Spotlight on School Personnel: Kathy DeBoer and Katie Huntley
April 03, 2018
This month we are excited to put the Educator Spotlight on two teachers in our buildings - Katie Huntley and Kathy DeBoer – who were both named WGVU Cool Teachers in January 2018. Students are responsible for nominating educators for the “Cool Teacher” awards, so it sounds like Katie and Kathy are having a lasting impact in their classrooms!
We took a few moments to sit down with Katie and Kathy to learn more about their teaching experience, thoughts on winning the award, and goals for the future.
Katie Huntley – 5th-grade teacher, Knapp Charter Academy
How long have you been teaching?
I’ve taught for four years, all in the 5th grade.
How were you inspired to become a teacher?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I had two amazing elementary school teachers that made learning fun and became role models in my life. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to have that same impact on children.
What does it mean to you that a student nominated you as a WGVU Cool Teacher?
It's such an amazing feeling! It proves to myself that I'm reaching my goal of having a positive impact on students and I couldn't be more excited!
What is one teaching moment that has been memorable for you and why?
Each year I do an activity that requires students to write five different affirmations to five different students. It is one of my favorite days each year! Seeing the looks on their faces when they read the affirmations puts a smile on my face. One of my favorite memories was two years ago when I had a student that was reluctant to participate in the activity. At the end of the activity, his confidence level was through the roof and he had come out of his shell.
What’s one work-related goal that you’d like to accomplish, either this year or within the next 1-3 years?
I have so many ideas, it's hard to choose one! I would love to offer more opportunities for my students to give back to our school and community. I love the idea of giving students the chance to do volunteer work as a part of teaching our moral focus virtues.
Kathy DeBoer – Kindergarten teacher, Chandler Woods Charter Academy
How long have you been with Chandler Woods Charter Academy?
I started at Chandler Woods in 1999 and taught 2nd grade for 15 years before transitioning into kindergarten.
What do you enjoy about being a kindergarten teacher?
It’s truly my dream job. You get to see amazing growth in kindergarten. When students leave your classroom they are leaving as readers and writers, when they may not have been either upon arriving. It gives you and the students the ability to celebrate an accomplishment every day. I also love all the wonder they have for everything in the classroom. A good example of that is when they clap for you when you read a story they like.
What was going through your head when you learned you were named a WGVU Cool Teacher?
I was completely surprised! It was wonderful to learn who nominated me because at one point in the year I had to use some unique motivational tactics to encourage the student to improve a personal habit. It worked, and it must have really meant a lot to that student!
What are some goals you have for the future?
Well, every year I have a goal to make sure each student loves learning and leaves with a good foundation that will set them up for success. I also spend a lot of time making sure each student leaves with respect for their classmates and knowing they need to treat others the way they want to be treated.