KIVA STAR SPOTLIGHT

  • Getting to Know Coach Dunlap

    Interviewed by Tessa D., Madison A., and Jack T.

    Jack: How long have you worked at Kiva?

    Coach Dunlap: This is my third year at Kiva.

    Tessa: If you could be a new color in a box of crayons, what color would you be and why?

    Coach Dunlap: Hmm, I think I would choose ocean blue. Blue is such a calming color, and the color of the ocean is so unique!

    Madison: What did you do before you started working at Kiva?

    Coach Dunlap: Before I started at Kiva I was a sales representative for a flooring company. It was okay, but definitely not as much fun as my job here. I get to hang out with you guys now, which is super fun!

    Jack: What’s your favorite candy?

    Coach Dunlap:  I really like bite sized Twizzlers. The cherry flavored bites are the best!

    Tessa: What is the kindest thing you’ve seen happen at Kiva?

    Coach Dunlap: That's a tough question, because kind things happen here every day! But, I do remember one time I saw a group of Kindergartners drop their books, and an older kid named Austin stopped to help them pick them up, then he held the door to the library open for them. He didn’t have to stop to help them, and he did even though nobody was watching. It was so very kind!

    Jack: Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school, and why?

    Coach Dunlap: I would have to say Mr. McDonald, my kindergartner teacher. And, my PE teacher who just passed away a month ago, Mr. Gallardo. They were both so nice, like father figures. They were always there to help students out when they had problems, and they were both great listeners.

    Madison: What was your favorite book growing up, and why?

    Coach Dunlap: I liked The Hobbit series by J.R.R. Tolkien. I could just re-read those books over and over. And, it was super neat to see them adapted into movies as an adult!

    Tessa: Use one word to describe Kiva.

    Coach Dunlap: I would say “Happy”. Everyone here is so nice, it’s hard to be anything but happy in this special community!

    Jack: What do you like to do in your free time?

    Coach Dunlap: I have a really cool bulldog that I like to play with, and my girlfriend has greyhounds.  We spend a lot of our free time hiking and playing in the park with the dogs.

    Tessa: What’s your favorite movie?

    Coach Dunlap:  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory always puts me in a happy place. It’s visually such a neat movie!

    Madison: If you could time travel, where would you go and why?

    Coach Dunlap: I would love to go back to July 1, 1776 and see the Declaration of Independence signing. How cool would that be??

    Jack: What would you do if you were invisible for one day?

    Coach Dunlap: Oooh, that would be cool. I could sneak in to the classrooms and have fun with all of you guys. I’d probably hang out in kindergarten and pretend to be a kid again!

    Tessa: What do you think the secret to a good life is?

    Coach Dunlap: I think having a job that you like makes a big difference. Trust me, I know doing something you don’t like isn’t much fun. Surrounding yourself with good, happy, positive, and nice people, too. That makes life much better.

    Jack: What do you hope people remember you for?

    Coach Dunlap: I hope that I’m remembered for making a difference with the students here at Kiva. I hope you all remember having a good time in my P.E. class, exercising, playing games and becoming healthier at the same time!

    Madison: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Kiva?

    Coach Dunlap: Definitely the students. I’ve taught at five different schools, and the students at Kiva are, by far, the best. You are all so polite and kind. The whole school community is so great!

    Tessa: What is your favorite grade to teach?

    Coach Dunlap: There are things about every grade that I like, but Second Grade has always been my favorite because the kids are still very excited about everything. That makes a big difference. 

  • Getting to Know Mrs. Lauinger

    Interviewed by Faith S., India W., and Sophia C. 

    Faith: How long have you worked at Kiva?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I have been at Kiva for 12 years!

     

     

    India: If you could be a new color in a box of crayons, what color would you be and why?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I would be a soft, powder blue. It’s such a peaceful color.

     

     

    Sophia: What did you do before you started working at Kiva?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I had the opportunity to stay home and raise my three boys.

     

    Faith: What is the kindest thing you’ve seen happen at Kiva?

    Mrs. Lauinger: That's a tough one, because I see kind things happen here all the time. Recently though, I saw one of my students struggling with a particular concept, and another student said “I’ve learned a really good way of teaching that. Can I show them?” The first student was so excited that a friend wanted to help them, and he was able to learn from them and get his work done. It just brightened both of the students days!

     

     

    India: Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school, and why?

    Mrs. Lauinger: My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher. She was Hawaiian, and every year she put on a Luau with her class. We all had our own ukuleles, and she taught us all how to play them the correct way. It was so much fun!

     

     

    Sophia: What was your favorite book growing up, and why?

