Educator of the week

Katherine Kopp 
Breed Street Elementary

Los Angeles Unified School District
5th Grade Teacher
 Favorite Teaching Subject: Math and Science!!

Katherine Kopp, or Kathy as she is affectionately known to her friends, family and loved ones, has been a teacher for just short of 30 years. She currently teaches at Breed St. Elementary School in the Boyle Heights community of Los Angeles, CA. She's been teaching at Breed St. ES for the last 18 years. She has become a staple of the campus community and has even had the opportunity to teach two generations of students from the same family.

Ms. Kopp, began her own secondary educational experience as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology. Furthering her education, she went on to receive her teaching credential at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

As a student, Ms. Kopp vividly remembers the lasting impact that her 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Lorna Nagata, had on her education. She recalls Mrs. Nagata’s highly enjoyable teaching style, always making her feel like learning was fun and fulfilling. Ms. Kopp credits Mrs. Nagata for instilling a sense of drive and motivation for education and continuous learning. Ms. Kopp credits her own pursuit of higher education to Mrs. Nagata and her experiences in the 6th grade with her choosing of the Teaching profession as her career.

Working with children was always an enjoyable experience for Ms. Kopp, so in her mind it was a natural progression for her to become a teacher and utilize the opportunity to inspire students through her favorite subjects math and science. She doesn't consider being a teacher as a career but rather, more so of a calling and passion. Her innate affinity to science propelled her to become more involved with STEM on her campus. Katherine states, “I have always loved science, but in elementary schools it can easily be pushed aside as we focus on language arts and math. Being involved in STEM helps me keep this from happening.” As a Teacher Ambassador for Great Minds in STEM’s STEM-Up™ Initiative, she has been a great champion of STEM education at Breed St. ES for the better part of 5 years. She is consistently involved with the school's Science committee and routinely advocates for the students to participate in more STEM based programming.

It is customary for Ms. Kopp to set certain goals for her students for each academic year. Typically she'll vary them based on the group of students and the overall personality of the class. For this school year , she is planning on her students having a sound understanding of the scientific process so they will be able to carry out their experimental investigations scientifically, resulting in a successful design of their projects. Since she is a big supporter and promoter of the school's science fair, she wants to assure that her students produce quality projects and have a fruitful experience that instills confidence in them from having gone through the process.

During her free time, Ms. Kopp enjoys gardening, leading a summer nature program at a YMCA camp, and teaching a 5th-6th grade Sunday School class at her church. Aside from these hobbies and leisure activities, she is also an avid bicyclist and uses it as a primary means of transportation. We wish her safe commuting and a wonderful Summer 2015!

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