Nacogdoches ISD's Raguet Elementary admin seeks to create bonds among teachers, students

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Raguet Elementary in Nacogdoches follows the philosophy that a strong bond is essential to an excellent education.

It's accomplished in a variety of ways from cookie home deliveries to actual biological ties.

"If you look on our agenda, we have a very, very full day again," said Kristi Shofner, the principal of Raguet Elementary.

Shofner said a second can't be wasted in developing a common bond toward high expectations.

A catered lunch leads to renewing old friendships and creating new ones. Teachers are discouraged from isolating themselves from one another.

"She doesn't allow that to happen," said Karen Stewart, a teacher at Raguet Elementary. "We are a family, and that's it."

Stewart is holding Shofner to her word. Now in her 35th year at Raguet, the first grade teacher has the privilege of having her daughter start a teaching career right across the hall.

"It's really neat," said Laura Adams, Stewart's daughter and a first-year teacher. "All family aside she's a great mentor to have, so I'm very thankful."

The two are working on developing a professional relationship this very moment. They, along with every other Raguet Elementary school teacher, were on a school bus Monday hand delivering cookies to the homes of future students.

Shofner came up with the idea to, of course, create bonds.

"I wanted our students and their parents to know we want them here and we're excited to see them," Shofner said. "It just really educates you on the kids are coming into the building everyday that become a part of our family."

So relationships are extended - with little ones yet to grow up and to those who are grown up, but willing to learn as they teach.

Raguet Elementary promotes that school camaraderie in other ways.

Next week, on 'Meet the Teacher' night, there won't be too much of parents sitting in tiny desks. Instead, the school is having a tailgate party to promote the idea that setting a college goal should happen in elementary school.

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