    Mrs. Lauinger: My favorite book was the Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. It’s just a special book for so many reasons. The messages are so meaningful, even now as an adult.

     

     

    India: Use one word to describe Kiva.

    Mrs. Lauinger: AMAZING!

     

     

    Sophia: What do you like to do in your free time?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I like to go hiking and spend time with my family.

     

    Faith: What’s your favorite movie?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I love the movie, Grease. Do you know that movie?

    Faith: *Tee hee hee... No!*

    Mrs. Lauinger:  It's so good! I just love the music and the dancing. My family likes to watch it together, so it’s a great memory movie.

    Sophia: What would you do if you were invisible for one day?

    Mrs. Lauinger: If I could be invisible for just one day, I would probably make students laugh by pulling silly little gags. Then everyone would be laughing and having a great day!

     

    India: What do you think the secret to a good life is?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I think the secret is happiness and being kind. Just like everything we teach at Kiva with our Be Kind pledge. Being encouraging, supportive, positive, helpful, honest, considerate, thankful, responsible, respectful and a friend! Those are all key to living a great life.

     

    Faith: What do you hope people remember you for?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I hope people remember me for being a kind and helpful teacher.

     

    Sophia: What’s your favorite thing about teaching in a Special Education LRC Classroom?

    Mrs. Lauinger: In my classroom I work with small groups of students; one, two or three students at a time. When I work with them one-on-one, I feel like I really get to help them improve their skills, which helps them to really feel good about themselves and what they're achieving.

     

    India: What is your dream vacation?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I'd love to go to the beach, especially somewhere in the Caribbean where the water is so warm you can just walk right in. It would be so relaxing and peaceful!

    Sophia: What is something about you that we might not already know?

    Mrs. Lauinger: I’ve been married to my husband for over 25 years, and we have been friends since we were very little. I have a picture of the two of us riding a carousel together when we were just 3 and 4 years old! 

     

    Faith: Why did you choose to teach at Kiva?

    Mrs. Lauinger: Because my own children went to school here, and they loved being here. When I decided to get back into teaching I thought, “I just really want to be a part of the school community at Kiva.” The teachers here are so amazing, it’s like my second family!

     

     

     

  • Getting to Know Mrs. Kujawa

    Interviewed by Ruby W.

    Ruby: How long have you worked at Kiva?

    Mrs. Kujawa: This is my 18th year at Kiva, my 21st year teaching. I taught first and second grade for 9 years each. Crazy!

    Ruby: What’s your favorite color?

    Mrs. Kujawa: Hmmm, that’s a good question. I have lots of favorites, but if I had to pick just one I think it would be blue. it reminds me of the ocean and the color of the sky. It’s calming, and there are so many different shades of blue.

    Ruby: What did you do before you started working at Kiva?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I taught for three years in the Washington School District. Before I started teaching there, I went to college for Family Studies. Then, I decided to go back to get my Post Baccalaureate in Early Education. While I was working on that, I was a substitute teacher.

    Ruby: What’s your favorite candy?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I absolutely love dark chocolate, especially with sea salt. But, I also love what’s called German Raspberries. Have you ever tried those? They’re red and black with jelly on the inside, with little candy sprinkles all over them. PURE SUGAR, and SO YUMMY.

    Ruby: What is the kindest thing you’ve seen happen at Kiva?

    Mrs. Kujawa: The good news is, because we are such a kind campus I see kindness every single day. I think the thing I like seeing the most is when one of my students goes out of their way to help someone else without being asked. They're always holding the door for other students or teachers, or picking up papers if they see someone drop them. We are lucky to have such a great, caring group of students here!

    Ruby: What’s your favorite holiday?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I LOVE Christmas. I think I love it so much because it’s cold, and I love wearing sweaters and soft warm clothes, and snuggling under blankets. I love waking up in my jammies and sitting with a hot cup of cocoa, and watching my daughter’s happy face when she’s opening presents. I also love that everyone is in a giving and caring mood. People tend to be happy and jolly around Christmas!

    Ruby: Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school, and why?

    Mrs. Kujawa: It just happened to be Mrs. Kenesky who was my second grade teacher, and I absolutely adored her because she let me be her helper all the time. I lived down the street from my elementary school, and I could stay after school and help her grade papers and set up her bulletin boards. And she always let me have one lemon drop before I went on my way. Maybe that’s where my love of teaching second grade started!

    Ruby: If you could only teach about one thing, what would it be and why?

