Clark Teacher Kayla Olivias wins technology award


Kayla Olivas receives her Tech Titan trophy at the Annual Awards Gala on August 16, 2016. (Photo used with permission by Plano Independent School District)

Libby Cooper, Staff Writer

Kayla Olivas received a Tech Titans award this past August at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison, Texas.
Olivas was nominated for the award in April 2016 by Tracy Franco, the assistant principal of Clark high school. Among some 50 finalists, Olivas was one of 12 winners.
The Tech Titans of the Future High School Level Award recognizes high school teachers for their development and use of innovative teaching techniques that inspire students to further study or pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, or math fields.
Olivas, who has taught for seven years, gathered a fan base at Clark high school. Past students of the STEM teacher were unsurprised to learn that she had won the award. Junior Evan Thomas was a student of Olivas during his sophomore year at Clark.
“She seemed to get us as students, and she would go out of her way to make her class as fun as possible by interacting with us and making funny comments. I admired her ability to teach in an adaptive and unique way,” Thomas said. “I’m very proud of her and glad she’s getting the recognition she deserves.”
Olivas received the award on Aug. 16 from the Tech Titans Awards Gala.
“It is incredible to be a recipient of this award. Teachers work very hard to make sure that our students enjoy learning, and the joy that we get when they are inspired to continue in the math, science, and technology fields past high school is indescribable,” Olivas said. “This award is a great way to show teachers that what we do does make a difference in our students’ lives.”
Olivas said that she is a firm believer in the idea that all teachers are deserving of recognition and respect.
“I think this award should really go to every teacher. We all work so hard to make sure our students learn in a safe, fun and engaging atmosphere,” Olivas said.
Junior Michelle Concha was enrolled in Olivas’ chemistry class during her sophomore year at Clark. Concha said that she appreciated Olivas’ genuine personality and her understanding of how each of her students learns most effectively.
“Mrs. Olivas is a teacher who really understands her students on a teaching and social level,” Concha said. “She is constantly trying new things in order to help her students understand the subject more. Her realistic personality makes her someone you’re not nervous to talk to and can interact with naturally.”
Despite the recognition Olivas gained from winning the Tech Titan award, she intends to keep teaching her students just as before.
“I will continue to try inspiring students to go into the STEM fields,” Olivas said. “There is so much out in the world for my students to experience. Sometimes they just need a little guidance.”