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NHP is In the Pink: Katie Kaspar, Teacher of the Year

By Tessa Cherian

Teacher of the Year is one of the most awaited awards presented annually to a teacher that represents school faculty and their mission to educate. This year, many of Ms. Kathleen Kaspar’s students expressed that they were not surprised when she was named 2023 Teacher of the Year. During her 24 years of teaching at NHP, she has dedicated her work to make a mark on her students and colleagues.

Through pursuing an undergraduate degree in communications (with a concentration in writing) from Loyola University Maryland and a Master’s in Education from Hofstra University, Ms. Kaspar was able to pursue her love for both English and teaching simultaneously. Since joining NHP, she has taught a variety of English classes including Public Speaking and AP Language and Composition. She currently teaches AP Literature and seventh grade English.

Source by Rachel Houng

Teacher of the Year Ms. Katie Kaspar is surrounded by her AP Literature and Composition students as they celebrate her award together.

“The classroom is where I’m most comfortable. I love being in the classroom. I love being with teenagers. My friends often say, you never left high school, but you know what? Today’s student is different than yesterday’s student, and we don't know what tomorrow’s student is like,” Ms. Kaspar said. “So I think it's important that we embrace today’s student and who that person is and what that person looks like and the talents that come along.”

In the classroom, she is known for her enthusiasm and creative teaching style where self-reflection replaces lectures. Through organization and planning, she works with the intention of ensuring her students know how to tackle the present task and prepare for the future.

“English was never my strongest subject. However, ninth period English this year completely transformed that,” senior Kushpreet Ahuja said. “Ms. Kaspar made the class fun as she added humor to her lessons. Ms. Kaspar was always willing to give me pointers on how to improve my essays and even helped me during the college applications process. I am so happy for Ms. Kaspar as she genuinely cares for her students and makes her class lively and fun.”

Besides pursuing her passion for English, one can find Ms. Kaspar doing a variety of other activities. At school, she is the adviser for Pink October where she helps organize initiatives to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. During her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and two French bulldogs, enjoying a good book, biking, baking and going to the beach.

“Mrs. Kaspar is truly deserving of being named New Hyde Park’s Teacher of the Year. In fact, this recognition is LONG overdue. Year after year, she has continuously inspired thousands of students throughout her teaching career. To me, she is someone whom I absolutely admire, both as an educator and as a friend. Congratulations, Mrs. Kaspar!” English teacher Mr. Stencel said.

"Ms. Kaspar's selection as Teacher of the Year is long overdue. Her dedication to her students and the New Hyde Park Memorial community is second to none. She is a shining example to her students and colleagues both in and out of the classroom. As her friend and colleague for over 20 years, I am so happy that her hard work and passion for teaching has finally been recognized," social studies teacher Mr. Rood said.

Sources by Mary Kay Mannle and Rachel Houng

Ms. Kaspar is congratulated by colleague Mr. Scott Colvin; the celebration in the classroom is in full swing.


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