Mrs. Cates
              Risa Cates, MS, CSC
    Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year...New Beginnings!


    Hello, students and parents! As I write this piece, I'm noticing how many numbers and celebrations are important this year. Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything...a time to plant and a time to uproot...a time to tear down and a time to build. This year will be full of endings but also beginnings.


    I'm feeling both excited and blessed to begin my 23rd year in education (19 of those spent right here at Alvin Primary!). My first group of 2nd graders (way back in the year 2000!) are now 25-26 years old! Wow! I hope they are living their best life and achieving their dreams. (Come see me - I'd love to hear from you all!)


    Now for a little bit of news some may see as sad but we choose to celebrate and see as inevitable change moving forward. This year will be the last year we identify as "Alvin Primary". Since our sister school, Alvin Elementary, will be opening a new school building off of 1462 next year and will be known as "Bob and Betty Nelson Elementary", we will become a K-5 campus and take on the name "Alvin Elementary". But first, we will be celebrating 73 Years of ABC's and 123's, as our school first opened on the high school campus in 1946! We will also celebrate being in our school building 40 years! (A personal fact I recently realized...when I first started here, the building was only 21 years old! Gah!!!)


    This school year marks my 12th as your Alvin Primary School Counselor. As always, I want to thank you for entrusting us with your most precious little ones! I firmly believe learning is important and school should be fun so I look forward to working with you, teachers, administrators, and staff to help every child at Alvin Primary have the best school year ever! If you have any questions, hesitations, or concerns, please feel free to call or come see me in person.


    Now let's...

    "Cel-e-brate good times! Come on!"

    Happy 73rd Birthday Alvin Primary!!!


    A little bit about myself and my educational background:


    I have a BA in Communications and Art from Stephen F. Austin State University, where I also took education classes. In 2009, I graduated from UHCL with a Masters in Counseling. Before becoming a counselor, though, I taught 2nd grade for 7 years (all here at Alvin Primary) and 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts at Harby Jr. High. I started my career in Education in Diboll ISD teaching 4th through 12th graders in the Diboll AEP, which was truly an awesome experience. My current role as School Counselor allows me to focus on helping students feel good about themselves, which also affects academic success. I believe school should be a fun experience and I love helping make that happen!


    This year in my personal life, my husband Ross and I will celebrate our 16th Anniversary (24 years together!) We have a smart, beautiful 14 year old daughter, Cameron, who loves to dance and will be starting high school this fall (Whaaaat?) at AHS as one of the newest members of the Varsity Jacketeers Dance Team. Our 8 year old son Kellan, who enjoys reading, math, video games, chess, and most recently tennis, has the biggest heart and is so loving. We all share our home with a girl cat named Gilbert and a dog named Lucy. Our family LVES traveling, watching movies, eating out in restaurants, and spending time together.

  • A few of my favorites…


    Food / Restaurant: Olive Garden, Whataburger, Dairy Queen

    Drink: Sweet Tea, Raspberry Tea, Coke Zero

    Snack: Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips (Yea, Subway!), Chex Mix

    Candy: almost ANY KIND of Chocolate (just not white or with toffee)!

    Movies: Superhero and sports movies (esp. Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, Rudy, The Replacements)

    TV Shows: The Jeffersons, The Middle, Seinfeld

    Music: 1970’s and 80’s Pop/Rock and Country

    Books: Children’s Picture Books (The Giving Tree, The Tin Forest, my new favorite chapter book series The Bad Guys), Decorating and Fashion Magazines

    Activities: Traveling, Gardening (I can grow tomatoes, okra, beans, cilantro, and basil), Crafting (sewing, painting), Baking


    My Birthday: February 7th







  • work together       our job is to join our children in discovering who they are