We have a new Program Manager, who is has been promoted from within KidsTek: our long-time Senior Instructor, Emily Tow! Emily will be assuming her new duties which include supporting our teaching staff, maintaining positive relations with our host schools, and helping our teachers develop high-quality technology lessons. We asked Emily a few questions about her time with KidsTek thus far:
How long have you worked at KidsTek and what positions have you held?
I started with KidsTek in the fall of 2016 as an after-school instructor. I started with our middle school programs in Aurora and over time taught at several middle and elementary sites across Denver and Aurora. At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, I started teaching Intro to Computer Science at Hinkley High, then began teaching Business Computing at North High School in the spring. In 2018, I had the opportunity to teach and help to grow KidsTek’s new program at Florence Crittenton High School. Since 2019, I have primarily taught at North and Flo Crit, while also teaching a variety of age groups in summer programs and other enrichment programs.
What is your favorite memory of working at KidsTek?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite moment!
Having worked as a teacher in a public school district in the past, I know how hard it can be to develop deep, meaningful relationships with students when you’re buried under an avalanche of standardized testing, meetings, huge class sizes, and all of the things in addition to actual classroom teaching that is required of most teachers. I have always appreciated that KidsTek prioritizes giving our instructors not only plenty of time to develop and plan creative, engaging curricula, but to truly engage with our students and form meaningful relationships with them. All of my favorite memories have grown out of that: getting to know my students as people and trying to support and celebrate them as individuals.
I once had a student that had to leave the country a few weeks before she graduated because of immigration issues. She had already earned her diploma, but wouldn’t be present to walk, so I arranged for a group of students and teachers who knew her to surprise her during class with a mini-graduation ceremony, complete with mortarboard cap and Pomp and Circumstance. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
A student of mine used skills she learned in my class to design invitations to her wedding and later started a drop-shipping clothing business. She used those and other skills from class to design an online catalog and create a QR code to distribute it to her customers.
Recently, I was chatting with a former student who had a job interview later in the day. We reviewed some interview skills and tips from the class she had taken and I made sure she still had copies of the resume she had made in my class. Later, I ran into her again and she gushed about how well the interview had gone and even said that her interviewer had been very impressed by the Better Business Bureau LIFT Business Ethics Certification she had earned in my class. She hasn’t heard back yet, but I’m confident she’ll get that job.
What are your plans and hopes for this new position?
I am excited to work with Andrew to bring back and enhance all of the wonderful parts of our programs that were disrupted by COVID, like our fun and enriching field trips, engaging guest speakers, and finding additional opportunities for our students outside of class. I hope to be able to help our program grow and continue to provide the highest-quality education to our students of all ages.
PC’s for People’s Business Development Manager (and former KidsTek Program Manager,) Meghan Lang, says:
“Emily is one of the most creative people I have ever met. She works hard to find a solution to every problem, treats others with kindness, and makes delicious cookies and baked goods! I know Emily will bring a new and exciting perspective to the Program Manager position.”