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“Every year for the past eight years, I’ve taught a new class but it’s all about what’s best for kids and making those changes,” Redinger said.

During the past two decades, Redinger taught at Challenger, Mountain Ridge and Discovery Canyon Campus Middle Schools. She then transitioned to the Village High School (VHS). There she teaches social studies, science, yearbook, and a physical education (PE) class.

In her Teacher of the Year nomination packet Redinger’s colleague, Carla Rae-Smith wrote, “Katie saw the opportunity to offer a hiking course to help students earn their PE requirements, so she got her PE license. Who does that?”

Katie Redinger does that because she believes in the power of building relationships with her students.

“My ultimate goal is to know that when a student I had thinks about me or talks about in conversations decades later, they have a smile or can pass wisdom I helped instill in them,” Redinger said.

When she found out one of her students composed music, she hooked them up with a local restaurant owner who allowed them to play. This connection turned into a regular, paid, gig for the student to showcase their talents.

At school, Redinger is known for going the extra mile with her students.

Her colleague Rae- Smith wrote, “Katie met one-on-one with a student for biology tutoring. They took notes together a couple times a week, and it wasn’t long before the student was actually learning, making connections and most importantly, gaining new confidence in herself.”

“My role in students’ lives is now focused on preparing students to encounter and navigate a world that demands problem solving, collaboration, self-reflection and being prepared to learn in new and different ways,” Redinger said.  

Although Katie has held the title of John Asbury Secondary Educator of the year for nearly 10 months, she’s still unsure who turned her name in.  

“I honestly have no idea who put me down on the nomination form. Nobody would fess up.”

Though humble in her award, Redinger is quick to admit, she isn’t done yet. She’s always on the lookout for more ways to engage students in their own learning.