Venus ISD’s current Feature Employee is VMS 6th Grade Science teacher, Mrs. Katie Ostrander. She is in her 4th year of teaching and her 7th year in education and with the district. She previously served our students at the Primary School as a Kindergarten aide and the campus art teacher. Katie is a skilled educator who motivates her students to reach new heights of academic and personal achievement.
In her time away from the classroom, Mrs. Ostrander loves spending time with her growing family. She has been married to her husband, Brody, for nearly 6 years and their daughter, Korrie, is 4 years old. The Ostrander family is expecting its newest addition this summer. She is also very close to her parents and siblings. She credits her parents, and their 30+ year marriage, with shaping her values and work ethic. Though neither of her parents graduated high school, but through hard work and determination, they own a very successful commercial construction business. Seeing her parents strive to do their best, impressed upon Mrs. Ostrander that anyone can be successful if they are willing to put in the work. She strives to instil these same values with all of her students. As a child, Mrs. Ostrander treasured spending one on one time with her father. They would go deer hunting where he would hunt and she would watch. This year she changed things up and hunted for the first time, getting her first deer to boot.
What brought you to Venus ISD?
Mrs. Ostrander graduated from Red Oak High School and continued her education at Navarro College and A&M Commerce. Though she initially studied nursing, her long-time desire to become a teacher won out. While studying at A&M Commerce, she was hired as a kindergarten aide at VPS. There she gained a firsthand appreciation for the arduous and often unheralded work done by our outstanding paraprofessionals. She was also able to hone her skills that would later serve her well in her classroom.
Upon completion of her degree and teaching certification process, she was hired by Mr. Buck to teach 6th grade science at Venus Middle School. While Mrs. Ostrander never envisioned herself teaching middle school, she quickly realized that it suited her perfectly. She loves working in Venus because it is a community in every sense of the word. She feels It is great that Venus is small enough where everyone knows each other and watches out for each other.
What are you passionate about?
Mrs. Ostrander is passionate that her students understand they are important. No matter what’s going on in their life or what has happened in their past, each of Mrs. Ostrander's students is important to her. It is of paramount importance for Katie that she gets to know each of her students on a personal level. As students progress through her 6th grade science course, they learn to become self-sufficient learners that are aware of what they know and what they don’t know.
Mrs. Ostrander walks the walk in setting the example of working hard and reaching your potential for her students. She is set to graduate from Lamar University this May with a master’s degree in counseling.
She also finds great pleasure in being able to help fellow teachers and make sure they have the resources they need to be successful. Mrs. Ostrander builds trust with her colleagues so they can work together and share ideas that benefit all of their students.
Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
Katie credits Mr. Buck as having an immense impact on her career. He gave Mrs. Ostrander the chance to reach her potential by setting clear expectations and giving her the tools to meet them. She also thoroughly enjoys working for Mrs. Buck, the current VMS principal, and says she brings an enormous wealth of experience to the campus.
Who would you like to brag on?
Mrs. Ostrander would like to brag on VMS’s paraprofessionals. She feels they have an impeccable work ethic. They often work with the students with the biggest needs. They consistently rise to the occasion to meet with their physical, emotional, and learning needs. Mrs. Ostrander stresses that we are blessed to have people that genuinely love our students.
We are fortunate to have Mrs. Ostrander making a difference with Venus ISD’s 6th graders and we hope to have her around for a good while longer. She is a big part of what makes Venus Middle School a great place to work and learn.