Katie’s Closet was dedicated to the memory of Scott Middle School Science teacher, Katie Palmer, after her death in April of 2020. Palmer was a Denison alumna with a passion for helping her students and our community.
“She went above and beyond in the classroom and outside of it, often giving to those students in need,” science teacher Heather Arthur Stinnett said.
Katie’s Closet is a boutique-style space, equipped with toiletries and a shower where students have access to clothing, and other necessary items that they may need throughout the school year. Whether it be hygiene or necessities, Katie's Closet provides a way that is comfortable and feels like a shopping experience right in the walls of Scott Middle School.
The idea for Katie’s Closet came largely from Palmer herself. As a member of the Denison Service League, Palmer would often search the Bargain Box in Downtown Denison for items that would benefit students at SMS. Palmer would collect blankets, clothing, and give additional time to extracurricular activities with special focus on offering a STEM curriculum at the middle school level. Oftentimes, the amount of time, energy, and effort she put into these students and programs was kept anonymous.
During the summer of 2020, DSL representatives Melanie Jeffrey and Cathy Eubank approached principal John Parker looking for a way to honor the memory and legacy of former member and educator Katie Palmer. The name Katie’s Closet came from this desire to honor what Palmer dedicated her life to; the students of SMS and her calling to serve others.
“We wish to keep her memory alive and honor her by giving back as she did,” Stinnett said.
Katie's Closet is maintained by students and staff at SMS, with large contributions made by the Denison Service League and the Palmer Family. Student organizations, teachers, and support staff are involved in the organization, decoration, and stocking of the closet to ensure it is kept up and in good working order to serve those who need it most.
“Katie Palmer was a great person, a phenomenal teacher, and it was an honor to have her in our SMS and Denison ISD family. She exuded excellence in everything she did, and her heart was full of love and kindness," Stinnett said.