Class is in Session

By Caitlin Giddens

Five teachers look chic in and out of the classroom

By Caitlin Giddens
Photos by Kathryn Krueger, kathrynkruegerphotography.com
Styling by Jordan Stauffer
Makeup by Kimberly Cutler
Hair by Cathie Tarango
Modeling by Lindsay Benning, Christina Crenshaw, Katie Johns, Zach Seifert & Casey Summey
Special thanks: McLennan Community College

MEET THE TEACHERS

teacher-lindsayLindsay Benning

Q: What and where do you teach?
A: Special education math at Lorena High School, and I’m the JV and varsity cheer coach.
Q: What made you want to become a teacher?
A: I have always enjoyed working with students, but teaching gives you the chance to change a kid’s life. By investing in their interests, showing you care about them as an individual and helping them to know you are there to facilitate true understanding, you are able to achieve things together that will help them far beyond their years in a classroom. Having a student tell you how much they appreciate you believing in them is a feeling that is irreplaceable.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working in education?
A: Teaching how real life applies to our lessons. My background is in business, so when I get the chance to take the content and put it into context for their life, it’s amazing the understanding that happens. I love light bulb moments!
Q: How would you describe your daily fashion style?
A: I enjoy dressing with the trends and staying fashionable but professional each day. Many teachers think that since they are in education there is not much room for personality in their outfits. I enjoy showing a little bit of flare and style in my wardrobe.
Q: What do you usually wear to school?
A: Skinny pants, since jeans are worn only on Fridays, and a cute top. I always try to spice up my outfit with cute shoes or accessories. It’s an easy way to add interest to an outfit.
Q: What do you wear outside of school?
A: The same thing!
Q: Where’s is your favorite place to shop in Waco?
A: I enjoy shopping at Gap, Loft and Spice [Village].
Q: What’s your favorite thing you wore on the shoot?
A: The blue top from Prefontaine. I love that store! I enjoyed how it would be easy to dress up or down, a great piece for a teacher to use inside or outside of the classroom.

teacher-christinaChristina Crenshaw

Q: What and where do you teach?
A: We’ve been in Waco for a little over a year, and I now teach at Baylor University as a part-time lecturer in the school of education. This academic year I’ll also serve as the program coordinator for Baylor’s Academy for Leader Development.
Q: What made you want to become a teacher?
A: I come from a long line of teachers on my mother’s side. My grandmother is an educator of sorts. My mother has a master’s in English, and she taught at private high schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before retiring. Both of my uncles have PhDs in history; one teaches at a university in Austin, and the other is dean of liberal arts for a community college in Fort Worth. I suppose it’s fair to say teaching runs in my blood.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working in education?
A: There are so many favorite aspects to teaching. If I had to choose one, I’d highlight the relationships.
Q: What are some of your interests outside of teaching?
A: In addition to teaching I volunteer time with anti-human trafficking organizations. UnBound is a local agency housed under Antioch Community Church. They work here in our Waco community, in other U.S. cities and globally through other Antioch church plants.
Q: How would you describe your daily fashion style?
A: My husband often says I often overdress for everyday life, and I reluctantly admit that’s probably true. I tent to gravitate toward an all-American, conservative look.
Q: What do you usually wear to school?
A: I wear a lot of dresses, blazers and cropped pants with blouses. I think I’ve always overdressed for teaching because whether teaching high school or college, I’ve always looked like I could be a student. So perhaps I’m subconsciously hoping my attire sets me apart from the rest of the room.
Q: What do you wear outside of school?
A: Is it embarrassing of me to admit I dress similarly outside of the classroom as I do inside the classroom? I only own one pair of shorts, I think.
Q: Where’s is your favorite place to shop in Waco?
A: With a 22-month-old and a 3-year-old, I do a lot of my shopping online at J. Crew or Banana Republic. When I get free time to myself, I love shopping at Spice [Village] and Roots. I could spend hours in those stores browsing jewelry, clothes and perfumes. Speaking of jewelry, I’m a huge fan of what Magnolia Market is carrying these days.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you wore on the shoot?
A: Both of the shoes I wore were cute wedge sandals that could be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

