LSMSA Alumna Returns to School as New Faculty Member

LSMSA new faculty bio Christina.jpg
“When I was a kid, I annoyed my mom by always asking ‘Why?’ over and over again. I was never appeased. She would send me to summer camps to make other people have to answer my ‘Whys’.”

As the new Chemistry Instructor at Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), Christina Hillesheim, a graduate of LSMSA’s class of 2005, has always believed in encouraging curiosity in every student she teaches.

“My goal is to make kids love science,” said Hillesheim. “They don’t have to necessarily love chemistry and want to be a chemist, but I don’t want chemistry to be the class that destroys their interest in learning new things and make them stop asking why. I want to keep that curiosity going.”

Originally, she did not intend on going into teaching. However, while working on her graduate degree at the University of Florida, she co-taught an Introduction to Chemistry class and fell in love with it.

“I always played school as a kid and loved explaining how things worked to people,” she stated. “It wasn’t a surprise once I thought about it.”

Hillesheim received her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and her doctorate from Mississippi State University. Before coming to LSMSA, she taught in Tennessee at both the high school and university level.

Hillesheim’s experience at LSMSA is a unique one compared to most instructors. To this day, she still has fond memories of her time as a student at the school. “It’s not quite Hogwarts, but it’s the next best thing,” she said.

While attending LSMSA, Hillesheim played basketball with the school team. Now, in addition to teaching, she will serve as the assistant coach for the girls’ basketball team.

“Having been here, I know exactly what I’m getting into, and that makes the classroom setting here so much more rewarding,” she said. “I know the students want to be here, and they’re going to be just as eager as I was.”