a mentor to new teachers and helps out anywhere and everywhere he can around the school.

One of his mentees, Shelby Stephens, states that from working with Mr. Granger she’s learned how to teach life lessons and how to get students interested in chemistry and science in general. She also testifies to his concern for his students.

“It’s very clear when I do get to observe Mr. Granger that he cares about his students,” Stephens stated. “I can see that in how he teaches and interacts with them.”

Granger also cares about other programs at the school as evidenced when he is driving one of the equipment trailers any time the band travels.

“Gary volunteered to drive for us last year,” explained director of bands, Chris Allen. “He has been willing ever since then to go that extra mile whether it’s loading and unloading or driving during any hour of the day.”

The quintessential teacher will do absolutely anything for the school and the students. He helps load buses in the afternoon, tutors after school and runs an afternoon chemistry club for those who don’t get enough science in the classroom.

“I had the privilege of hiring Gary when I was principal at Willis High School and clearly I hit a home run,” stated WISD Superintendent Tim Harkrider. “He is an outstanding educator who’s great for our kids and a tremendous asset for our district.”

Click here to watch Granger and his students have fun experimenting.

The next MVP Award will be presented at the regular meeting of the WISD Board of Trustees Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, at 6 p.m. in the Cargill Education Center, 204 West Rogers in Willis.