Kim Schaefer Named Utah’s

2007 Teacher of the year!

Descendants of Arnold & Catherine Bickett

Dennis Bickett Meets the President


Special Recongintion

Seven-year veteran music teacher Kim Schaefer of Whitehorse High School on the Navajo Reservation in Montezuma Creek was named Utah's 2007 Teacher of the Year Friday.

Schaefer is the third San Juan School District teacher to win the award and is the first rural teacher to win the award since 1991. She was chosen over 24 other district teachers of the year.

"The best thing a person can do in life is finding something they enjoy and doing that," Schaefer said. "I have found that in teaching — it's hard work but it's fun, every day."

Schaefer, who speaks Navajo, was inspired to teach by her grandmother, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse in South Dakota.

In 1998 Schaefer started teaching at Whitehorse High, a community that she said has been recorded as one of the poorest economically in the United States. It has been described as comparable to a Third World country.

But she does all she can to make sure her students have access to the arts, writing and receiving grants to provide professional development for teachers to help integrate visual and language arts into the school's curriculum.

Moreover, she has volunteered nearly 500 hours teaching free music lessons and established an Instrument Scholarship Program in which students can receive their own musical instrument through a competitive process.

 She was also awarded the Utah Music Educators Association 2004 Superior Accomplishment Award.

Currently she lives with her husband and children in a hogan on the reservation

Teacher of Navajos named state's best