Kathy Stroup

Southwest Christian School, Fort Worth

Teaches: Middle school math (7th Grade Pre-Algebra), 8th Grade Creative Ministries, Assistance XC coach
Education: Bachelor of Science in Education, University of North Texas; Post-Graduate Work, Tarleton State University
Experience: 12 years, including nine at Southwest Christian

Kathy Stroup’s yellow Volkswagen Beetle stands out at the Starbucks at Trail Lake and Interstate 20 in Fort Worth. At least to Joey Richards, the middle school principal at Southwest Christian School, where Stroup teaches.

“She’ll be having coffee in her car, with a Bible in her lap and a list” of her students, says Richards, who sometimes runs into Stroup there. “She’ll be praying through these kids. She is so genuine. She doesn’t just practice it every Sunday.”

Stroup, who was able to be a stay-at-home mom and school and church volunteer while her children were in elementary school, came into teaching afterwards.

“I teach because I believe God called me into teaching,” she says. “I consider teaching my second career.”

Her biggest reward: “The relationships I build with my students. There is no greater privilege than when a student trusts me and asks for us to pray over a decision or struggle they’re encountering,” she says.

When a loved one of a student’s family was diagnosed with cancer, Stroup had her Christian Ministry class make a banner for the patient, with signatures from each student. “This had a huge impact on my kids to see what she did for someone that she didn’t even know,” the parent, Kelly Gonzales, wrote in nominating Stroup.

Stroup’s advice to parents for their children: “Set limits and boundaries. Allow your child to make mistakes. Allow your child to mature and experience the consequences of their mistakes. Be the role model you want your child to become. Pray for your child and with your child.”

Off the clock, Stroup coaches cross country. She and husband Robert are involved at their church, McKinney Bible Church, as a mentor couple for young married couples. And, with a son at the U.S. Naval Academy, Stroup and her husband volunteer at the Naval Academy Parents Club.