Cypress Texas
Posted February  1, 2016

Cy-Fair, TX (February 1,2016) Retired Cy Woods agricultural science teacher has made a life-changing impact on students for 33 years through his dedication and compassion for the FFA program
Written by Leigh Ann Mitchell and Krista Friedli | Select photography by Candace Cook

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Roddy Parisher taught agricultural science for 33 years, ending his teaching career in June at Cy Woods High School. Inspiration to become a teacher came from a mentor. “He taught me the importance of giving back,” says Parisher. e FFA program is one of the most rewarding programs Cy-Fair high schools have to oer. While the program is a challenge, teachers like Parisher are there to help support and counsel students so that they are successful with their projects.

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Following His Lead
Mindy Camp is a first-year agriculture teacher at Cy Woods High School and was inspired by Parisher when she had him as an agriculture teacher 13 years ago at Cy Woods. “It is hard for me to and the right words to express the honor and excitement I feel,” says Camp. “Mr. P is one of the reasons why I chose this career; I am an ag teacher because of him.” Her inspiration to become an agricultural science teacher came from his teachings and the FFA organization. “Aer 33 years of dedicated service, I know I have some big shoes to ll. Teachers like Mr. P are irreplaceable.” Camp’s dreams are coming true and she is grateful to have had the guidance of such an inspirational teacher.

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A Bigger Influence
Former student Cody Keilers says that Parisher really cared about each student and showed it with his positive attitude and infectious personality. “He is such a good person and in all the years he has been teaching he has touched so many lives,” says Keilers. Parisher made a point to always support the kids at all of their events. “He would go to every little weekend jackpot lamb show to cheer us on,” says Keilers. He has instilled a passion for FFA and agriculture in Keilers and now he is considering a career in Livestock Show photography. “He is a much bigger influence than he thinks.”

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Implementing His Methods
Former student Meghan Rozier describes him as a very compassionate teacher who cared for each of his students. “He had a way of making each one feel special and important and he was always concerned for others and their well-being above his own,” says Rozier. With a smile on his face Parisher made learning fun for his students. For Rozier, it gave her the desire to learn more and carry on her studies in agricultural science in college and follow it as a career. “As an ocer, I was lucky to get to spend extra time with him in my leadership role.” She was able to mirror Parisher’s methods and implement them in developing her own unique leadership skills. “Seven years aer graduating and leaving his classroom, I come back and continue to contribute, not just to my alma mater but to the FFA and ag departments because of Mr. P,” says Rozier. “He has instilled in me the same desire to leave my mark on the current students.” Rozier oen returns to Cy Woods to help with the banquet, the livestock show, and other events.

Roddy Parisher with student, Cody Keilers

Fostering Relationships
Parisher mixed comedy and wit into his laid-back style of teaching. “He would try his best to get through his lessons as quickly as he could so that he could get to know his ag students and address issues dealing with their animals,” says former student Samantha Buck. He was like a father to a lot of kids. “He knew everything about his students and served as a great mentor to them.” Students always felt comfortable talking to Parisher about anything. “If you were ever having a bad day he would always let his students come relax and have lunch in the shop. He really fostered great relationships with his students.” An agricultural science teacher’s job never ends at the bell. “He and Mr. Albritton would come to our houses and check on our project’s progress and give us as much hands-on support as was needed,” says Buck. Parisher was the type of teacher that made sure his students were successful by going the extra mile.

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A Role Model and Friend
Kelsey Supak describes Parisher as a role model and friend that poured his heart and soul into teaching and his students. “His class was the highlight of my day every day when I was in high school. Our FFA chapter was like a family,” says Supak. He taught her and many students how to raise, judge, and take care of many dierent animals but she admits that above all, the most important thing she took away from his teachings was how to stay honest and humble. She and Parisher shared the common bond of being two of the only people in Cypress who are rodeo athletes. Her favorite memory with Parisher was during nals week, “I challenged him to a roping match o.” e competition was that they would rope a dummy until one of them missed and whoever missed rst would be the loser. “He gave me a run for my money but I totally won that competition!” He playfully demanded a rematch but Supak declined. “We still laugh about it to this day and it is denitely a memory I will never forget.” Supak says that he is one of the best teachers out there. “I’m proud to say I was a student of his.”

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Life After Cy Woods
Parisher is now enjoying a life that is much dierent than the busy hours of the school year. He is relaxing and enjoying the simpler things in life, which include riding his horse, Rich. Even though Parisher has le the classroom, he still has some wise words for those students and teachers at Cy Woods High School. “In my opinion, you are at the best school in the district,” Parisher advises students. “Take advantage of everything that is available to you there.” CFM

LEIGH ANN MITCHELL also had an inspirational teacher in sixth-grade math, who not only taught problem-solving skills, but several life lessons.

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