Topeka's Top 20 Under 40: Heather Calvert
In 2011, Heather was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Topeka Rotary Club for her accomplishments. She is a leadership mentor to staff members by helping them reach their desired positions. Heather volunteers with Call to Care in Kansas, providing insight into the role foster care plays in a child’s educational journey. Outside of school, she is a volunteer at Western Hills Church.
“I am motivated by the students who walk into our schools every morning. As educators, we owe it to them to be nothing less than outstanding at what we do.”
What is the job of an educator?
The job of an educator is to prepare students to lead a happy and successful life. This means looking beyond test scores and developing students to be responsible citizens who are prepared to pursue their passions.
What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?
Prioritize. Your to-do list will be never ending, and tasks will always be left undone. Keep your focus clear and spend your time on tasks that will have the biggest impact. Focus on the mission and the reason you took the position in the first place.
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organization?
I love celebrating staff for taking risks and stepping outside of their comfort zones. I remove barriers when possible to allow teachers the flexibility and freedom to follow their passions and create learning experiences for students.
What do you hope your legacy will be?
I hope that when people think of me, they think about how much I support others. Whether it be professionally or personally, I am always trying to help others succeed. I hope this comes through in my daily activities when I am able to help staff members grow and become better educators or pursue leadership roles of their own.
Lisa Loewen | Editor-in-Chief
Erin Aldridge & Enedina Patch | Compiled Content
Nathan Ham, Nathan Ham Photography | Photographer