Kate Stevens began her teaching career half by accident. She took her first position as a long-term substitute for a friend having surgery. The job stuck: “I just never wanted to leave.” Fifteen years and three schools later, she has joined the CollegeSpring team as an Instructional Coach to support the teachers offering our curriculum in Detroit.
A native Michigander, Kate reflexively uses her hand as a map for the state. Her first job at a small K-12 school in Northport was located “about as far into the pinkie finger as you can get.” When asked about the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, she politely points out the many varieties of local produce and enthuses about this year’s strawberry and peach seasons.
This background motivated her to offer instructional support at CollegeSpring. “I’m just really excited about the partnership between CollegeSpring and Detroit,” Kate says. “It can really have a broad and lasting impact on the future of students and teachers in this city, and there’s not much that means more to me than that.”
What are your goals for the year?
My biggest goal is to be open to learning. In the field of education, you have to be a perpetual learner.
I love project management. I think teachers are naturals at project management, especially when you’re as Type A as I am. So moving into the world where I have greater responsibility for the trajectory of the Detroit partnership would be really amazing.
Do you see special challenges and opportunities for education in Detroit?
Detroit has really made progress toward better outcomes for kids, better facilities for teachers and kids, and keeping teachers in the city. I think teacher support is a critical thing to focus on so that they stay and can do what’s in the best interests of our kids.
You really don’t find a city that’s more community-oriented than Detroit. Detroit is a huge city, which has very few people compared to its size. You build these incredible relationships.
What do you wish people knew about the SAT?
The test doesn’t define you, but it can help define the opportunities that you have.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at CollegeSpring?
I do off-road stage rally racing. We do about five or six events a year. My driver slash boyfriend–I’m in the car all the time, I’m navigating–and one other gentleman, we are the complete crew. Last year we were the Eastern Region American Rally Association Open Light Category Champions.
I am an avid knitter. A lot of the things you’ll see me wear once the weather is cooler are things I’ve made. I love to fly fish. I really like to hike. I used to rock climb a lot.
A lot of CollegeSpringers are big readers. Are you too?
Yeah, and I’ve started redeveloping that during COVID times. Dan Rather’s book is next on my list. Typically, I’m a fiction reader. I’m a beach reader.
Is there anything else people should know about you? About CollegeSpring?
The word I’ve heard more in the last week than my whole career is “partnerships.” I really think it’s important to approach testing and impact in the world of education from that word.