My name is Kate McDowell, and this year is my seventh in education. I grew up in Joliet, IL, and moved to Missouri in 2004 to study journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I spent three years working as a writer at a newspaper in South Carolina before beginning a career as a teacher. I have a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction as well as certification for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. This year is my first at KCIA, and I am so excited to be working in a place with such amazing diversity and a strong team of educators. I began my teaching career at Pathway Academy Charter School in Kansas City as a Teach For America corps member and spent six years working there as an ELL teacher and program coordinator. This year, I am supporting other teachers at KCIA to best serve our English language learners. I love to travel, especially to Spanish-speaking countries. I have studied Spanish for several years and have traveled to Spain, Mexico and Guatemala to improve my language skills. In my free time, I also love to read, try new restaurants and spend time with family and friends. My family includes my husband, Sam, and my sisters and parents, who live in Chicago.