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Dr. Chris Kates

Dr. Chris Kates (IN '08)


Eastview Elementary School
Connorsville, IN

At the time of the Award, Dr. Chris Kates was:

Avon Intermediate School East
Avon, IN

Subject(s) taught: English/Language, Social Studies, Gifted
Grade(s): 5

Biographical Information

Dr. Kates’ work in the Office of Educator Effectiveness is focused on teacher recruitment and retention initiatives including recognition programs, marketing projects, Human Capital Management platforms, state-wide research on teaching conditions, grant management and much more. Prior to her current role, he was a fifth-grade teacher, who appealed to popular culture and students' interests to help them develop higher-level skills and a passion for writing at Avon Intermediate School East in Avon, Indiana. He adapted the TV show "American Idol" into an activity called "Poetry Idol," in which students create their own poetry and present it to classmates and parents. Kates also has students write scary Halloween stories and share them at an annual storytelling night. Underlying these fun ways to learn are strong, research-based best practices, from differentiated instruction, technology integration and project-based learning to rubrics and assessments, which he uses to drive his instructional approach. Upper-grade teachers have remarked that they can identify Kates' former students by their outstanding writing skills. His students' academic growth has consistently been above school and district averages, and his class was the second-highest-scoring classroom in the district in language arts. Kates teaches his students charity and tolerance by having them volunteer at a nearby mission and give speeches to other classes about what they saw and learned. He sponsors an annual summer writing camp for intermediate-grade students that typically reaches enrollment capacity. Kates has been a presenter in Avon's Teacher Mentor Training Program, has served on several school- and district-level committees, and is co-sponsor of Avon's After-School Language Arts Enrichment Club. Students often cry knowing they will leave his classroom.

Related Connections

Educator Quote:

"I wake up each day and ask myself how I can exemplify a Milken Educator each moment of the day, with every lesson and every..." (read more)

Additional Information


2000 Indiana State University, Ed.S

Mr. Chris Kates, EdS.