    Mrs. Kujawa: Hmmm. I don’t know. I love all of the subjects, but I would have to say math because it’s so fun to see that light bulb expression when a student ‘gets it’. Plus, I love that you can justify your answers in math. There’s an aspect of reasoning and deep thinking that I just appreciate so much. I would also like to teach about problem solving and being kind. What to do when you have a conflict that needs solving.

    Ruby: What’s your favorite part about teaching second grade?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I love second graders because when they start, they can do SO MUCH. They still love their teachers and they still want to please, they still believe in all of the fun things we do, but yet they start to become so independent. Second graders are ready to accomplish so much, but still love to have a good time!

    Ruby: What was your favorite book growing up, and why?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I love The Giving Tree. I could read that one a hundred times. But, I also loved reading Where the Red Fern Grows in Middle School. And, To Kill a Mockingbird. That book holds such a good lesson about tolerance and kindness.

    Ruby: Use one word to describe Kiva.

    Mrs. Kujawa: I think ‘Family’. I think that a lot of families stay at Kiva because of the sense of comfort they have in knowing that our teachers stick around, and the families stick around. It’s sort of an extension of home. We all care so much about each other, it’s like a second family.

    Ruby: What is your favorite smell of all time?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I love the smell of pine. And, pumpkin. Especially pumpkin bread. Both of those smells go so well with my favorite holiday. : )

    Ruby: Who is your favorite student? *Tee Hee Hee*

    Mrs. Kujawa: HA! Well, Ruby... I don’t have favorites. I love all of my students for different reasons. I have favorites that go above and beyond every day. I have favorites that tell jokes and make me laugh. I have students that give great hugs. Every single one of my students is my favorite! 

    Ruby: What do you like to do in your free time?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I love going to the movies, which I don’t get to do very often. There’s something special about escaping into another world in that big dark theater. And, of course… the popcorn!

    Ruby: What’s your favorite movie?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I like sappy romantic movies, so probably, The Notebook. I just love the thought of the couple growing old together.

    Ruby: If you could time travel, where would you go and why?

    Mrs. Kujawa: Hmmm, I don’t know. That’s a good question! We’re talking right now about Westward Expansion, I bet that would be really cool to be one of the first pioneers traveling West in a covered wagon. It would be hard, but so exciting! I also loved growing up, and the simplicity of the way things were when I was young. We would all just run around barefoot after school, climbing trees and being free, we just knew to be home before sunset. It was so easy and simple, so maybe I'd time travel back to my childhood days.

    Ruby: What would you do if you were invisible for one day?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I would love to just pop in and out of my co-workers classrooms, but not disrupt anyone. It would be fun to be a fly on the wall in other classrooms here! I could learn lots of new tricks from all of the great teachers we have here at Kiva.

    Ruby: What’s your favorite word?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I love the word 'Sparkle'. When you think of that word, it just brings a smile to your face! Plus, I try to sparkle every day in some way or another!

    Ruby: What do you think the secret to a good life is?

    Mrs. Kujawa: I think it’s to find something you’re passionate about, and just do it. For me, that’s teaching. I think it's so important to love everything that you do, and the people around you. I love to have dance parties in my class. It’s so fun to just let go and be silly. To smile, have fun, and like Ellen says ‘just dance'. 

  • Getting to Know Mrs. Grove

    Interviewed by Sophia C. & Finley A.

     

    Finley: How long have you worked at Kiva, and what is your job title?

    Mrs. Grove: I started at Kiva as a student teacher two years ago with Mrs. Breshears in her first grade class.

    This is my second year as an official Kiva fourth grade teacher.

     

    Finley: What is your favorite subject to teach, and why?

    Mrs. Grove: Can you tell that I love to teach science? Does my energy come through? 

    Finley: I knew it! 

    Mrs. Grove: I love it because we get to conduct hands on experiments, and really see for ourselves how and why changes happen.

     

    Sophia: What is your favorite thing about working at Kiva?

    Mrs. Grove: I just love the students. Being able to reach each and every one of you is my favorite thing. I just love it!

     

    Sophia: If you were a new addition to a crayon box, what color would you be?

    Mrs. Grove: I would be shocking pink!

     

    Sophia: What are some small things that make your day better?

    Mrs. Grove: I love it when somebody comes to me throughout the day because they’ve noticed something that makes them think about something we learned earlier in the day. I love it when students make a connection with something I’ve taught them when they're outside of the classroom.

     

    Finley: Who is your favorite book character, and why?

    Mrs. Grove: I would have to say Sarah Agnes Prine from the book ‘These is My Words’. She’s a very strong female character who crosses over into Arizona as a pioneer. I learned so much about Arizona reading that book, and loved the strength of her character!

    Sophia: If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?

