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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Rest Is History: Katy Rees Joins The Bishop’s Community

During her time living in the Bay Area, Ms. Rees was a teacher at the Harker School in San Jose.

“I love history…I just love the stories of the people and the places,” said new History Teacher Ms. Katy Rees, who will teach US History and US Government classes at Bishop’s this year. After her childhood in Northern Virginia, as well as living in the Bay Area, Boston, and Texas during her adult years, Ms. Rees is now excited to spend time in a new part of the United States here in San Diego. From her classroom tucked away in the Upper Scripps hallway, Ms. Reese spoke about her experience with teaching, her love for history, and her hobbies outside of work.

Q: Where did you grow up, and what brought you to San Diego?

I grew up in Northern Virginia, then moved to the Bay Area for a few years after college and before grad school. After several years in Boston, I came back [to California] where I taught in San Jose. I then spent a year in Texas, but when a friend at Bishop’s called me about an opening in the history department, it seemed like a really good fit and a good opportunity to return to the west coast. So I keep finding my way back here and have now spent almost more time in California than on the east coast. I’m still not sure I’m quite ready to call myself a Californian yet, but…at some point I’m going to have to claim it. 


Q: What inspired you to be a teacher? Did you always want to teach?

I come from a long line of teachers [and] I generally liked school. I also had great teachers as role models growing up, so I kind of always had [teaching] in the back of my mind. After college I did a few years of corporate work, but was also doing some volunteering, tutoring, and school-related things on the side. I finally reached a certain point in my work where I said, ‘This is great, but I think I still really want to teach.’


Q: What do you like about teaching?

I really enjoy taking complicated and even seemingly boring ideas, breaking them down and figuring out how to make sense of them. I also love being part of the process with students when they have those ‘Ah ha!’ moments where they overcome challenges, and start to realize that they understand hard things — they can do hard things [and] they can understand the world around them. It’s really fun to rediscover the same ideas every year through new students’ eyes.


Q: What do you like about teaching history?

I’ve always really loved history. I grew up surrounded by it, hearing stories about the people and the places where I lived and from my own family. For me, being able to connect the stories of the past with the places and people around me, the events of the present, it all just makes life more interesting and helps the world make more sense.


Q: Do you have a favorite history class to teach?

So many, so many! I really enjoy Cold War history and the post-Civil War/Reconstruction era. I like studying the legal side of the Constitution — understanding the law and the philosophies and ideas behind the Constitution. But in a broader sense, I love any time that you can blend history, art, literature, politics — all the disciplines — into one. It just makes it a lot more interesting and fun.


Q: What are you most excited for at Bishop?

I really appreciate the faculty camaraderie and the students have been really great. I’m excited to be in a school where people are eager to learn, they’re interested in having good discussions, and in working with interesting material.


Q: What types of things do you like to do outside of school?

I love being outdoors, running and hiking in particular. I’m excited to do some more camping now that I’m back in better weather – I didn’t do much camping in Texas. I also love to go out to eat, and I’ve already explored some of the great ice cream shops and restaurants in San Diego. I’m mostly just excited to get to know the area and explore. 

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About the Contributor
Nora Bitar
Nora Bitar, Content Editor
Nora Bitar is a junior and a story editor for The Tower. Her favorite type of articles to write are music reviews — which she can’t wait to do more of this year. In school, she loves English and she has been enjoying her French class. Outside of school, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, binge-watching shows (one of her favorites is The Good Place), and watching soccer with her family. She is also a big foodie, and adores Italian, Japanese, and Mexican food, among a wide variety of other cuisines. Nora can’t wait for a great year! 

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