For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, in partnership with Skyward Inc., announced the winner of the 2022 Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award. Kate Kaster, a computer science teacher at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), has been notified of his success during Rosco P. Rafter’s visit to his class earlier this week.
Kaster has been a teacher at SPASH for six years and is also the department’s educational manager. Kate has also started and coached the schools’ esports teams and helps students compete in computer science competitions like the “CyberPatriot” competition, a national youth cyber defense competition.
“Kate single-handedly transformed computer science education at SPASH,” said SPASH Director Jon R. Vollendorf. “Under her direction and leadership, we have completely overhauled the IT course offerings which now reflect current, practical and essential IT readiness for students. Kate’s enthusiasm for learning and IT has made her our department a department in which students can take seven different courses including computer science (introductory course), computer animation, computer hardware, cyber security, game design, web design and computer science advanced level.
Thanks to Kate’s hard work and leadership, enrollment in SPASH computer courses has doubled over the past five years.
The Rafters and Skyward will host the ninth annual Educator Appreciation Night at Witter Field this summer on August 3. The first fans through the door will receive a bobblehead from programmer Rosco presented by Skyward.
As part of the evening, the Rafters and Skyward will present Kaster with a bobblehead created in his likeness to commemorate the Teacher of the Year honor. The team will also display a Kaster bobblehead in the Skyward Educator Wall of Fame at the ballpark. She will be recognized before the game by throwing a first pitch. Additionally, Kaster and the trial winners who nominated her will receive tickets to attend the game, courtesy of Skyward.
To facilitate teacher selection, the Rafters held an essay contest for K-12 students in Central Wisconsin during the months of October and November. All students were encouraged to nominate a teacher who they believe had a positive impact on their lives and to write an essay on why that teacher deserved to be recognized as Skyward Central Teacher of the Year Wisconsin.
To help narrow down all submissions, an internal scoring system was used which included the following: number of applications submitted on behalf of the teacher, years of service of the teacher, substance of the essay regarding the teacher , main recommendation and characteristics described about the teacher .