LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kristi Reise

Position: Civics and Drama Teacher
School: Midwest City High School
School District: Mid-Del School District
City, State: Midwest City, OK

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Music that Describes Kristi

Kristi Reise was nominated by a former student, Chantal Morris.

"Ms. Reise teaches, encourages, and changes the life of every student she has at Midwest City High School (MCHS)," Morris said. "When I was in her Advanced Drama class 17 years ago, I was a student who tried not to have attention brought to her. I tried to be perfect, never get called on, and never got in trouble. I hated being in the spotlight, and I ended up in Advanced Drama by complete mistake. We found out about the mistake, and she asked me to just give it a shot - she thought I might be good at it. Little did she know, she would end up saving my life."

"When we had auditions for parts, I never signed up for anything. I just auditioned for what she told me to," said Morris. "We were putting on the children's play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She asked me to try out for Sneezy. I went up there and did an okay job. She said she would post the parts the next day. I ended up getting a part! We got to work to get everything going right away. She motivated me, helped me improve things, and helped me try and fix the horrible sneeze.

"We had a long three day weekend, and I was going through an emotional time," said Morris. "I made a plan that I would go to school get my belongings and end it right then and there. Ms. Reise's class was my class before lunch. Only one class period was stopping me from going to an empty house and just killing myself. I had everything ready to go."

"About halfway during the class, everyone was practicing while I sat there counting down the hours," said Morris. "Ms. Reise asked me to come talk to her. I sat at the chair by her desk, and she asked me point blank what was wrong. She knew just by looking in my broken eyes that I was not okay. She knew something was going on. I kept lying and saying 'Nothing, I had a headache.' She told me to look her in the eyes, made a goofy little face, and smiled. She proceeded to tell me that she knew I came into this class by mistake but that she was thankful that I was there."

"Ms. Reise kept me pretty close to her for the rest of the hour," said Morris. "She kept watching me like a hawk would watch its prey. Before she dismissed anyone, she was telling everyone that she couldn't wait to see our work. She turned and looked at me and said 'We can't let the kids down, they are counting on us.' She smiled so big, and she told me that I could come to her with anything."

"I left drama class crying. I went home and knew I couldn't let the kids down," said Morris. "She sparked something in me that I didn't know was there! She saw a spark and lit it up like a bonfire. Ms. Reise knew how to see through my broken soul and give me a reason. I am now a child advocate! I have actually gone back to her classes over the years to share my story, and many kids have come up to tell me similar stories. Ms. Reise is a LifeChanger and doesn't even know it."


Comments (7)

Michael Thompson Posted over a year ago

I was introduced to Kristi by Amber Gorman fellow teacher at Midwest City High Oklahoma. I asked my daughter s Maddisyn,Mariddyn,and Mattaley if they knew Miss Reise and they all did know her. They really liked her and even did some work with her on various projects. She was a good influence to the girls. I had to investigate further. Well I was very impressed with what I found. I had some troubling things occur in my life at that point in time. Ms Kristi could tell something was wrong with me and I quickly became one of her students lol. I think I am still grounded? Kristi has guided her students through good and bad times, becoming counselor and director for them. As I have grown to know Kristi not only is she a great teacher but fried and daughter. Kristi cared for her mom who had developed a terminal disease. Kristi gave up weekends many if not all of them for many years. She not once gave up her religion and faith in our Savior Christ Jesus. A Life Changer she most definitely is !!!

ShaRay Bess Posted over a year ago

Never knew how much I would love Drama class until I met Ms.Resie you changed my life so much since then you got me thru the last year of high school and I want to thank you for that !!

Claudia Ferdon Posted over a year ago

She is the most amazing and supportive teacher in the whole world. She cares about everyone any anyone no matter what. She has helped me so much during my 4 years of high school and the Last 2 years outside of high school. She is the most understaning person and teacher i have ever had.. I was a broken kid back in junior year of high school my best friend ended up over dosing on medication. During that time I was bitter and withdrawn. When i was in Ms. Reise class she wouldn't let me feel down about anything she always did her best to cheer me up. I have always know that I can tell her anything without judgement. I have so many amazing memories with her during our musical plays. She always pushed me to do my best even if I'm not an actor or a singer(I was sound tech) I did some acting stuff for fill ins and when I was nervous she was always to cheer me on.

Lukas Pizarro Posted over a year ago

Ms. Reise is an astounding teacher, she has helped me through a lot and I wish I knew how to repay her back. Reading through the other comments made me realize just how much of a gentle soul she really is, she is and will always be one of the kindest people I ever had the chance of knowing. I am one of the students that she currently have in class but I can already tell you that she’s inspired me so much, to do what I want in life and has helped me emotionally as well. She’s the first person I talked about my suicidal thoughts with and I know I don’t regret doing so because of how trustworthy she is. She keeps an eye on me and makes sure I feel safe every time I enter her class, it’s the only class I ever look forward to attending. She has also helped me a lot with overcoming my fear of public speaking, she’s amazing I tell you. I will always be grateful in getting the chance to know her. I take pride in having a teacher as sweet as she is. I do not know anyone else that deserves this than her.

Amanda Pursley (Albrecht) Posted over a year ago

Ms. Reise was an amazing educator. She knows how to get the very best out of every student she teaches. Her class taught me more than how to act. She taught me how to be a leader, how to multi-task, how to accept constructive criticism, how to work as a team, and so much more. I'm a better person because I was educated by Ms. Reise.

Mary Estabrooks Ormond Posted over a year ago

I had Kristi Reise as a student teacher in 9th grade Broadcast Journalism . I new then she would make a great teacher. She walked into our Stage Production class after Christmas Break as a long term sub and I knew she would be at Midwest City Forever !!! Ms. Reise change my life giving me a chance to shine as a back stage person. I have a passion for collecting and finding odd things she saw that even in a 10th grader. Ms Reise showed up at my wedding and the when my brother passed away she was there for my little brother and I . She has been there for our blessing through our whole life. I know if I have a joy or just frustrated about my life I can still share it with her and she cares and will listen and understand. My life flipped and turned upside down I went through a messy divorce and was not working. I just could not bring me back, I went to her and she said we needs subs want to sub for me take the class it is easy. I did , I worked solid the next 3 years for the district I grew up it helped put me through college and take my mind off the past and move forward. I take my moving forward in life and to be the person I am today 100% to her nudge to do more with my life. I am now a teacher , a wife , a mother , and an advocate for young adults with cancer all from her teaching.

Teresa reed Posted over a year ago

My name is teresa, I am now 20 years old. freshman year when I was gone for almost a month due to mental health reasons I was put in an outpatient facility for attempted suicide. and when I came back ms. Reise was the only teacher that said something to me. I remember her saying “was it what I’m thinking” and we had a short and vague conversation about it and she told me she was glad I was back. And ever since then, I still struggled but her class is what kept me going. I’m not sure if she completely knows but I’m so very glad I stuck it out in her class. Even if after the first day of school I thought you were super weird. Sums. Reise has been the only teacher or even person I have ever met that I have truly felt comfortable enough to talk to about anything non-academic related. She was there for me through my mental health problems and she was there to help me through a friends death. I can not think of anyone that deserves this more than Kristi Reise. She is definitely a life changer! She helped me through my worst times and I am absolutely certain she has helped many others.