Beacon’s Innovation Discovery Center (IDC) is lucky to have two teachers that brighten not only their learning space but the entire school community. Kara Ripp and Rhonda Beauchamp teach in the IDC, a space that provides advanced-learning environments that inspire students and teachers to flex their creativity by applying cloud computing to solve real-world problems. These enhanced classrooms also encourage students to cultivate their interests in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and the arts in their daily lives outside the classroom.
Kara and Rhonda go above and beyond when it comes to providing unique, enriched experiences for their students. Kara, an avid gardener outside of teaching, has provided students resources to grow their own community vegetable garden. “The kids love to see the vegetables grow. It’s hands-on learning, and it’s caring,” said Kara. Rhonda, who has been at the IDC for quite some time, is always recommending books to students and staff. She tries to find books that are uniquely tailored to students, such as the book Little Daymond Learns to Earn; this book introduces kids to the basic ideas about money and starting their own businesses. Rhonda strives to inspires awe and curiosity in her students, as she likes to expand the students’ knowledge and drive to learn about a diverse array of topics.
Both Kara and Rhonda are positive rays of light for students and staff at Beacon. They both encourage their students to put their best foot forwards as well as empowering them to work together as a team. Both center their attention on planting seeds of kindness, which has demonstrated a ripple effect on students and staff. “Caring and kindness make a community.”
Outside of the classroom they both spend much time giving back to the community. Rhonda volunteers at the Hilliard Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, which is a 16-week course to volunteer to help the police and fire department. She is the organization’s treasurer and helps patrol Hilliard’s 4th of July parade, as well as helping people who need medical attention. She also volunteers with Hilliard’s Trunk or Treat, where she helps with traffic control. Kara is a big advocate for normalizing the conversation around self-care. She is always honest and vulnerable when it comes to her and her family’s health. “If we are transparent about our health, it’s good to know there are other people struggling with you and you’re not alone.” Kara also has a generous heart that is always wanting to help others. When asked what she would do if she were to win a million dollars, she said she would donate it because she has everything she needs. She would want those with less privilege to gain more.
Kara and Rhonda are truly invaluable members of the community, and we are so grateful to have them shaping our kids’ learning and futures. Keep up the good work and know we are thankful!