This is part of a series of features on new educators in the Uniontown district. USD 235 School District starts school on August 26.
April Stock, 35, is a new first-grade teacher at West Bourbon Elementary School, Uniontown.
Stock earned her Master of Science in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University.
“This will be my first year as a classroom teacher but I have been lucky enough to be a para and work with the amazing special education teacher and be a part of the great team of paraprofessionals at West Bourbon Elementary!” she said.
She is married to Kolby Stock and has three children, Klara (13), Kyson (10), and Kort (8).
“I have wanted to be an elementary teacher ever since I was in the first grade and I wanted to be just like my first-grade teacher,” she said. “I have been blessed with being a stay-at-home mom for many years and now that my children are all in school, I decided it was time for me to pursue teaching.”
“The best part of teaching is getting to spark the curiosity and creativity inside of students and instill within them a desire to learn and seek out knowledge,” Stock said. “I enjoy connecting with each student to see just what each of their individual needs are so that I can provide them with what is necessary for them to learn.”
Linda (Ramsey) Rogers will be teaching reading and math for 1st and 2nd-grade students at West Bourbon Elementary School.
She graduated from Uniontown High School in 1974, Pittsburg State University in Elementary Education in 1979, and received a master’s degree in 1987.
She and her husband, Harold, have been married for 31 years and have two sons, and Harold’s married daughters have given them seven grandchildren, she said.
“Most of my career was spent in second grade for USD 234, Fort Scott,” she said. “I’ve also taught 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, for a total of 39 years.”
For the past two years, she has substituted for USD 235 in Uniontown.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching for me is working with children; to see their progress and watch them take pride in their accomplishments,” Rogers said. “Education is a tough job, but being a part of something that will impact the future of our community, our nation, and our world makes this profession extremely rewarding.”
In her spare time she is involved in her church and crafting.
“This summer and last, I’ve helped with Feeding Families In His Name Ministry every Monday, through Community Christian Church, and also led a women’s Bible study on Sunday mornings. For the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve learned how to quilt, and have become addicted!”
Stephanie Defebaugh, 29, will teach preschool at USD 235.
She graduated from Pittsburg State University after receiving her associates degree at Coffeyville Community College.
Defebaugh has taught the last three years in Iola as a kindergarten teacher.
She has been married for five years to her husband, Andrew and has a son, Blaine, who is four years old and a daughter, Kendall, who will turn one this month.
She pursued her career because of a teacher she had.
“I had a wonderful and patient teacher who was able to identify my learning struggles and helped me overcome them. I would like to pay that forward to others.”
“One of the basic human needs is belonging, and teaching can provide that,” she said. Teaching plays a vital role, alongside the families, in shaping young children of our community and nation. Plus, I enjoy coloring with them.”
“Teaching is a tough job, but it is one where you can make the most impact in another person’s life,” Defebaugh said. “The challenges we, as teachers, face is different by the day, so you have to make sure you have a Plan Z as A-Y may not work.”
In her spare time, she has been playing one of her husband’s past times, golf.
“I am enjoying it more than I thought,” she said. “I also enjoy watching baseball.”