Press Releases

NOVEMBER 1, 2017
CONTACT: MICHAEL L. GILLETTE at (512) 440-1991

Dripping Springs Teacher Receives Statewide Award

Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Yvonne G. Kaatz of Dripping Springs High School is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.

Liz James, coordinator of educational programs at Humanities Texas, will present Kaatz with her award in a presentation at Dripping Springs High School at noon on Friday, November 3, during a pep rally.

Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards.

Kaatz, whose teaching career spans 28 years, leads the English department and teaches pre-AP and gifted and talented English II and AP English III at Dripping Springs High School. She has been selected 10 times by outgoing seniors as their most influential high school teacher.

“This career has come to mean more to me each year,” said Kaatz. “Winning this award is a tremendous honor, especially when I work in a school with so many talented and hard-working teachers who expect the best from their students.”

Kaatz goes above and beyond to provide her students with meaningful material and learning opportunities, whether by taking them to see John Steinbeck’s collection materials at the Harry Ransom Center, inviting authors to discuss their work with the class or creating a senior retreat each fall. In addition, Kaatz spearheaded the redesign of the school’s English courses to allow students to study genres that truly interest them, such as dystopian literature, modern American literature and Latino literature.

“As the leader of our English Language Arts Department, Yvonne’s influence extends well beyond her classroom,” said Dripping Springs High School principal Joe Burns. “She is consistently pushing herself and her department to serve our students by always striving to deliver a relevant, rigorous curriculum.”

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Yvonne Kaatz and Dripping Springs High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Kaatz inspires and motivates her students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Kaatz will receive a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for Dripping Springs High School to purchase instructional materials.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

Humanities Texas is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards. Additional information about Humanities Texas and its teacher award program is available at

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Yvonne Kaatz.

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