Katie Stanley is teaching seventh grade English at Orono Middle School this year. For the past three years, she taught eight grade English at her alma mater in Lakeville.
“I taught in the same classroom that I had had English in,” said Stanley. “And my principal was my eighth grade teacher.”
Stanley comes from a family of teachers. Her parents both taught school in Apple Valley for over 30 years, and her husband is a teacher in Farmington.
She received a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Drake University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006. She also received a Presidential Scholarship all four years.
Stanley studied abroad in Belgium during college. She also had the opportunity to teach in Taiwan for one year after she graduated from Drake.
“I taught in an English immersion classroom where my kids had been in the school system from the time they were three until seventh grade,” said Stanley. “They had intensive English every day and we only spoke English in my classroom.”
Stanley also received a Masters of elementary education from the College of St. Catherine with a K-6 endorsement.
She was as speech coach at Lakeville North High School and also coaches at a week-long intensive speech camp at Gustavus Adophus College in the summer. She met Orono High School speech team coach Julie McMerty at camp, and she coached a few Orono students there.
“I knew that Orono had a growing speech program,” said Stanley. “I wanted to continue coaching.”
She applied for the teaching job at Orono Middle School and was thrilled to be hired. She will coach speech at Orono High School this year.
Stanley says the central tenets of her teaching philosophy are high quality expectations, reflection, and collaboration. She says her greatest success was increasing her eighth grade students’ MCA reading scores by 7 percent.
“That was a big deal,” she said. “I love data.”
While at Lakeville, she was involved in a diversity coalition to train teachers about intercultural issues in the Lakeville and Burnsville area. For two years, she was involved with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which is an elective college preparation class for students who for various reasons may not otherwise attend college.
Stanley said she has a passion on focusing on multicultural literature.
“I make sure we have a lot of different and diverse voices in the classroom even if they aren’t physical voices,” said Stanley. “They can be voices in what we read and we absorb.”
In her free time, she likes to cook and watch the Food Network. She also enjoys reading and theater arts.