Markwood named Teacher of the Year

Photo courtesy of Julie Markwood. Graphic made using

Julie Markwood, English IV Dual Credit and K-level teacher, is the 2022 Cypress Creek High School Teacher of the Year. The award is a long time coming for Markwood, as she has taught 23 years at Cypress Creek and 25 total years in the classroom.

Before Markwood started teaching at Creek, she was teaching seventh grade and knew she needed a change.

“I teaching high school better, and when I interviewed here, I liked the principal and department chair,” Markwood said.

Markwood shared how she feels about winning the Teacher of the Year award.

“It means everything,” Markwood said. “It’s selected by administration, so it validates that the administration sees that I’m doing a good job.”

Over the course of Markwood’s 25-year teaching career, her favorite memories come from helping students graduate.

“Most of my favorite memories were when I helped a student outside of the classroom,” Markwood said. “There have been students over the years who have really needed help their senior year. They kinda messed around when they were younger, and when they were seniors, they needed help to graduate. I was able to do that,” Markwood said.

Markwood has a strong passion for British literature, which stems from her English ancestry.

“I’m fortunate to teach British literature, which is my passion. It’s something I’ve always liked and I’m an Anglophile, which is someone who loves England. My ancestry is from England, so I just love everything to do with that.”

Many teachers around the world were affected by COVID, and that includes Markwood.

“I teach because I like to have relationships with my students and I like to know them as people, and I didn’t get to know a whole lot of them because they were on a computer screen,” Markwood said.

Markwood also found it challenging to engage students not only online, but in person.

“Making sure students would be awake and engaged, and engaging students in the classroom when I was tied to my desk was very hard,” Markwood said.

Markwood was inspired to become a teacher by a former English teacher of her own.

“I had an English teacher named Mr.Williamson in my junior and senior year of high school, and he was awesome because he cared about his students, and he was really good at getting everyone excited about literature,” Markwood said.

Markwood took inspiration from Mr.Williamson’s dramatic teaching style.

“He had a drama background and would bring a lot of drama when he talked about new concepts or talked about literature and would be really dramatic, and so yeah, I do a little bit of that,” Markwood said.

The biggest lesson Markwood has learned over her 25 years of teaching is the importance of building relationships with students.

“The number one thing that makes a great teacher is when you care about your students,” Markwood said. “No student is going to like what they’re doing unless you have enthusiasm and care about it and care about them.”

Markwood’s advice to future teachers is to build a connection with their students.

“Get to know your students if you can, ask questions of your students, learn about their lives, and put some of that into your teaching,” Markwood said.

When Markwood eventually retires from teaching, she wants her students to remember her as someone who truly cared about them.

“I want to be remembered for being somebody who my students can remember was there for them if they needed somebody,” Markwood said.

Teaching is so much more than the curriculum for Markwood, and she hopes to leave a lasting impact on her students.

“I don’t care if they remember ‘Beowulf’ or ‘Hamlet’ or any of these other things – it would be nice, but what I want them to remember is how I treated them, and that I’ll always be their teacher no matter what,” Markwood said.

Markwood was honored at the 2022 Cy-Fair Educational Foundation Salute to Stars Event on April 5 at the Berry Center. Markwood was also featured in a video honoring her Teacher of the Year status.