    Mrs. Grove: I think I’m sort of like a cat, because I like to be a part of things… but not right in the middle. If I was a cat, I could sneak in and out of situations very quietly.

     

    Sophia: What is the kindest thing you’ve seen happen at Kiva?

    Mrs. Grove: I see kind things happening here every day. I think everyone throughout the school cares so much about their classmates and co-workers. Every day I see someone go out of their way to help another person. So much that I can’t even pick out one particular thing. It’s so great!

     

    Finley: If you never had to sleep, what would you do with all the extra time?

    Mrs. Grove: I would read. Definitely, read more!

     

    Sophia: What TV show or movie universe would you love to live in?

    Mrs. Grove: I would love to live in the TV universe from the show ‘FRIENDS’. It seems like it would be such a fun and silly place to live, and I’d have friends around me all the time! Have you ever seen that show?

    Sophia: When I turned on the tv once I saw that it was on… but then I turned it to Spongebob instead. :)

     

    Finley: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

    Mrs. Grove: I would wish for my family to always stay close to home, I’d love to think they’ll come back to live in the same community. Number two, that our whole world could to learn to live in peace. And three, to be able to keep doing what I’m doing now for a very long time. I love teaching!

     

    Finley: If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

    Mrs. Grove: The top of my list is Thailand. I’d love to visit a place that is very different from my every day life in so many ways. The food, the culture, the lifestyle. It all seems so interesting and different from my home!

    Sophia: What is the one thing you want people to remember you for?

    Mrs. Grove: I want to be remembered as being kind and helpful.

  • Getting to Know Mrs. Breshears

    Interviewed by Charley A. & Mackenzie B.

     

    Charley: How long have you worked at Kiva, and what is your job title?

    Mrs. Breshears: This is my 14th YEAR! I love being a First Grade Teacher here.

    Charley: If you could be a superhero, what would your super power be?

    Mrs. Breshears: Let’s see. Oh, gosh. I might be a peace and love and kindness superhero.

    I think my power would be to just spread kindness everywhere I go!

    Mackenzie: What is your favorite thing about working at Kiva?

    Mrs. Breshears: My kids! I just love all of the kids. :)

    Mackenzie: If you were a new addition to a crayon box, what color would you be and why?

    Mrs. Breshears: If I could be any new color, I’d be a version of my favorite color, which is light blue. Like, sky blue. It reminds me of the peaceful sky and the ocean.

    Charley: What are some small things that make your day better?

    Mrs. Breshears: When everyone comes to school smiling and happy and ready to learn. That makes everyone’s day better!

    Mackenzie: What is your favorite subject to teach, and why?

    Mrs. Breshears: I LOVE to teach reading, because it’s such an important part of learning other subjects. My favorite quote is ‘Once you start reading, you never stop!’ And, I really like getting to know the new characters in a new book, and immersing myself in their world.

    Charley: Who is your favorite book character, and why?

    Mrs. Breshears: That’s a tricky one. I love Snoopy. Maybe because he never really talks, and I have to use my imagination to figure out what he’s doing and what he’s thinking. I love all of the Peanuts characters, but he’s definitely my favorite.

    Mackenzie: If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?

    Mrs. Breshears: You know, I love cats. I think I’d be a cat, for sure. Then I could hang out in the sunshine and just enjoy the day.

    Charley: What is the kindest thing you’ve seen happen at Kiva?

    Mrs. Breshears: I see kind things happen here every day, so that is going to be a hard one. I do remember one time, one of my students was cold sitting in class and another little girl took off her own jacket and let the other student wear it. I thought that was the sweetest thing ever!

    Mackenzie: If you never had to sleep, what would you do with all of the extra time?

    Mrs. Breshears: That’s a tough one! There are so many things I’d want to do with all of that time, but probably I’d fill a lot of it with reading more books. I can never get enough reading!

    Charley: What tv show or movie universe would you love to live in?

    Mrs. Breshears: I’m really enjoying the show ‘Peaky Blinders’, so I would have to say 1920’s or 1930’s England. 

    Charley: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

    Mrs. Breshears: I think I would wish for peace, love and kindness for everyone.

    Charley: Did you always want to be a teacher?

    Mrs. Breshears: Well, yes. My grandmother was a teacher, and my grandpa was a principal, and my great grandmother was a teacher! When I was little I used to visit her in a little casita that she lived in behind my grandparents house, and we would play school. She always let me be the teacher. I feel like this is what I was meant to do with my life. 

    Mackenzie: What is the one thing you hope people remember you for?

    Mrs. Breshears: I would want to be remembered as being a happy and kind person.

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