Homecoming is a chance for Bridge City High School alumni to relive their past and see familiar faces. One familiar face to many is that of the math teacher Faye Parish.

Parish began teaching at the Bridge City middle school in 1974. By 1984 she was at the high school. She has been there long enough that she has taught the current high school principal, Richard Briggs, and the assistant superintendent Gina Manino. In addition, there are several fellow staff members and others at area campuses which she taught as well. But, it’s always good to see them again, she says.

“I have taught both of my bosses,” she added with a chuckle.

During homecoming week, Parish said she enjoys seeing the students dress up for the various themed days. This week the students have worn clothing reminiscent of past decades. Originally, to kick off the homecoming celebrations, there was a bonfire. Now there is the burning of the letters.  No matter the method, school spirit throughout the community is abundant.

Over the years she has seen changes in the type of students. They were all good students, but society had changed.  In addition, this generation of students are “more technical savy” and have “more to think about.”

Parish admits she is a tough teacher. Parish teaches dual credit college algebra and AP calculus. During the morning hours she teaches math, but in the afternoon she works as the secondary math coordinator.

“I push hard,” she said of her teaching skills.

Parish shares her love of math with her students.

“I love numbers,” she said. “It isn’t subjective and is not somebody’s opinion.”

During class time her students work on the board where they explain their work to others. She feels it is a good learning tool since if they don’t understand the math problem then they can’t explain it to somebody else. This gives them ownership in what they are doing.

“I am hard to forget, they either love me or they hate me,” she added. “I am not soft, but they know I care.”

Sometimes it is the teacher who works a student the most that proves to be the best. Parish is consistent with her expectations and when she walks into a classroom, she is ready to teach.

“If I have a student fail, then I have failed too,’ she said.

Parish is one of the first to arrive in the mornings and is available to help when needed. But, she said the key to her success, is  “I love math and I love the kids.”

Teaching math is challenging, but has its’ rewards. In the end it is the chance to better a students life.

“It is knowing I can make a difference,” Parish said.

Parish also works to help her seniors obtain a college scholarship through the Mirabeau Lamar program.

The Lamar University Mirabeau Scholars program is for students with exceptionally strong academic records. Only a limited number of these outstanding four-year, full scholarships are available. The scholarships are awarded each fall to first-time-in-college freshman students. Mirabeau Scholars receive “full” scholarships consisting of tuition, fees, on-campus room, board and book stipend.

BCHS has the most recipients of the award, according to Parish.

She often asks her graduating seniors to e-mail her back and let her know who they are doing.

“They say thank you and thank me for making them study,” she said.

Parish has no plans to retire anytime soon. But, she feels fortunate to have been with the district all these years.

When not teaching, Parish enjoys reading and spending time with her three grandchildren. She also loves gardening, especially her roses.

Faye Parish has taught math in the Bridge City School District since 1974. Over the years she has seen many students come and go, but see homecoming as a chance to see familiar faces.