Teacher Feature: Kathleen Greer
“Kindness costs nothing” is the quote of the month displayed on Peak teacher Kathleen Greer’s classroom chalk board. She is encouraging her middle school base camp and Humanities students to ‘choose kind’ in their interactions with peers, parents, and community members. The quote of the month is just one of many teaching-tools Kathleen uses to engage students is discussion and deliver curriculum. Prior to classroom teaching, Kathleen was an experiential education instructor for three years, working with all ages--young kids to corporate groups--on teambuilding activities, physical challenges, caving and kayaking in Maryland and Virginia along the Potomac River. She transitioned into the classroom as a 6th grade teacher at Edmund Burke School in Washington, D.C.
Kathleen sees a lot of similarities between Peak and Burke, which is also a progressive middle and upper school where she says the students created their own learning. She remembers a guiding principle of Burke was a quote from author and philosopher, Edmund Burke, who said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Kathleen remembers, “The school was all about getting involved and being proactive--not waiting until you’re in college to make things happen,” and she loves that the same philosophy is embodied in The Peak School.
Following her time at Burke, Kathleen and her husband, Ryan, embarked on a two year backpacking journey around the world. They traveled throughout western Europe, through the Czech Republic, Spain, Morocco, Scotland, France, and Ireland, where she taught yoga. The couple settled in New Zealand for a year, living on an apple orchard and working at nearby vineyards. Kathleen loved living in New Zealand, where there are 14 sheep to every person She noted that the landscape is similar to Summit County, rugged and remote in places.
Kathleen and Ryan returned from their travels, and settled in Florida to spend time with family. She knew she wanted to get back to the classroom, and during summer of 2014, Kathleen and her family chose to relocate to Summit County for her job as a Humanities teacher at The Peak School. She and Ryan packed up their young son, Callum, and moved from sunny Florida to the Rocky Mountains. In May of 2015, the couple welcomed daughter Georgie to the party, and Kathleen spent a busy summer mothering Callum (now 21 months) and Georgie (now 5 months).
Some of Kathleen’s favorite pastimes include spending time with her children at the Marina or the Silverthorne Rec Center, and Kathleen and Ryan find Summit County to be “a nice, healthy place to raise kids.” Another passion of hers if cooking! She honed these skills at her family’s restaurant in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where she worked as a cook.
One thing Kathleen hasn’t had time to try yet is Nordic skiing. She is hoping to get out on the snow this winter and perhaps learn to Nordic or snowboard. I’m sure we have some capable Peak students who would gladly show her the ropes!