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Kansas Teacher of the Year Secondary Nominee

Congratulations to Andrea Pate, TMS English Language Arts Teacher!

The Kansas Teacher of the Year program is facilitated by the Kansas Department of Education. The award recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance and the teaching profession.

Each year, every district in the state submits a secondary and an elementary nominee for consideration. Congratulations to USD 202's secondary nominee this year, Andrea Pate! Read below for a Q&A with Ms. Pate.

Andrea Pate, Turner Middle School English Language Arts Teacher

Q: Why did you choose to go into the teaching field?  
A: When I was trying to figure out what career path to pursue, I knew I wanted to do something where I was making a meaningful impact in people’s lives daily. One day my husband told me that he thought I would make a great educator. His encouragement gave me the confidence to explore teaching further. I feel grateful to have found a career that aligns with my values and allows me to make a positive impact in the lives of teenagers every single day. 

Q: What have you most enjoyed from your years teaching?  
A: Throughout my years of teaching, the thing that I enjoy the most is the strong and meaningful relationships I have built with students and watching them create their futures. The strong relationships I have with students lasts long after they leave my classroom. I have students reach out to me almost daily to tell me how they are doing or to update me on their grades and classes. After my students leave the middle school, go to the high school, or even graduate – the most rewarding part of teaching is watching students succeed, beyond my classroom, and finding success in their own lives. 

Q: What do you most like about teaching in the Turner School District?  
A: There are several things I love about teaching in Turner. First, I love the colleagues that I work with. Everyone is so passionate about what they do each day. I also have an incredible administration who has always trusted and supported me as an educator. Secondly, the bonds I have formed with parents have also been incredibly meaningful to me. Working together to support their child’s learning and growth has allowed us to develop a mutual respect and understanding. Lastly, as mentioned, the students are what I love most about Turner. I believe these are the relationships that are at the core of teaching and what makes the teaching profession so rewarding.