SPOTLIGHT: Meet Livonia Stevenson High School English Teacher

Krista Tanner, an English teacher at Livonia Stevenson High School

Favorite Sports Team: Any team related to the Michigan State University Spartans or the Livonia Stevenson Spartans.

Hobbies/Interests: Volunteering for the track and field team, volunteering at Parkrun, a weekly free 5k event where anyone can run or walk at Bicentennial Park in Livonia and attending her four children’s activities with her husband.

Favorite music: Anything from the ‘80s! Rick Springfield, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Bryan Adams to name a few.

Fun Fact: She can do the splits and enjoys dancing

Krista Tanner has been an English teacher at Livonia Stevenson for 24 years, and has been a volunteer assistant coach for the Track and Field team since her first year of teaching. She also is a teacher in the Global Education program, which allows students to focus on critical thinking scenarios in a globalized context.

Tanner decided to become a teacher because of the influence that one of her own high school teachers had on her.

“I decided to become a teacher because of my sophomore English teacher MaryBeth Caroll,” she said. “When we finished reading my favorite novel, “The Great Gatsby,” Mrs. Carroll asked each student to write five questions about the book, and if she liked the questions, she would use them on the test. When I received my questions back on the assignment, she had written, ‘Have you ever thought about being an English teacher?’ I had thought about being a teacher because of my math teacher, Mr. Fred Palmer, but it was at that moment I knew teaching was my calling.”

She said it takes multiple attributes to be a good teacher. These characteristics include good communication skills, listening to students, empathy, patience, understanding and adaptability. She also believes that passion plays a vital role in being a good teacher.

This affection allows her to be a “cheerleader” for her students. To her, the best part of teaching is being with the students every day and watching them thrive and develop. “My students are my life,” she said.

In 1997, Tanner got involved with Track and Field.

“I had a student who told me that she would run track if I came out to coach,” she said.

This experience ignited an enthusiasm that is still alive today. Tanner cherishes seeing her students reach for their goals in a setting outside of the classroom.

This desire to see her students grow outside of the classroom also applies to the Global Education program.

“Watching my students be diplomats and use the critical thinking skills that have been learned throughout this program is more than any teacher can hope for,” she said. “It was a proud ‘Mom’ moment to see when all their hard work and dedication paid off.”

Every year, the program participates in the Mid-American Model United Nations (MAMUN). This year, 21 students attended the three-day conference. The group recieved the Second Highest Honors for Best Prepared School.

Krista Tanner with her Global Education program at the Mid-American Model United Nations (MAMUN) conference.

One group took Second Honors in the General Assembly. Four students - Jack Wagner, Mya Kutz, Alyssa Fetting, and Jorge Emdanat - recieved Highest Honors in their Crisis Simulations and General Assembly Committee Sessions.

Jack Wagner also was awarded the highest honor at MAMUN, the Jonathan Perry Award, the first time in 21 years that a Stevenson student has won it.

Of Tanner’s four children, two are involved in Stevenson’s Track and Field team and the Global Education program.

She would like to thank those who nominated and voted for her.

Tanner said, “I would like to thank them beyond words for their acknowledgment. It truly is an honor that they would think so highly of me that they would go out of their way to vote.”

Finally, Tanner would like to thank her students.

“I would not be where I am today without them,” she said. “My students are the reason why I do what I do; they are my passion.”

We would like to thank our sponsors Detroit Area Honda Dealers and MSU Federal Credit Union for their support!

About the Author:

Zachary is a senior at MSU working in the Creative Services Department as an intern this summer.