Alumni Spotlight Archive
Spotlight on: Karyn Andrews (SCATS 1986-87)
Karyn is currently in the WKU graduate program in gifted studies, working toward her endorsement. For her practicum, she taught a course at CSAT this summer.
Where did you grow up?
In LaRue county, in a little town called Buffalo.
How did you find out about SCATS?
My mother was working on her gifted endorsement at the time — she actually taught at SCATS my first year. I took her class — a newspaper class.
What other memories do you have of SCATS?
Going to Opryland — that was fun. I remember making a camera out of an oatmeal box and getting to develop the pictures. There is a drawing that I did in a drawing class still hanging on the wall of my parents’ house.
What career have you pursued?
I work at Mt. Washington Elementary in Bullitt County as the school librarian. I taught band for two years at a Christian school and then want back to graduate school and got my Masters in library. I’m now doing the gifted endorsement toward earning Rank 1 as a teacher.
Why did you decide to do the gifted and talented endorsement?
It’s something I've always wanted to do. I’ve always been a strong advocate for gifted education.
Have there been topics you have covered in your graduate work that have made you reflect
back on yourself as a gifted student?
Definitely. I've learned a lot about myself. I didn’t realize that getting frustrated easily and being very emotional were often tied in with being gifted. I would get irritated with teachers who wanted me to work a problem the way they wanted me to work it out rather than the way I wanted to work it out.
What was it like growing up as a gifted young person?
I was lucky my parents were advocates for me. Once she realized I knew all my letters when I was 19 months old, my mom thought, “Hey, this isn’t normal. We need to figure something out.” She brought me to Western when I was four and had me tested. I was lucky in that I had teachers who challenged me up through third grade. There was no gifted program in my school until I was older, and that was a pull-out, one hour, one day a week program. The superintendent in the district now does a good job with middle and high school students, but with elementary, we’re still getting there.
Has there been any part of the graduate program that you have particularly enjoyed?
I've enjoyed all of it. I’m really enjoying SCATS. This is my first time working with middle school kids, except for when I did student teaching years and years ago, and it has not been as scary as I thought it would be!
Your class is called Book, Books, Books. What are your specific goals?
I want students to have shared with each other books and book series. I want them to come away with a big, long list of new books to read and an appreciation for different genres. Their interests are guiding the direction I take in class. I think it’s working!