Alumni gathered together in the backyard of former McKay School professor Katie Steed to wish her well on her new assignment to serve as the Disabilities Specialist Manager for the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the event, alumni congregated around tables, grass patches, and trampolines to brainstorm ideas that Steed will use in her new position.
Steed has had an impact on her students that will last for generations. This was especially evident in the amount of people that traveled to the gathering—a few former students even flew from out of state for the occasion! One of her past students, Bre Ahrens (’05) said, “I can honestly say that Katie has changed my life. She pushed me to open my mind to different ideas on how to better myself as a person and as an educator. In essence, she is inspiring.” A current student, Sarah Simmons, joked, “No one ever skipped her class! I feel like that is a pretty good mark for a college professor.”
Steed’s specialty is in severe/profound special education. In 2000, she received her bachelor’s degree from BYU in elementary education with a minor in special education. She furthered her education at BYU by getting a master’s degree in special education. Steed has spent the past 18 years serving and contributing to the McKay School as a student and as a professor. When she was offered the job at Church headquarters, Steed was reluctant to leave her McKay family, but now she is looking forward to using her talents and abilities to strengthen the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
At the backyard event, Steed shared one of her favorite scriptures, 3 Nephi 22:13, which reads, “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Commenting on this verse, she said, “The word that really sticks out to me is all. The Lord could have easily omitted that word and the verse would still be very instructive and beautiful, but God chose to include one of my favorite words as a special educator, all. . . . I believe I have been blessed to be a part of the greatest work we have on this earth—to teach!”
One of Steed’s former students, Hannah Rowley, expressed, “She is not only a mentor for us in our classes, but she has inspired [us] spiritually as well. I have been able to find more direction for what I want to do in my future career because she is so passionate about what she does.”
In her closing remarks at the party, Steed expressed her gratitude for the students she taught in past years. She said, “I want my students to know that I think the world of them. I see in them a potential and power that will change the world for good, and already has.” She also urged her students to keep in touch as she moves on to the next chapter in her life. “I want [my students] to know that I consider them family. I want to hear about their joys and failures. I want them to know that they are always welcome in my home.”
Alumni and students are excited to see what the future holds for their former professor. Keep an eye out for Katie Steed and watch her help the Church grow in important ways.
Writer: Ashley Young
Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 494-7043