Rafters name ninth annual Skyward Teacher of the Year
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, in partnership with Skyward Inc., have announced the recipient of the 2022 Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award. Kate Kaster, a computer science teacher at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), was informed of her achievement with a visit from Rosco P. Rafter in her classroom earlier this week.
Kaster has been a teacher at SPASH for the past six years and is also the department instructional leader. Kate also started and coaches the schools Esports teams and helps students compete in computer science competitions like the “CyberPatriot” contest, a national youth cyber defense competition.
“Kate has single-handedly transformed computer science instruction at SPASH,” SPASH Principal Jon R. Vollendorf said. “With her direction and leadership, we have completely revised computer science course offerings that now reflect current, practical, and much-needed computer science preparation for students. Kate’s enthusiasm for learning and computer science has built our department into one in which students can take seven different courses including Computer Science (introductory course), Computer Animation, Computer Hardware, Cybersecurity, Game Design, Web Design, and Advanced Placement Computer Science.”
With Kate’s work and leadership, enrollment in SPASH computer science courses has doubled over the past five years.
The Rafters and Skyward will hold the ninth annual Educator Appreciation Night at Witter Field this summer on Aug. 3. The first fans through the gate will receive a Programmer Rosco bobblehead presented by Skyward.
As part of the evening, the Rafters and Skyward will present Kaster with a bobblehead created in her likeness to commemorate the Teacher of the Year honor. The team will also display a Kaster bobblehead in Skyward’s Educator Wall of Fame at the ballpark. She will be recognized prior to the game by throwing out a first pitch. In addition, Kaster and the essay winners who nominated her will receive tickets to attend the game, courtesy of Skyward.
To facilitate the selection of the teacher, the Rafters held an essay contest for students K-12 across Central Wisconsin during the months of October and November. All students were encouraged to nominate a teacher who they felt has made a positive impact on their life and write an essay on the reason this teacher deserved to be recognized as the Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.
To help narrow down all the submissions an internal rating system was used that included the following: Number of nominations submitted on behalf of the teacher, years of service by the teacher, essay substance regarding the teacher, principal recommendation, and characteristics described about the teacher.