Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Rebecca Royall: Chemistry teacher answers the call & finds a passion


Rebecca Royall's path to teaching chemistry at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) wasn't linear. She came from a family of educators and was eager to break the tradition and try something new.

So, her first job out of college was as a communications director at a baptist church. While there, she became involved with the youth ministry and developed an affinity and drive to work with young people. This passion would eventually lead her to take a teaching job – the career path she ironically was trying to avoid.  

"Despite my best intentions to do something other than teach, I decided to follow my heart and eventually ended up in the classroom," said Rebecca.  

Now, almost through her first semester teaching 10th graders, she has absolutely no regrets and loves going to work each day.

Giving young people a voice 

Although Rebecca had experience working with kids of all ages in her initial job at the church, something about the high-school-aged students drew her in.

"When kids are in 10th grade, I feel they are mature enough to have an adult conversation but not yet jaded. I find it refreshing to converse with them about not only chemistry but life in general," said Rebecca. "I love guiding them and helping them problem solve. Hands down, it's the favorite part of my job."

Rebecca sees high school students as small adults who desire respect and to be spoken to as peers. At the same time, she believes her role as an educator is to deliver content in a meaningful and compelling way and act as an advocate, serving as a voice when they need to be heard.

"Giving a voice to our kids is so important," said Rebecca.

Sparking a love of chemistry and SBISD 

Although she grew up in the Spring Branch area, Rebecca only experienced SBISD once she went to high school. Throughout elementary and middle school, she attended a private school. After enrolling at SBISD, she thrived, participating in multiple extracurricular activities, taking advanced (AP) classes, and securing various scholarship opportunities.

She also has SBISD to thank for sparking her love of chemistry. As a Spring Woods High School student, she took chemistry from Jamie Flint, who saw the subject as much more than memorizing the periodic table of elements and knowing the difference between homogenous and heterogeneous matter.

"Chemistry is about combining science and math, taking real-world applications, and watching your calculations come to life," said Rebecca. "It has the potential to be a fascinating subject – one that is fun, interactive, and analytical all at the same time."

Rebecca hopes to ignite a love of chemistry for her students like Mrs. Flint did, making assignments exciting and relatable.  

Now that she is teaching in the same school district, Rebecca occasionally sees Mrs. Flint and has the opportunity to share some of her experiences as a first-year teacher.

"Everything has come full circle, and it feels like I've found my place and where I'm supposed to be," said Rebecca.

Filling a need 

Rebecca began her teaching career at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic. When she decided to pursue a job in education, she was well aware of the challenges teachers faced but approached the task with determination. She recognized a need for educators and felt compelled to answer the call.

"COVID-19 was not a drawback for me to enter the teaching profession; rather, it was a motivation," said Rebecca. "When I see a need, I want to fill it."

She thought her first year of teaching would be challenging, but surprisingly, it's been smooth sailing. Rebecca quickly acknowledges the support network of coworkers in SBISDs who have lent her a helping hand and is grateful for their encouragement and camaraderie.

"I've enjoyed every second of it so far and am grateful for outstanding colleagues who have mentored me during my first year," said Rebecca.

Rebecca's long-term plan is to become a counselor or school administrator, focusing on making a difference in students' lives, albeit through different avenues. For now, she is eager to continue teaching and exploring how she can positively influence the lives of her 10th-grade students through teaching chemistry.

A sense of community 

Like many of her fellow educators in SBISD, Rebecca feels a sense of community, a tight-knit bond that teachers and administrative staff share within the district. She's witnessed this sense of belonging among the students at Northbrook.

"The culture at Northbrook is not 'rough and tumble,' despite the existing stereotypes," said Rebecca. "The kindness of the students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, possess hearts as tender as they are resilient."

Rebecca recognizes the immense potential of her students at Northbrook and is on a mission to unlock their limitless capabilities so they can pursue their dreams and aspirations. To Rebecca, it's not just a school; it's four walls filled with loving people and a wealth of incredible opportunities.

"It's an exceptional place, bursting at the seams with kids interested in learning, growing, and having each other's backs," she said.

In the same vein, Rebecca doesn't see teaching as just a profession; from her perspective, it's a calling.

Combining her passion for chemistry with a deep desire to impact the lives of young people, she will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of her students for many years to come.

To learn more about career opportunities in SBISD, click here.