“Be safe and make good choices”

Grimmett returns to alma mater while adding laughter to math class


Coppell High School algebra II and honors pre-calculus teacher Lucy Grimmett (right) poses with CHS9 ESL facilitator Jessica Lynch (middle) and CHS9 world geography teacher Brittany Scruggs (left) at CHS9 in their senior overalls from attending CHS. Grimmett returned to CHS this year after teaching at CHS9 for three years. Photo courtesy Grimmett

Victoria Hertel, Student Life Editor

After teaching honors and on-level algebra I at Coppell High School, Lucy Grimmett moved to CHS9 to teach in 2018. This year, she returned to CHS to teach algebra II and pre-calculus. Grimmett grew up in Coppell after moving from England at 6 years old. She attended Wilson Elementary School, Coppell Middle School East and CHS.

What did you miss about CHS?

I missed the people here because we had such a large math department and we were a close-knit group. I went [to school] here. [Before I moved to CHS 9], I had a lot of my old teachers that I could go to as mentors, but CHS9 was a cool environment to open up and be a part of a new thing.

I want to be an assistant principal later down the line, so the fact that I got to be a part of the opening of a brand new campus: getting more leadership roles, being a part of the crazy structures put in place and developing block lunch and setting it up, there’s a lot that goes in to starting a new school. 

It was beneficial for me as a young teacher to see all of that, so I can continue it in my career. I was team lead of algebra I, so I was a part of a separate team that planned a lot and we would take [those plans] to our teams and plan the rest of things or tell them about it.

How does it feel to be back on campus?

I was excited to come back to CHS. I had [current CHS Principal Laura Springer] as my principal at East. I have always wanted to work for her, so the fact that I got to come back here all worked out. Being back on campus is so nice: everybody’s so supportive and inviting, everyone’s ready to get back to work and help each other however we can, especially with all that’s going on. I’ve been smiling every day. 

What was your experience as a student in Coppell?

I moved [to Texas] from England when I was 6. I then went to Riverchase Elementary, which is a neighboring district [Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD], until third grade. Then, we moved to Coppell. We were only supposed to be here for two years and then move back to England, but my dad’s [Simon Grimmett] contract [from the business he worked for] got extended, so we stayed. So, I went to Wilson [Elementary] once we moved into a house on that side of town and then we bought a house and I went to East.

Did you know? In addition to having Springer as her principal at CMS East, Grimmett was also in current CHS assistant principal Chris Gollner’s science class in eighth grade. 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

I’m sarcastic and funny. I like to make kids laugh at me or with me. My favorite part of teaching is getting to know the kids and having a good time. I want them to enjoy math class. I feel like a lot of kids hate math, so making them enjoy coming to class is a big part of why I teach. [Some kids may not like math because] they’ve either had math teachers who they didn’t understand, and they didn’t ask questions too, so they lost their confidence, or they have always had that stigma like, “I’m bad at math” and when they think that they’re bad at math, then they don’t like going to that class.

What did you think when you got the job offer to return to CHS?

I was excited to be a part of Springer’s team and come home. I feel like [CHS] is home for me. I’ve grown up here. I know these halls so well. I know the hidden spots. So getting to bring the culture that I had here, the celebrations and the spirit into my classroom. It’s a cool experience to watch kids graduate that you’ve watched grow up. [The 2021 senior class] freshman year was my first year teaching and now I am teaching some of [them] as [seniors]. It is so cool to see how much [they’ve] grown up and all the fun things [they’re] doing now – it’s wild.

How has the move from algebra I to pre-calculus been?

I try to make sure that I can be the best teacher I can be. I’ve been doing all of the practice and assignments to make sure that I can explain it well to myself, so I can explain it well to other people. If I can’t do it, then why would I make kids do it, right? I need to make sure that I’m up to speed, have the same vocabulary and can explain it well. That was a big jump, but I’ve been refreshing my memory.

How are you getting to know your students virtually?

We had this Google Form where my students got to put pictures of themselves. I like to know what sports they’re in, if they’re in band, if they’re a cheerleader, if they’re in theater. I like to know those things and go to those things. If we were in person, everyone would talk about what they have going on whereas now, nobody wants to talk yet. 

What is one of your favorite memories while teaching?

A memorable thing that I say all the time at the end of class is, “be safe and make good choices”. A couple of years ago, one of my kiddos made me a sign that says “be safe and make good choices”. It’s my thing. [My students] know that I’m going to say it, they’d even start saying it with me. I feel like there’s a lot of things that could go wrong at any moment when we’re out in the world, so it’s letting kids know that I care. Please be safe and make good choices so you can come back and we can continue in class.  

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