Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight – A Lifelong Learner

Welcome back to our Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight Series. Each month we highlight a different educator, administrator, support staff, or student who is inspiring those around them. This month we are so excited to highlight Kathy Digsby, a first grade teacher at Centennial Elementary. 

Kathy Digsby

When we visited the weather was a bit snowy and cold, but we were immediately greeted with warmth the moment we stepped into Kathy’s classroom. Kathy has been at Centennial Elementary for four years, having spent another 16 years teaching at the elementary level at another school district. Kathy always had the desire to teach in the community she lives in, so when the opportunity opened at Centennial, she jumped at the chance. 

 

Kathy has a gentle and understanding personality that helps foster a learning community in her classroom. She is fascinated by her students and the leaps they make in their learning. Kathy believes that young students have an innate yearning to learn and at this stage are little sponges that soak up everything. This foundation permeates throughout her classroom. She was intentional in how she set up her classroom. She wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment where students feel comfortable taking risks as they learn. Kathy wants to empower her students to take control of their learning and create a community where students lean on each other for support. 

 

Students are encouraged to work where they feel comfortable. If they have a question they are encouraged to ask three classmates for help before asking ‘Mrs. D’ for assistance. Kathy said that this helps cut down on interruptions while she is teaching a smaller group, but also empowers students to take control of their own lessons. She believes classwork should be more authentic and relatable for students to succeed.

 

We asked Kathy what was her motivation, what kept her going. She said, “If you don’t continue to learn, you stop growing as a person. You grow when you are exposed to different thinking.” It is worth noting that Kathy went back to college later in life to compete her teaching degree. Since then, she has continued to expand her learning, which she brings back to the classroom. 

 

She enjoys collaborating with her younger colleagues, adding that they help her think outside of the box. Although, if we had to guess, her colleagues are just as encouraged by Kathy’s insight and knowledge. She also enjoys collaborating with her daughter, who teaches 2nd grade.

 

Kathy, thank you for inviting us into your classroom. It was a joy to meet you. We wish you a wonderful school year! We hope you will join us next time as we continue highlighting the incredible people who make St. Vrain Valley Schools great!