Katherine McCall Petke
Katherine McCall Petke grew up at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center set on 100 acres in the Columbia River Gorge and spent the majority of her childhood outdoors. She began teaching early childhood in 1992 and continued until 1995 when she moved to Orcas Island, WA to teach environmental education. Later she became a family resource and support specialist for families of children with special needs before returning to get her Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. After completing her teaching program in 1999, she worked as a kindergarten teacher in public schools for three years before joining The Gardner School faculty in 2002.
Katherine’s teaching is inspired by the Keat’s quote, “Teaching is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” She loves teaching at The Gardner School where children are partners in the learning process, assessment is authentic, standards and essential questions and understandings are at the center of curriculum planning, and life-long learning is part of the culture. She sees her role in the learning process as being a facilitator, observer, researcher, mentor and co-learner. Katherine’s greatest joys in teaching are watching children take ownership of themselves through problem-solving, open communication, and interpersonal relationships and seeing the light dance in each child’s eyes as the mysteries of reading and writing begin to reveal themselves.
Katherine loves spending time with her family. She enjoys walking, hiking, swimming, learning, singing, reading, talking with friends, and eating delicious vegetarian food!