Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


How Grown Teachers Part 8


November 20, 2012

Karen Morton

Business Marketing Teacher and DECA Advisor

The student run store, The Cove, at Lake Stevens High School is always buzzing with students during lunch time. The store is run by the business marketing students, but the driving force behind it is Mrs. Morton, advisor and business marketing teacher extraordinaire.

Karen Morton enrolled in Lake Schools when she was in eighth grade. She attended Lake Stevens Middle School and then Lake Stevens High School where her class was the last to graduate from the “Pink Palace” in 1979.

Both of Morton’s parents were teachers and were a very big influence on her decision to become an educator. After she graduated from High School, Morton went on to Western Washington University where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.

Morton is currently in her 30th year teaching and in her 13th year at Lake Stevens High School where she teaches business marketing and is the DECA club advisor. Before coming to Lake Stevens she was a teacher at Cascade High School for 16 years but she has really enjoyed coming back to teach in Lake Stevens.

One of her favorite aspects about teaching in the Lake Stevens School District is the support of the community and the variety of programs offered to students. “Between the community support and the different programs it seems for all levels of kids, whether it’s your AP kid or your struggling student, there are programs to benefit all kids,” explained Morton.

After 30 years of teaching, Morton is still enthusiastic about her job and where she is teaching. “I am excited to be here. I love my job, even when it gets stressful and overwhelming, I still think I have the best job there is,” shared Morton.

Rodger Anderson

Sociology and Current World Issues Teacher

“The purpose of life is not to be content. The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you live at all.” This quote by Leo Rosten is one that Rodger Anderson introduces to all of his students on the first day of class. The purpose of this lesson is to encourage his students to do something with their lives. “As a teacher of seniors it gives me a good opportunity to be the last word before they leave here and encourage them to do things like community service and give back,” explained Anderson.

Anderson attended Lake Schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. He graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1977 when it was appropriately nicknamed the “Pink Palace” because of the pink color it was painted. After High School, he attended Western Washington University. While at Western, he played basketball and liked the idea of being a coach. He decided on education as his major, giving him the ability to be a coach and teach, and earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1983.

This year is Anderson’s 29th teaching in the Lake Stevens School District where he has taught almost his whole career as an educator. He teaches Current World Issues and Sociology and also teaches Driver’s Education before or after school. Not only is Anderson a teacher at the High School, but he is also the head coach of the baseball team and has held that position for 23 years. “It’s so much fun coaching, you build relationships with players and parents,” shared Anderson.

With his commitment to the school and his students, it would be an understatement to say that Anderson is passionate about what he does. He loves the fact that teaching is something new every day, especially with a subject like Current World Issues which changes constantly. “It keeps me young,” Anderson said while explaining his love of teaching.

Larry Palmer

Novels and Exposition Teacher

There has been a great deal of talk in our nation today about education and its decline in quality. But in Larry Palmer’s eyes, Lake Stevens School District has continued to grow and become a more effective institution during his time in Lake Stevens. “As someone who has been in the same school district for decades, I know that the state of education is improving all the time,” Palmer stated.

Palmer went to Lake Stevens Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. When he started elementary school at Hillcrest he recalled that there were only two elementary schools, Hillcrest and Mt. Pilchuck, and that there were rivalry basketball games between schools. During his school career, Palmer was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. He graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1972 and continued onto the University of Washington.

At the University of Washington, Palmer planned on getting his bachelor’s degree in Political Science but fell in love with English and switched his major. After he received his degree in English, he started working in the English department at Lake Stevens Middle School and realized that he wanted to be an educator. He went back to school and earned his teaching certificate and began teaching in 1979 at Explorer Middle School. Palmer only taught at Explorer for one year before coming back to Lake Stevens.

Palmer is in his 32nd year teaching in the Lake Stevens School District. He now teaches novels and exposition at Lake Stevens High School and also coaches the girl’s golf team. When asked what his favorite aspect of being in the Lake Stevens School District was he answered by saying that he loves the wide variety of students that Lake Stevens has, “There is something about the kids at Lake Stevens. It’s not the same at all other school districts,” responded Palmer. He also described that the staff in the district is great.

Throughout it all, Palmer still enjoys the interaction with his students and helping them learn. “There is something pretty cool when the light bulbs flash on for a kid and they understand something they didn’t understand before,” shared Palmer. He also explained how in his classroom, he encourages students to step outside their comfort zone and use their mind to figure out what is true and untrue in the world.


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