Tiger Staff Spotlight: SSMS Math Teacher Paula Mathews
April 7, 2021
The following story is the fourth installment in the Tiger Staff Spotlight series where DSISD features staff members from each of the district’s seven campuses.
Sycamore Springs Middle School math teacher Paula Mathews has been able to tie in two of her passions – history and quilting – with her volunteer work at the Pound House in Dripping Springs for over a decade.
A 16-year Dripping Springs resident, Mathews friended several locals who had deep roots in the community, sparking her interest in the city’s history and the 1850’s Pound House. Mathews began assisting with Pioneer Day, a fall event that recreates a typical day in the 19th Century.
“I helped out with the student volunteers to help with a lot of the activities and events,” Mathews said. “Being a teacher, I knew a lot of the middle school and high school kids so five or six years ago, I took over coordinating that.”
An avid quilter, Mathews was asked to help restore some of the Pound family quilts that were still in the home.
“Because I got involved with Pioneer Day and they found out I did quilting, they had some old quilts from the Pound family that needed repair,” Mathews said. “They gave those quilts to me and I got them pieced back together and cleaned up.”
While teaching at Dripping Springs Middle School, Mathews also received help from her students to restore some of the Pound family possessions.
“They had a quilt top that had never been quilted and I took that quilt to my advisory class that was a crafting class and we set up quilt frames in the library and pieced it back together,” Mathews said. “That quilt is now on display at the Pound House.”
Pound House visitors can now visit the home and see several quilts that Mathews and DSISD students have helped preserve.
“It’s neat to go into the Pound House and see quilts that I either helped to restore or ones that my students had a piece in preserving,” Mathews said. “It tied my love of history with my love of quilting.”
Sixteen of Mathews’ 30 years of teaching have been in DSISD. In 2013, she was recognized as the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year while teaching at DSMS.
“I’ve seen such tremendous growth (in Dripping Springs), but even with the growth there is such a spirit of family here,” Mathews said. “I’ve worked in larger districts before and you would typically just know the people that you worked with on your campus, but here in Dripping Springs I have relationships with teachers at the elementary and high school levels. As a whole, we’re a family.”