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The Student News Site of Kilgore High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Kilgore High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Kilgore High School

The Mirror

    January Employee of the Month


    Juan Neco is the first KHS Employee of the Month for 2024. This is not the first time Neco has been awarded teacher of the month or teacher of the week, though.

    Neco knows that he got the award because he works to be “an honest and genuine person and teacher.” He’s proud to be at KHS, because of the students. “Nothing makes an educator more proud than seeing the growth of a student,”Neco said.

    His favorite school activity is supporting both boys’ and girls’ soccer teams. “Seeing the kids excel in things besides academics is a treat,” Neco said. Neco is not just an employee at KHS. Neco also works at GameStop part time. He is also a personal trainer. Neco’s biggest challenge while working here has been teaching a subject he’s never taught before. Nevertheless, Neco has someone at the school to help him. The biggest impact on Neco at KHS has been Lauren Thrasher. “Since the first day, she noticed that I am a learner and always will be. As a teacher we never stop learning,” Neco said. Neco grew up in Puerto Rico. “I went to a private Christian school in Puerto Rico,” Neco said. He also went to Ohio State University for his Bachelor’s and Puerto Rico State University for his Masters of Arts.

    In high school, Neco was the president of the classroom and of his senior class yearbook. He got to go to Washington D.C. because of this. In college, Neco majored in English Literature and Kinesiology. He also worked at the University of Puerto Rico. Neco actually never majored in Spanish, but teaches the subject here at KHS. In college, the class that taught him the most was a Pedagogy class the was taught by Dr.Orama. “It was the moment that I realized that in life we never stop learning,” Neco said. Dr. Orama and Dr. Roman were Neco’s most influential teachers.

    “They taught me the truth about being a teacher,” he said. Neco’s studies managed to make way outside of his academic life. His biggest accomplishment in his life was defending a master thesis and helping other college students. “When former students call/ text me to tell me how much they learned and are inspired by me…that is an accomplishment,” he said.

    In his spare time, Neco goes to the gym, watches movies, reads, and plays video games. He has talents, but prefers not to list them to be mysterious. The most influential person in his life is his madre. “My mom is a warrior and a fighter for what is right. She is also an educator. I was/am inspired by how her past students talk about her,” Neco said. Neco is a likable person with friends in all places. His best friend, though, is Sheo. “Although he lives far away in Puerto Rico, every time we see each other it feels like no time has passed,” Neco said.

    When he’s feeling down, Neco has found a way to deal with it. “Whenever I’m feeling down, my main thing is to meditate and do yoga or stretches,” he said. He also calls his madre when he needs advice or wants to have a deep conversation. If he could sit down with one person about anything, Neco would talk to J.R.R. Tolkien. “We would talk about language. I want to know the process he took to create the languages he invented,” Neco said. In ten years, Neco sees himself still teaching, but maybe not here. “I would like to teach Spanish and English in Japan,” he said. Neco lives by one quote:

    “Failure is the biggest and grandest teacher. A successful person is a person that failed and tried again.”

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