Student Story: Katy Trapp

I am the only music teacher at my Arlington, Washington, high school, where I teach band, choir, and jazz choir.

When I was in my third year of teaching, I began the Alternative Routes to Certification/Master of Teaching program at Seattle Pacific University, in part because of the convenience in getting certification and my master's in a convenient timeframe. Additionally, having my master's degree makes me feel more secure in my career as a music educator, while teaching me about technology for my classroom — and igniting a desire to look into more possibilities for technology in the music classroom.

Before I began the program, though, I knew that if I were going to spend a significant amount of time learning and receiving guidance and wisdom in a degree program, I wanted professors and a university with the same basis of faith in Jesus Christ that I have.

When I attended the School of Education's ARC/MAT orientation and heard SPU's mission of "engaging the culture, changing the world," and "modeling grace-filled community," I knew I was in the right place. Those words resonated with me. I desire to be a teacher who inspires students to become people of great character. I also want to be a teacher who offers grace and allows young people to discover that they were created with a purpose and have great value.

This graduate program at SPU has challenged me to look at my students and my job as more than just a job. It is my mission field. Here, I was challenged to be a Christian teacher in a public school. Even though I cannot speak of the Lord in my classroom, through my character, and love and encouragement for my students, students will see Jesus' love in me.

I am a wife of 20 years, and have five children between the ages of 8 and 18. Even though teaching is my mission field, my first ministry is in my home. My SPU professors understood that and helped me keep all of my priorities intact during this extremely busy season of life.

Abby LeBaron

Abby LeBaron shares her passion for teaching students to flourish and thrive in school.

Kateta Tagliavento

MAT graduate Kateta Tagliavento reveals her favorite teachers throughout her education.

Masha Ellis

Masha Ellis discusses her journey from studying geophysics in Russia, to the School of Education at SPU.

Andrew Hays

ARC student Andrew Hays discusses the importance of “radical optimism” for teachers.

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