This is a series of features on the 26 new educators in Fort Scott.
School begins today for the district.
Bethany Anderson, 23, will be teaching English at Fort Scott High School.
She earned her education at Emporia State University and has taught English at Lawrence High School.
Her hometown is Sterling, KS.
“My dad was my high school principal, now is a professor in the teaching department at Sterling College,” she said. “My mom is a school nurse where I did my student teaching.”
Outside of school she works at a coffee shop during the summers in Kansas City. She is in a sand volleyball league on Sunday and Friday nights. “I also really love playing tennis and reading books in my free time. On Wednesday nights I serve at my church for the high school youth program. I love being busy,” she said.
“I absolutely love English and it’s one of my biggest passions, but my first passion is loving kids well and building those relationships. That’s something I learned from my dad who has been in education for about 25 years. He taught me how to invest in kids first and then focus on the subject I teach. I think that has to be my favorite part of teaching, is the relationships I have built with the kids.”
“There are also some major challenges I have faced already in my short time teaching… hardships with administration support and feeling as if the kids weren’t a first priority in some decisions being made. It has also been an eye opener that there is a lot more that goes into teaching that they don’t mention in college or even during student teaching. I am excited to be apart of a smaller district where I already feel valued as an educator.”
Kim Carpenter is an incoming 5th-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School.
Before returning to college to earn her B.Ed. from Pittsburg State University when her youngest child was in kindergarten, she worked at Winfield Scott Elementary as a paraprofessional and teacher’s aide. Having four children of her own while working in an educational setting made teaching seem like a natural career choice for her. Carpenter earned her M.Ed. ion Curriculum and Instruction from William Woods University in 2014. She taught 14 years as an elementary teacher from Nevada, MO.
Carpenter’s hometown is Fort Scott.
Her daughter Jana and husband Michael and their two sons Randy and Liam call Fort Scott home, as well at her son Jon and wife Rachel and their daughter, Evelyn. Her son Kyle and his wife Anna live in Erie and her daughter Kelsey and her husband Drew reside in Bentonville, AR.
When Carpenter isn’t spending time with her family, she enjoys camping, hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. Apart from spending time in nature, she loves crafting, researching her family history, and going to flea markets. She is actively involved at her church, Faith Church.
Carpenter can’t say that any one teacher inspired her to become a teacher, but she has been blessed to have been impacted by many top-notch educators. Some of the most memorable include Don Miller, Fred Campbell, Jr., Barbara Albright, Joyce Sinn, Jean and Jack Gilmore, Connie Neil, and Pat Lamb to name a few.
She says the best part of teaching is building relationships with each new group of students who come through her classroom. Her philosophy is “relationships first and everything else will follow.”
Carpenter says there are many challenges educators face today. While there are so many things outside of our control, she says we can focus on the areas where they can have the most impact while still having fun.