By Donna Parker
Once you talk with Kathy Bieser ’97, MAT ’98 for a few moments, it comes as no surprise that she was presented recently with the H.E.B. Excellence in Education award. Kathy has been teaching social studies and world geography at the International School of the Americas (ISA) in San Antonio for eight years and will soon begin her first year in administration as assistant principal of that magnet school.
“I will miss the direct contact with the kids who I was teaching everyday, but I can continue to maintain relationships with students and teachers, while working to improve this school,” says Kathy.
“ISA opened in 1994, having originated from a concept paper written by education professor Dr. Thomas Sergiovanni.”
“Trinity has been involved in the creation of our school and a partner since the beginning,” continues Kathy who adds, “Fifth-year education students are placed here on campus for a year-long internship with mentor teachers.”
Kathy brought innovative teaching techniques of her own to the classroom, such as projecting live Doppler radar images on the walls during Hurricane Katrina. Students then predicted landfall and examined policy decisions by leaders of the city of New Orleans.
This year, as an administrator, she will oversee a program that will connect students in Egypt and India with ISA students via the Internet. All will be presented with the same problem and share ideas and solutions.
“This is an effort to give our kids the scope they’ll need in the marketplace to remain globally connected.”
Kathy, who humbly says she is “still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up,” thought she might be a college volleyball coach, having played that sport, along with basketball, at Trinity.
“I do miss the coaching and teaching technical skills on the court and may reinvent myself one day and go back through that coaching door,” she laughs, adding, “I still try to stay physically fit by running and hiking, but never go near the weights — I did enough weight lifting in college.”
Kathy aspires to design and open her own school one day and it is very telling that even as her Excellence in Education ceremony was held in San Antonio, Kathy was in South Africa…with a group of her students…helping them experience history and its challenges. Her parents received the award on her behalf.
Special Note: The Master of Arts in Teaching program at Trinity is celebrating its 15th year anniversary during Alumni Weekend 2006: Oct. 27-29. Trinity invites all MAT graduates to return for two special events on Friday, October 27: MAT 15th Year Lunch Celebration, The Great Hall, 12:30 pm and MAT Symposium | Excellence in Teaching, Ruth Taylor Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, 2:30 - 4:30 pm. For information, call (210) 999-7501.