Kevin Witte (NE '13)
TeacherKearney High School
At the time of the Award, Kevin Witte was:Teacher
Kearney High School
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
As a social studies teacher, Kevin Witte devotes himself to thinking globally and acting locally for the benefit of his students at Kearney High School in Kearney, NE. With his contagious curiosity about the world at large, Witte makes geography and history classes come alive, inspiring his students to engage fully with the subject matter.
Witte has traveled widely in his 13 years as an educator: from Saudi Arabia to South Africa, from China to Egypt, from Italy to the Arctic Circle. He has done so not as a casual tourist, but as a selected fellow, presenter or participant of professional programs tackling educational topics in depth. Witte uses these overseas experiences to enrich the classroom experience for his students beyond textbooks. In the process, he shows them that being a true scholar—one who always seeks to learn more—is an exciting and relevant endeavor. Their Advanced Placement scores, dynamic student-led discussions and strong performances in the University of Nebraska at Kearney History Day competition are testament to this. Besides teaching World Geography, Advanced Placement World History, World History, and American History at Kearney High School, Witte also developed the curriculum to create a well-received new course called International Wealth and Poverty.
Witte’s teaching style, which encourages critical thinking and ensures comprehension every step of the way, shows his commitment to putting students on the path of life-long learning. That’s no surprise, coming from a teacher who has gone above and beyond in his profession as well as in his personal education; apart from embarking on purposeful global journeys, Witte earned two master’s degrees (in History and Education) while working and taught himself Latin during his lunch breaks along the way.
Outside of the classroom, Witte takes advantage of opportunities to impact even more students by mentoring new teachers, serving on numerous committees for Kearney Public Schools and, on the state level, he recently played an important role in revising Nebraska’s Social Studies Standards.