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Oklahoma State University

Student Spotlight: Kane Mach

Friday, February 23, 2018

Kane Mach Ph.D. Educational Psychology

Name: Kane Mach

Hometown: Antigo, Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D. Educational Psychology

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Research Interests: At risk youth, adverse childhood experiences, behavior and classroom management, teacher education, instruction and assessment/evaluation

Current Job: Fifth-grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School, EHA Graduate Research and Teaching Associate

What do you love most about teaching?

I love getting to spend time making a positive impact on the lives of my students, being a proud contributor to the success of the Stillwater community and sharing how beautiful and amazing mathematics is with my students. They think I’m crazy, and I love it!

My passion is being a champion for my students. People often ask why I chose to become a teacher and my response is always the same – teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in the world and I will never give it up. Growing up, some of the people who made the most impactful differences in my life were my teachers. Rita Pierson says it best, “Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understand the power of connection and insist they become the best they can possibly be.” As a teacher, I get to be that champion!

Speaking of education champions, who was that person in your own life?

My grandfather! He spent his entire career in education, serving as a teacher and principal. In fact, all of my siblings, both my aunts and my uncle all work as teachers. It’s a family affair and a tradition I intend to continue!

You must be doing something right, considering you were recently named as a finalist for District Teacher of the Year. Tell us about the experience and what this recognition means to you.

I was very surprised and humbled by the honor. I work very hard, and I have put my whole life into teaching, so it is amazing to be recognized. But, this would not be possible without my amazing and supportive colleagues and, of course, my beloved students!

I found out I was selected as the Will Rogers Elementary Site Teacher of the Year on a Friday morning when my principal relayed the news during morning announcements. All three fifth-grade classes ran into the hallway screaming while I was crying in excitement! After a portfolio process, I found out I was one of three finalists for District Teacher of the Year. My principal ordered all fifth-graders into the hallway and the superintendent, assistant superintendent and a Stillwater News Press reporter surprised me with the news. It was extremely special to share that moment with my students and colleagues! 

What are your career aspirations?

My short-term goal is to graduate from OSU with my Ph.D. and seek a principal position. My long-term goal is to become a superintendent of a larger school district and to continue teaching university courses, publishing research and speaking at events.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree at OSU?

I choose OSU because it has an amazing, well-known educational psychology program that supports its students with funding, teaching and research opportunities. I love and appreciate all of the experiences that OSU and EHA have afforded me. I specifically choose to study educational psychology because it bridges the gap between K-12 and higher education while allowing me to study what drives student behaviors and motivation to learn.

More about Kane, including a video of his award announcement celebration can be found here. The District Teacher of the Year winner will be announced during an Art of Teaching event at 4:30 p.m. March 27 at the Performing Arts Center.

Additional EHA Spotlight Stories here