Tri-Central High School's Kathy Minnick.

Kathy Minnick – Tri-Central High School

More time on her houseboat. Exploring more national parks including returning to Alaska. Visiting Ireland, France, and England are included in her plans after retirement. When she has time between traveling, she’ll enjoy reading, writing, golfing, bowling, bicycling, and playing the drums – all of her favorite hobbies.

For Kathy Minnick, all of those activities are waiting for her in retirement as soon as the final bell rings and her classroom door closes – time that is well deserved after a 40-year teaching career at Tri-Central High School.

Originally from Crawfordsville, Minnick graduated from Ball State University in 1984, went on to receive her Master of Arts degree in 1989, and returned to her alma mater to obtain an administration certification in 2006.

Fresh out of college, armed with a degree in secondary education and English, Minnick embarked on a teaching career that spanned from teaching sociology and film literature including beyond the school day. Minnick has directed 12 plays, three musicals, and was a chaperone on the Tri-Central senior trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City for 17 years.

Licensed to teach grades nine through 12, Minnick’s career has seen a variety of class settings.

“Over the years I have taught mythology, drama, novels, etymology, British literature, American literature, English 9, AP English, Dual-Credit Rhetoric and Argument, Dual-Credit Advanced Composition among others,” she says. “I have also coached middle school volleyball and high school track.”

Beyond the pages of a textbook and research, Minnick finds the most rewarding part of her career has been observing her students evolve, learn, and grow.

Kathy Minnick has directed 12 plays, three musicals, and was a chaperone on the Tri-Central senior trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City for 17 years. (Photo from 1989)

“When a student makes a realization, something clicks, or discovers a new interest, I hope I contributed,” she says. “It’s rewarding when students discuss or comment immediately – or years later, that a classroom discussion, a writing assignment, or a literary selection has made a difference or is a fond memory.”

Minnick reflects on her own mentors and influences throughout her life, in the hopes that she has been a positive influence during her career.

“I am fortunate to have had some great teachers and instructors in my life,” she says. “I often reflect on the teachers who inspired me. My mother has always provided input. Over the years, she has been a sounding board. When I am frustrated, she empathizes and guides. She also recognizes my successes.”

Her advice to incoming teachers: listen to your instincts. Classroom management and consistency is the key to teaching and student learning. Be fair.

For students, Minnick leaves simple advice:

“Be kind and do your best,” she says. “Realize that your education is key to achieving your goals. Critical thinking is your responsibility. Avoid assumptions. Be a lifelong learner.”

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