Our Lady of Hope third grade teacher and track coach Kristin Goers, doesn’t have to say much when asked about her experiences at the school and how they have impacted her life, and the life of the kids she’s known over the years. Her face, lighting up in a smile, says it all. “There are so many experiences,” she explains. “I feel so fortunate. Being a coach is a big part of my life.” So is being a teacher. Kristin has taught at Our Lady of Hope for her entire, 12-year teaching career.
Kristin’s memories stretch back to her own school days when she was running track herself. And she recalls with obvious pride the youngsters she herself has coached over the years. She stays in touch with many of them, following their academic success while applauding their life decisions.
One young man (a fifth grader when she met him), Navardo, has an especially heartwarming story with an ending that is shaping up to be happy. The self-conscious youngster walked into her classroom after moving to the country from Jamaica. “His home life was challenging,” Kristin shared. Perhaps because she sensed he needed a friend, she became one. She also became his coach, though the coaching detoured through a football team.
Recognizing football as a sport with more likelihood for injury, Kristin encouraged him to pass. Navardo insisted, played in his first game and promptly broke his leg. Once it healed—with Kristin helping him get to and from home on his crutches—he joined the track team, and stayed there. “I get to form different relationships with the kids I coach,” she explained. As a coach her relationships often have more impact, more influence for good, for doing God’s work. She realizes how fortunate she is.
Navardo, after completing high school at Rockhurst, is now at Johnson County Community College on his way to a bright future. Kristin Goers couldn’t be more pleased.