While Water Spring Elementary only has been open for a couple of months, it is full of teachers and staff who are excited to be part of a new community. Water Spring staff has chosen fourth-grade math and science teacher Lilia Oakey Whitehouse as the brand-new school’s influencer. Oakey Whitehouse loves teaching math and science and finding new ways to encourage her students to succeed.
What do you love most about your school?
I love that everyone, from the janitorial staff to the admin team, is student focused and wants the best learning environment for our students.
What's your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is coming up with creative ways for students to practice their math and science.
What made you want to take on this job?
I was extremely interested in being part of a new school team. Mrs. Klaber and the entire admin team’s focus and passion for students and the school community as a whole made me eager to be a part of their school vision.
What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?
I am motivated by my students. I can’t expect them to be their best if I am not at my best.
What's the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you?
My first year of teaching, a student gave me a bag of her favorite snack, 11 pieces of Reese’s Pieces, and a handmade card. The student and her family did not have much but she still insisted on giving me a gift. The candy and card have moved with me to every school and position I’ve worked at.
What is the coolest place you have visited and why?
The coolest place I’ve visited is Escalantes National Monument in Utah. I spend all summer hiking and backpacking and this monument offered almost a million acres of slot canyons and natural structures to explore. And it provided me lots of pictures (for) my rocks and minerals unit.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d want to be a polyglot so that language isn’t a barrier to my learning and teaching.
Do you have any pets? What kind, and what are their names?
I have two cats, Martin and Cha Cha, and one dog, Juno. I also foster kittens for Orange County Animal Services.
If you could see any musician, band or artist live, who would it be and why?
I would want to see BJ Thomas. He is my mom’s favorite artist and I would love to have the opportunity to see him with her and hear her sing along.