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Rafters Announce 9th Annual Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, in partnership with Skyward Inc., are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award. Mrs. Kate Kaster, a Computer Science Teacher at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), was informed of her achievement with a visit from Rosco P. Rafter in her classroom earlier this week.

Mrs. Kaster has been a teacher at SPASH for the past six years and is also the department instructional leader. Kate also started and coaches the schools Esports teams and helps students compete in computer science competitions like the “CyberPatriot” contest, a national youth cyber defense competition.

“Kate has single-handedly transformed computer science instruction at SPASH,” SPASH Principal Jon R. Vollendorf said. “With her direction and leadership, we have completely revised computer science course offerings that now reflect current, practical, and much-needed computer science preparation for students.  Kate’s enthusiasm for learning and computer science has built our department into one in which students can take seven different courses including Computer Science (introductory course), Computer Animation, Computer Hardware, Cybersecurity, Game Design, Web Design, and Advanced Placement Computer Science.”

With Kate’s work and leadership, enrollment in SPASH computer science courses has doubled over the past five years.

The Rafters and Skyward will hold the 9th Annual Educator Appreciation Night at Witter Field this summer on Wednesday, August 3rd. The first fans through the gate will receive a Programmer Rosco bobblehead presented by Skyward. As part of the evening, the Rafters and Skyward will present Mrs. Kaster with a bobblehead created in her likeness to commemorate the Teacher of the Year honor. The team will also display a Mrs. Kaster bobblehead in Skyward’s Educator Wall of Fame at the ballpark. She will be recognized prior to the game by throwing out a first pitch. In addition, Mrs. Kaster and the essay winners who nominated her will receive tickets to attend the game, courtesy of Skyward.

To facilitate the selection of the teacher, the Rafters held an essay contest for students K-12 across Central Wisconsin during the months of October and November. All students were encouraged to nominate a teacher who they felt has made a positive impact on their life and write an essay on the reason this teacher deserved to be recognized as the Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.

To help narrow down all the submissions an internal rating system was used that included the following: Number of nominations submitted on behalf of the teacher, years of service by the teacher, essay substance regarding the teacher, principal recommendation, and characteristics described about the teacher.

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The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 245 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team