by Jennifer Zhan, senior editor

Substitute Kendall Pye enjoys the moment of realization when she first introduces herself to classes.

I think it’s so cool when students recognize me as Mrs. Pye’s daughter,” Kendall Pye said. “It’s funny whenever I get to sub for her. I’ll say, ‘so Mrs. Pye is gone today, but I’m Ms. Pye, it’s easy enough to remember.’ And people will gasp.”

Her mother, Julie Pye, has been a math teacher at Consol for nearly 20 years.

“I went to high school here, so I’d always seen her as a teacher,” Kendall Pye said. “But it was very interesting seeing that shift from being a student here to actually getting to appreciate how much time and effort it takes to be a teacher, how much of yourself you have to give to your students.”

As the oldest child of the family, it was hard when she left town for college.

“It was good to leave, and not be here all of the time, but I missed my parents, I missed getting to see my family,” Kendall Pye said. “Getting to see her almost every day is awesome, I don’t live with them anymore, so this is like my time to check in with her and see how my family’s doing.”

The Pyes said they have always had a close relationship with each other.

“When she didn’t live in College Station, we talked several times a week. And she doesn’t live at home now, so we still visit on the phone or she’ll come home for dinner,” Julie Pye said. “I think [working in the same place] has given us more things to talk about because we have that common piece with our school day that we can share about.”

Kendall Pye said the fact that she would be able to see with her mom definitely influenced her decision to return to Consol as a substitute.

I love my mom, she’s one of my best friends,” Kendall Pye said. “I was really excited to get to work with her. I was living with her [that first semester] so we got to ride to work together.”

When her daughter first started subbing, Julie Pye said she offered her some advice.

“She helped me set my expectations to understand that I’m coming in as a sub and not a teacher. So students behave differently with subs,” Kendall Pye said. “She told me to remember what it was like when I was a student. As long as I was respectful, everything would be fine.”

Now, three semesters later, Kendall Pye has become a familiar face in Consol classrooms.

“Kendall tutored during her college years, so she was accustomed to working with students. She was also a math major, so it was very easy for her to step into her role in the math department,” Julie Pye said. “I think she’s become a good listener. She’s flexible and overall, is our go-to person in our math department.”

Kendall Pye has also gotten to know some students on a close level through tutoring.

“Sometimes they’ll comment to her, ‘Don’t tell your mom that I didn’t finish my homework,’ that kind of thing,” Julie Pye said. “She’ll reply, ‘Well, you’ll have it done by the day it’s due, Mom knows that.’”

The Pyes have created many such good memories during their time as coworkers.

“I sub a lot for Pre-Cal, and I play my mom’s videos,” Kendall Pye said. “It actually took me most of my first semester to realize that was her voice I was hearing though, because it didn’t sound like her at all. When I told her, she thought it was so funny.”

They’re not the only ones who enjoy the mother-daughter dynamic.

“It’s fun for the students, I think, too. One incident stands out in my mind. One afternoon, we were leaving the building at the same time, and we were walking out and somebody said, ‘Bye Ms. Pye!’” Julie Pye said. “I turned around and said ‘Bye!’ and [Kendall] was like, ‘That wasn’t for you, that was for me.’”

Next fall will be Kendall Pye’s last chance to do subbing ahead of receiving her master’s degree in May.

“I didn’t think I would enjoy subbing, but I actually really do. It’s fun to get to know students and connect with you guys, see the grades below me in a different perspective,” Kendall Pye said.

She said she’s also gained an increased appreciation for her mom’s profession.

“I don’t do half of what teachers do,” Kendall Pye said. “They put in a lot of time for their students, more than you think. It’s taught me that it’s really hard to be a teacher, and made me appreciate my mom and all other teachers for all the work they put in.”