Texas State Alumna Katie Doyle named Teacher of the Year for Flour Bluff Intermediate School

Nicholas Butler I April 28, 2022

Katie Doyle and her students
Katie Doyle and her students

Texas State Alumna Katie Doyle was named “Teacher of the Year for Flour Bluff Intermediate School” and is a nominee for “Flour Bluff ISD Teacher of the Year.” She has previously won “Teacher of the Year for Neidig Elementary School” and “Teacher of the Year for Elgin ISD.” Doyle’s excellence in teaching has provided her students with the opportunity to learn about marine life while participating in outdoor activities. Doyle states, “The kids have gone fishing, kayaking, and even birdwatching. It’s important for children to have outdoor experiences so they develop an appreciation for nature.” The middle school is located near the Gulf Coast in Corpus Christi, Texas, which allows the young students to explore the wetlands.

Doyle’s interest in marine life began in her youth as a member of the Girl Scouts. Doyle says, “I joined the Girl Scouts and had a lot of amazing experiences. I had the opportunity to travel internationally and got SCUBA certified at the age of 14 years old.” Doyle received hands-on experience while attending Texas State University where she interned for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TWPD) during her junior year. Doyle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and began her professional career as a marine biologist. Doyle had time between jobs at TWPD Inland Fisheries and National Marine Fisheries Service in New England when she decided to try substitute teaching. Doyle states, “I worked as a marine biologist for several years before I decided to become a teacher. I began substitute teaching at Giddings ISD and I noticed the impact I had on the children. I started looking forward to teaching and fell in love with it.”

Katie Doyle photo collage aboard the E/V Nautilus and SCUBA diving

Doyle returned to Texas State University where she received her M.Ed. and teacher certification through the College of Education’s Teacher Recruitment Program (TRP). [TRP is a full-certification program including 18 hours of graduate initial teacher certification course work and 14 weeks of student teaching, typically completed in two semesters of full-time attendance.] Doyle’s proficiency has granted her the opportunity to conduct research for the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) and Nautilus Exploration Program. OET was founded by Dr. Robert Ballard who is best known for the discovery of the RMS Titanic in 1985. The nonprofit conducts international deep-sea research and ocean exploration with a well-equipped team of scientist, engineers, educators, and students.

Doyle will join OET aboard the E/V Nautilus for the second time as a Science Communication Fellow to condense complex research findings into simple instructions. Doyle says, “I am really excited because the upcoming research trip is to Hawaii to map uncharted areas of the deep sea around the Hawaiian Islands.” Doyle also submitted her first grant and received $5,000 from Toshiba for advanced classroom and outdoor equipment. She was invited to speak at the Toshiba National Science Conference in Houston. Doyle states, “I am honored to speak at the conference because everyone there is dedicated to their profession and supporting kids to lead our future.”

Doyle is also looking forward to expanding the Flour Bluff Intermediate Oceans Program. The organization was established in 1968 to teach children how to interact with the local environment. The children observe the wetlands and engage in kayaking, assessing coastal erosion, collecting specimens, and more. Doyle says, “We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and we have to protect our planet. Many of our natural ecosystems are being renovated into properties. It is important for kids to appreciate marine life and our ecosystems to develop skills for environmental sustainability.”

Katie Doyle and her students collecting trash from local environment
Katie Doyle and her students collecting trash from the wetlands

Doyle is currently partnering with Texas A&M - Corpus Christi to conduct a Special Olympics kayaking event for children with disabilities. She has grown to appreciate her teaching profession and continues to inspire children as future leaders. Doyle states, “I’m so glad that I have the chance to work with kids and prepare them to lead our future. I am grateful for all the members who were a part of my cohort and for professors like Dr. Julie Jackson who supported me in TRP.”