Sophia Misuraca

Kathryn Pedersen in the La Quinta High mini-gym on Thursday, June 3, 2021. She retired after the 2020-2021 school year.

Q&A with Ms. Kathryn Pedersen

Ms. Pedersen taught at La Quinta High for 26 years, and taught for a total of 39 years before retiring

Question: What was your position at La Quinta High School, and how many years did you work here? 

Kathryn Pedersen: My positions held at LQHS have been teaching PE and [serving as the] Medical Health Academy teacher and coordinator. I taught in the Medical Health Academy for 19 years and coordinated the program for 14 of those years, and taught PE for seven years. 

In addition, I coached the girls’ varsity swimming for 17 years and the team won three league championships. My former swimmer, Stephanie Henderson, is now the coach. 

I have been at LQHS 26 years and teaching overall for a total of 39 years, starting at West Shores HS, then Roosevelt, Truman and then LQHS.

Q: How would you describe your experience at the school?

KP: I have had a great time at La Quinta High School, and all I ever wanted was to teach in my hometown. The Blackhawk family is the best there ever was. The students, teachers and staff have been the core of what makes this school so amazing.

Q: What are some of the best moments you’ve had at the school? 

KP: The best moments are with the students and seeing their accomplishments, their competitions in sports, graduation, and career/college choices. Blackhawks are the best.

Q: What is the most exciting thing you achieved here at La Quinta High?

The best achievements would be:

  • Medical Health Academy, and growing it from its struggling infancy to over 220 students with medical internships, shadows, field trips; getting my curriculum UC approved for the 10-11th grade MHA elective classes in the 2017-2018 school year. Our MHA Blackhawks are now working as registered nurses, doctors, physical therapists, PE and health teachers, certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses, and medical related careers in the military throughout the world; 
  • Coaching the girls’ varsity to three league swim league championships;
  • Last but not least, making it through this crazy last year with some of the best freshmen ever in my PE classes.

Q: What’s next for you? 

KP: I plan to spend more time with my family, my dog Harley, continue taking care of my mom, travel, write, read, and continue swimming laps, as long as I can. All the best to LQHS.

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