10 Questions with Katherine Gram ’06
Katherine, a Valley Catholic School alumna, graduated in 2006. She returned to Valley Catholic Elementary School with 4th grade teacher Carol Pausz for the month of September 2010 as a part of the “September Experience” program. September Experience gives education majors at Oregon State University a first-hand experience setting up a classroom and curriculum for a new academic year.
Katherine and four of her siblings all attended high school at VCS: Krista ’95, Brendan ’97, Erin ’00 and Brian ’03. Her younger sister, Sarah, is currently a sixth grader at Valley Catholic School and their father, Paul Gram, serves on the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation Board.
- Where are you attending college and when will you graduate? I’m attending Oregon State University and am hoping to graduate this year.
- What are your career goals post college graduation? After graduation I hope to be a part of Teach for America and earn my Masters in Education, hopefully at Portland State University so I can be closer to my family.
The mission of Teach for America is to eliminate educational inequality. Recent college graduates commit to two years of service and leadership in urban or rural public schools working to expand educational opportunities. (link to: http://teachforamerica.org/what-we-do/)
- Tell me a little about the “September Experience:” September Experience, or “Winter Emersion,” are programs for teaching education majors what it takes to get a school year started. The school where we spend the month is our choice.
- What did you learn from your time at Valley Catholic that has helped you most in the years following your graduation in 2006? It taught me to be present and to show up!
- What one word would you use to describe yourself? Hardworking.
- What memory or experience from elementary school stands out the most in your mind? The teachers at Valley were always respectful of students. There was a mutual respect between teachers and students. Being here now I still see that all the teachers have a positive attitude and always say “thank you” and show appreciation.
- Which teacher at Valley made the greatest influence in your life and why/how? I still visit Mr. McQueen and Ms. Johnson every fall with some of my classmates. Their teaching style grabs your attention. They really made a connection and valued each student.
- What has surprised you the most about your return to Valley Catholic? How much this campus has grown! There’s so much new construction and updating being done.
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I don’t have much spare time. I’m the assistant coach for 6th grade volleyball. Also, when the weather’s nice I enjoy hiking, and I work part time at Pump-it-Up.
- When did you know you wanted to work with children? It took me awhile. I was a business major, then nutrition, then chemistry, then business again and then merchandising. None of my classes were really interesting me, so my sister Krista, who is a teacher at St. Anthony’s, invited me to her classroom. I took my first education class in the spring of my junior year and loved it. I’m now a 5th year senior but I found the right major!