This is part of a series featuring new educators in Fort Scott.
There are 26 new educators in USD 234 this year.
Sarah Hendricks and Anna Kim are two new teachers at Eugene Ware Elementary School.
Sarah Hendricks, 22, is a new fourth grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School in Fort Scott.
She received a Bachelors in Science for Elementary Education at Kansas State University and taught second grade last year at Pleasanton.
She is from Olathe.
Her husband is Caleb Hendricks, who is the head football coach for Pleasanton.
Hendricks interests outside of school are traveling, “going on runs with my dog and watching my husband coach football,” she said.
Since a small child, she knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“It was something I knew that I always wanted to do, so it is a dream come true to be able to do this job,” she said.
“I had great teachers growing up so I always wanted to be like them,” she said.” I learned from them, but I also knew I was loved and cared for at school, I want to do the same for my students.”
For Hendricks, the best part of teaching is getting to know all of the kids and making connections with them.
“I strive to be someone who students look up to and go to whenever they may be having a difficult time whether it’s in academics or not,” she said.
“The biggest challenge in teaching for me, is knowing that I can’t fix everything in my students’ lives,” she said. “It’s hard not to bring work home.”
Anna Kim, 35, is a new fifth grade teacher at Eugene Ware.
Kim is a hometown girl, that has landed back in Fort Scott.
She went to school in Fort Scott from kindergarten through high school then earned a B.A. in Cross-Cultural Ministries from Manhattan Christian College (2009) and M.A. in Teaching from Kansas State University (2022).
“I have been teaching in different ways for twelve years, primarily in China,” she said. “I coordinated a volunteer English teaching program for Chinese migrant students, taught third grade at an international school, and English as a Second Language at a Chinese elementary school. I have also taught online and been a substitute teacher.”
“My husband, Jong Kim, is running a restaurant in the Philippines, but will join us in Fort Scott soon,” she said. They have two kids, Naomi (6) and Josiah (3).
My parents, Curt and Kelly Toll, have taught and coached in Fort Scott in the past. My twin brother lives in Colorado with his wife and daughter.
Her involvement with the community centers around spending time with family. “I also attend and teach Sunday School at Community Christian Church,” she said.
How did you become a teacher?
“For my first official teaching job, the school my husband worked for in China called me in and said, ‘We need a third grade teacher!’ I said, ‘Absolutely not! Not me!’. They said, ‘You’re hired.’The first year was very challenging, but I slowly adjusted and realized I really enjoyed teaching children.
Is there someone who inspired you?
“My mom has been a teacher my whole life. She has always made learning fun and made kids feel special. She is definitely a model of the teacher I want to be.”
What is the best part of teaching for you?
“One of the best parts of being a teacher is seeing students grasp something that was challenging. Building pride and confidence in students is priceless. Another fun aspect is that every day is different. Kids are hilarious and unpredictable.”
What are the challenges?
“Students today face hardships at home, with friends, and on social media like never before. Teachers are not only responsible for the academic success of students, but also for their overall well-being. It is a huge responsibility.”