Return to Headlines

Teacher Feature: Northwood’s Marcy Hildebrand

“I love everything about fifth grade.”

Marcy Hildebrand loves fifth grade.

She’s been teaching it in the same classroom at Northwood Elementary School for the past 23 years.

The same classroom.

There’s a ladder in there—painted with ivy—it’s been in that classroom since day one.

“I’ve had that ladder since my first day of school. I painted that ladder in my garage because I thought I needed a ladder. Sometimes you get to hang stuff up from the ceiling, so I’ve got my ladder.”

She’s been lucky enough to teach generations of students.

This year, she’s teaching a child of one of her former fifth graders.

And while her longevity is to be admired, it’s her “why” that’s really important.

“I struggled in school. I could not read very well and I really struggled, my high school counselor told me that I needed to probably get into a trade, that I wouldn’t make it in college.”

Marcy was diagnosed with dyslexia in college.

That’s a good thing.

Because she learned why she struggled and tools to help her not struggle--tools she can use to help her students now—tools she has used for the past 23 years.

“I was done with college in four years and said, ‘I am going to help kids. I need to. I don’t ever want anyone to tell a child that they can’t do it.’ So that’s why I am a teacher.”

That little girl who struggled in school has helped countless little girls and boys who struggle in school.

She’s made them confident.

She’s made them successful.

She’s made them want to teach others.

In fact, there’s a teacher teaching now at Hidden Forest Elementary School who spent her fifth-grade year in Mrs. Hildebrand’s class.

“Every year, I have a star student journal. Their parents actually write it about them, and they put pictures and talk about what they think their child is going to be when they grow up. So I have every journal from every year I taught. I pulled her journal entry, and I took a picture of it, and I sent it to her on her first day of teaching. Her parents said, ‘I think she’ll be a teacher one day.’ So it’s pretty neat.”

Hildebrand’s love for students, Northwood and North East ISD runs deep.

Her husband works at the Career and Technical Education Center.

Her son attended Northwood and is now at Garner Middle School.

“Thank God, I got hired here. Thank God, I got hired here. Best school ever. And it says a lot that I’ve been here this long and I haven’t moved and I don’t want to move, and I want to stay here forever. They’ll probably have a tombstone out there with my name on it.”

Posted by: Evan Henson
posted on: 12/13/2021