Presley mixes two careers as FHS business teacher

Trista Presley mixes the two careers she once struggled to choose between: education and accounting.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” Presley said.

Ironically, she was talked out of it by her high school teachers.

“I think they always want their students to do bigger and better things,” Presley said.

Presley is in her fourth year at Frenship High School, where she teaches business information management, business management and accounting I and II.

Recently she was named the Texas Business and Technology Educators Association’s rookie teacher of the year. Rookie teachers, under TBTEA rules, have less than five years of experience.

Past president of TBTEA and fellow FHS teacher Janet Flusche describes Presley as very organized.

“The rookie teacher is usually someone who teaches five years or less. She’s been a very impressive teacher for the number of years she’s been teaching,” Flusche said.

Presley first chose to get a degree in accounting, and worked as an auditor for banks for a few years.

“I was out in the business world for a little bit,” Presley said. Her husband, fellow teacher Jeff Presley, talked her into becoming a teacher.

Now she has no doubts about her career.

“I’m actually doing the two things that I love to do,” she said. “I had a real-life exposure to an accounting job, and an exposure to teaching. And I know I’m not missing anything.”

Back when she was in high school, Presley said she had wanted to be a math teacher, but she said being an accounting teacher is a good mix.

Winning the TBTEA award was a surprise, she said, but also validation that she is successful as a teacher.

Her teaching philosophy is one of caring.

“I really believe that if you care for your kids and you show concern for them, they’re able to learn,” Presley said.

One of the biggest surprises to her upon becoming an educator is the difference in her own generation and current teens. As a 34-year-old, she said in reality, she’s not terribly old, but teens now have Internet and cellphones, which make a difference in perspective.

“They think it’s horrible if they forget their cellphone, or it gets taken up. We didn’t even have cellphones,” she said.

Presley said outside of being a teacher, sponsor of the Business Professionals of America and Frenship’s UIL accounting coach, she does not have a lot of outside interests. She is also the mother of a 13-year-old, 6-year-old and 6-month-old.

“My kids keep me busy,” she said.

NOTE: Jennifer McClendon was named the Texas Business and Technology Educators Association teacher of the year, but has moved from Frenship to Sundown ISD. The Frenship technology department was also honored by the TBTEA.

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