A main reason many residents choose Henderson for their families is the acclaimed schools in the area. Our Inspirada residents enjoy living in houses near Henderson schools, and, for some, like resident Kearsten Horvath, they enjoy the short work commute.
The best way to sum up Kearsten is a firecracker. She is in her Inspirada home as I speak with her over the phone, but it’s clear she’s moving around and occasionally talking to her English bulldog — Hugo — about his eye drops while I finish typing my notes in between questions. She’s full of life, refreshingly honest, and not afraid to laugh at herself — you can picture a fourth-grade class enjoying her as a teacher.
Kearsten teaches at Frank Lamping Elementary School in the Clark County School District. She’s been teaching for nine years now, but during college she almost went another direction. “I went to college to be a speech pathologist, but there was a class I needed to take and I really didn’t want to,” says Kearsten. This required anatomy class made her stop and think about whether speech pathology was the right path for her.
The childhood memory of helping her Aunt Judy, a teacher, with her class rushed back. “I realized then that I loved being with Aunt Judy in her classroom and decided to become a teacher,” she pauses and then says “even after nine years, it doesn’t feel like I’m going into work.”
You know that moment when a cartoon character comes up with an idea and a light bulb goes on over their head? Kearsten describes that as her favorite part of teaching.
“When you see the look on a student’s face, the light bulb goes on over their head, when they get something. They look kind of confused and then, all of sudden, they get it,” says Kearsten.
It’s clear she has a passion for the children she teaches. In her classroom, she has a framed letter from a student during her student teaching days on display. Prior to working with this student, others warned her he was a thief and liar. “I was scared to death,” she admits. But, it went surprisingly well. At the end of the semester, each student was asked to write about their experience. Kearsten was moved by the student’s letter and views the note as an affirmation that she made the right decision to pursue teaching.
Though, she admits the job isn’t without its difficulties, explaining “unsupportive and uncooperative parents” are the most difficult thing about her job. There are also other occurrences that require restraint and maturity on her end. Namely, well … farts in class. “In general, the funniest moments are when the kids fart in class, and you can’t lose it or the whole class will lose it,” says Kearsten. I chuckle and she quickly and dryly adds, “it happens daily.”
When she’s not managing her fourth-grade classroom, Kearsten and her husband Joe — the (self-proclaimed) “two biggest Seattle Seahawks fans ever” — are relaxing at home, watching their Seahawks play, and participating in fantasy football leagues. They moved into their Inspirada home in September of 2017.
For those thinking about going into teaching Kearsten offers this advice.
“Every day is different, don’t let a bad day discourage you. Literally, every day is so different, even after nine years, you may question why am I doing this, and then the next day you’re like ‘oh yeah, that’s why.'”
We’re a big believer that teachers like Kearsten — along with other staff, administrators, and the support of the community — are a key reason Henderson schools are award winning. The Horvath family — including their dog, Hugo, and black cat, Athena — happily reside in one of our houses near Henderson schools. Join our community to enjoy neighbors like Kearsten, and the amazing schools of Henderson.