Why did you want to become a teacher?
I am absolutely convinced that a large part of my vocation is to help others be who God created them to be, and that means helping them to develop their raw talents into something extraordinary.
Which is your favorite class to teach?
I always tell my students that the class I’m in is my favorite. I love teaching freshmen because they grow so much in one year. I love teaching sophomores because the intellectual problem-solving they are capable of is so much fun to watch. I love teaching juniors because they have the vision of future greatness and an ability to focus on the details and the big picture in a way that is truly special to cultivate.
What are some of the ways you take learning beyond the textbook?
I like to bring up real-world examples whenever I can and demonstrate how the theory meets the practical. For example, in Accelerated Math II when I teach exponential growth and decay, I model how investments and loans work. These conversations really engage students as they grow in seeing the math theory underpinning many of the life decisions they will have to make further down the road.
What main takeaways do you hope to give students?
I want my graduates to be confident in their ability to tackle hard problems. Our students are the kindest, most intellectually talented group of people you will ever get to know. We must educate them to be the problem-solvers of our many problems in this world. I want them to look at one of those problems, apply good ideas and a mental flexibility to the nuance of that problem, and make a real impact with their solution.
Why are STEAM fields so critical and how are you inspiring students to pursue them?
An underserved and underappreciated sector has been how the STEAM fields can help solve many of our world’s problems. There is a big push these days for local support for any change that needs to happen if that change is to be sustainable, and STEAM fields are already built to ask those local questions and solve local problems. Our STEAM courses and co-curricular opportunities challenge students to consider the purpose of what they are doing, to develop a vision for addressing a problem, and to have faith in the skills they’ve developed and in all that can be gained by putting their shoulders to the work that needs to be done.
What does Salesian Spirituality have to offer today's young women?
St. Francis de Sales’ universal call to holiness is profoundly important in our times. Our alums are and our students become movers and shakers in every area of need in the world: policymakers, doctors, teachers, social workers, engineers, moms, military officers, executives, and the list goes on. All of those positions need people who are faithful and holy; all people in those positions need to know they can grow in their path toward God. The Salesian Little Virtues are such a great way for us to focus on how to Live Jesus in the ordinary moments and then be ready to live them in the extraordinary moments. We don’t have to wait until some fictitious perfect time; the craziness of life right now is the time to live virtuously.
What do you love about teaching at Visitation?
So many things:
- Teaching at an all-girls high school is such a joyful experience. I get to know the students better in a single-sex environment and can really tailor the material and the class experience to them.
- Having the Chapel on campus, I can go down the hill to “say ‘hi’ to Jesus” anytime I am free.
- Walking the lovely campus and taking in God’s beauty in creation, in this oasis in the city.
- Welcoming graduates into the sisterhood of our alumnae community.
- Chaperoning Kairos retreats and helping young women take steps into an adult faith life.
- Seeing students grow over the course of just one year of my teaching them, and over their whole four years here.
- Engaging in rich conversations with colleagues on curricular, intellectual, and faithful levels. My colleagues push me to grow all the time!
Kati has taught at Visitation for nearly a decade. She has a B.S. in Honors Mathematics and an M.A. in School Leadership, both from the University of Notre Dame.