Nacogdoches ISD's Raguet Elementary honors beloved teacher - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches ISD's Raguet Elementary honors beloved teacher

Jill Waller, once a teacher at Raguet Elementary in Nacogdoches passed away from cancer a year ago, but legacy lives on in a beautiful way. (Source: KTRE Staff) Jill Waller, once a teacher at Raguet Elementary in Nacogdoches passed away from cancer a year ago, but legacy lives on in a beautiful way. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The teachers voted to rename an event Waller started. It’s now called ‘The Jill Waller Gallery of Magnificent Minds.’  (Source: KTRE Staff) The teachers voted to rename an event Waller started. It’s now called ‘The Jill Waller Gallery of Magnificent Minds.’ (Source: KTRE Staff)
Jill’s husband, Scott Waller, said attending the event was heartwarming as it illustrated his late wife’s passion for teaching and learning continues through other students and teachers. (Source: KTRE Staff) Jill’s husband, Scott Waller, said attending the event was heartwarming as it illustrated his late wife’s passion for teaching and learning continues through other students and teachers. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Raguet Elementary student Michael Anderson shared his love for movie making by producing a 5-second animated film that took hours to complete.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Raguet Elementary student Michael Anderson shared his love for movie making by producing a 5-second animated film that took hours to complete. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There are students at Raguet Elementary in Nacogdoches who never knew elementary school teacher Jill Waller, yet they're benefiting from her passion for learning.

Jill Waller is no longer alive, but her legacy is being carried out in a beautiful way.

Well-liked teachers are often remembered a life time by their students. Jill Waller who died last March from cancer was one of those teachers.

“I will remember how much she loved her kids. Like she loved us so much,” said Brynna Reed, a student at Raguet Elementary.

Jill's true love was seeing children's enthusiasm for learning. 

“Welcome to gallery I hope you come in and make sure you sign in,” a Raguet student said.

With flair visitors were welcomed to what is now called the Jill Waller Gallery of Magnificent Minds. Jill's husband, Scott Waller, was one of the first to arrive. 

“This was a project that Jill was instrumental in starting,” Waller said. “The campus, all the teachers on campus came together and embraced this concept and the kids really enjoy it and it's really a joy to see this continue."

Students voluntarily share their talents, knowledge or interests with classmates. Michael Anderson showed off his animated movie. 

"It took 50 pictures to make,” said Michael Anderson, a Raguet Elementary student. “It took me one day long, and it's five seconds long. Here it is."

All the projects are done at home. Parents are encouraged to help.

"My mom always helped me with my projects,” said Leonardo Gomez, a Raguet Elementary student.

Because that brings good results, too.

“This is my mother,” Gomez said as he hugged and kissed his mom.

Another proud parent was Jill's mother who was feeling her daughter's presence.

“I do. I do. I do,” said Sherrrell Cone. “I think she did a good job on bringing this idea to this school."

Students learn with effort they'll discover their magnificent mind.

“You have to work hard. Study on it,” said Manjalin White, a Raguet Elementary student. “Go over it. Make sure it's very good and just give it all you have."

The formula worked for one devoted teacher and will serve other great teachers and students for generations to come. The Jill Waller Gallery of Magnificent Minds will never run dry of good ideas.

There were 65 entries from throughout the school in the Jill Waller Gallery of Magnificent Minds, making it the largest participation ever in the gallery's five year history.

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