My name is Kate McDowell, and this year is my tenth 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 fall I will complete an urban school leadership residency that will prepare me to earn principal certification and an Ed. Specialist degree in school administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. This year is my fourth at KCIA, and I am so grateful to work in a place with such amazing diversity and a strong team of educators. I began my work here as an instructional coach, supporting our teachers of English language learners and our kindergarten through second grade classrooms. I moved to an administrative role this year and now am Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 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 baby son, Brennan, who was born in April 2020.