Drawing on her dreams

It’s natural for Kate Quinn to be in the classroom.

“I’ve always wanted to teach in some capacity,” she said, sharing stories about how she’d draw schools, like a young architect, for fun when she was a child.

Maybe it runs in the family. Miss Quinn’s mother, Wendy Quinn, has been working as an an elementary school teacher since 1977, including a long-time stint as the fifth and sixth grade teacher at University Park Elementary School in Fairbanks. Miss Quinn’s father, Dennis Quinn, worked for the Alaska Railroad.

Miss Quinn will be teaching American literature, composition, and creative writing at the GILA campus.

She was born and raised in Fairbanks, going to elementary school at University Park and high school at West Valley. She graduated in 2006. During her time at West Valley, she was a member of the National Honor Society and played for the soccer team and track and field in shot put and discus.

She was also the kicker for the West Valley Wolfpack football team, scoring one point during her season. “My team sucked. I’m not going to lie,” she said.

Miss Quinn earned her bachelor of arts in English, with a minor in Spanish, from Washington State University in 2010.

After graduation, she went to Grenada, Spain, for three months to study Spanish language, culture, and literature. When she returned, she spent a year substituting in Fairbanks schools.

Her master’s degree work consisted of a long commute between Alaska and Washington, D.C. While she was in Washington, D.C., she worked on her master’s degree in literature at American University; while in Fairbanks, she focused on the UAF teaching credential program. Miss Quinn graduated from American University in May 2014.

Galena is her first teaching assignment. She said that her goal was to have students embrace literature and enjoy reading. Miss Quinn said she really likes music, literature, and art from the modernism era in the 1920s, which includes writers such as Hemingway, Joyce, and Fitzgerald.