teacher-katieKatie Johns

Q: What and where do you teach?
A: I teach third grade at Castleman Creek Elementary.
Q: What made you want to become a teacher?
A: I originally was drawn to education because I love kids and I wanted a career where I got to impact their lives. As I went through college at Baylor, I gained a love for education and seeing students grow academically.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working in education?
A: I love being able to interact every day with kids, being a part of their lives and see them grow and achieve throughout the year. I also find great interest in finding new and better strategies to teach the material to my students.
Q: How would you describe your daily fashion style?
A: Classic with a little flair. I love the color blue, so I have a lot of blues in my wardrobe. My favorite things to wear are unique pieces of jewelry.
Q: What do you usually wear to school?
A: I am usually in dress pants and a nice shirt at work. Although honestly, wearing jeans on Casual Friday is my favorite.
Q: What do you wear outside of school?
A: I work out every day after school at CrossFit Misfits, so I am always wearing workout clothes. I’m addicted to Lululemon these days!
Q: Where’s is your favorite place to shop in Waco?
A: Spice [Village]. There are just so many different beautiful pieces there.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you wore on the shoot?
A: The kimono I wore for the casual look. It was blue and fit my style perfectly.

teacher-zachZach Seifert

Q: What and where do you teach?
A: I teach chemistry and physics at Vanguard College Preparatory School. I also serve as the dean of the middle school as well as the head football and head track coach.
Q: What made you want to become a teacher?
A: I actually never planned on becoming a teacher. I was a pre-med student at Austin College and decided to take a break. My grandfather was an English teacher and basketball coach for many years in Minnesota, so I decided to apply at Vanguard to teach chemistry. After teaching one class I found something that I loved to do.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working in education?
A: I really appreciate the opportunity to have an impact on my students’ lives, whether it’s teaching them about concepts that they can apply in future studies or life skills. I put a lot of emphasis on time management in my class because it’s something that I believe has helped me to be successful in everything I do.
Q: How would you describe your daily fashion style?
A: I don’t consider myself stylish by any means, but my wife calls it my ‘coach look.’
Q: What do you usually wear to school?
A: I always wear slacks and the first Dri-Fit polo I can grab. If it’s Friday, then I’m wearing my Baylor gear.
Q: What do you wear outside of school?
A: Anything comfortable. Typically, that means shorts and an athletic shirt.
Q: Where’s is your favorite place to shop in Waco?
A: I’m not a huge shopper, but I do enjoy going to Academy.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you wore on the shoot?
A: The Tag Heuer watch. As a coach I always wear some sort of digital watch, so it was definitely an upgrade.

teacher-caseyCasey Summey

Q: What and where do you teach?
A: I teach English IV and coach cross-country and track at Waco High School.
Q: What made you want to become a teacher?
A: I really enjoy being around teenagers. It is great to see how quickly they grow into strong and smart young people.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working in education?
A: I love watching kids be successful, whether it is in the classroom, on the field or outside of school. Work ethic is important to me, and when I see it budding in kids, it’s very rewarding.
Q: How would you describe your daily fashion style?
A: I am very casual because I’m so active. Between teaching, coaching and being the mother of a 2-year-old, I usually dress comfortably. I like to wear bright colors and fun accessories to make my outfits pop.
Q: What do you usually wear to school?
A: I am a quick-change artist. I begin every day in coaching attire because I spend the mornings outside with the cross-country team. Then I switch to slacks and flats for my classes.
Q: What do you wear outside of school?
A: I tend to gravitate to sundresses because they are easy to dress up or down with different shoes and jewelry.
Q: Where’s is your favorite place to shop in Waco?
A: Design House is my favorite place for accessories. I love all of their colorful jewelry.
Q: What’s your favorite thing you wore on the shoot?
A: The green Tacori earrings were gorgeous.

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