Although the school year has started more than a month ago, our new director has been somewhat of a mystery figure.
By Daria Gusa
Although the school year has started more than a month ago, our new director has been somewhat of a mystery figure. Having moved here from a 6 year stay in the sunny dunes of Abu Dhabi, she seems to have already grown accustomed to the Austrian lifestyle. Due to the lack of assemblies and common activities,under our COVID-19 situation, Dr. Kathryn Miner has found it challenging to find ways to connect with students. I got the inside scoop on Dr. Miner, from her son’s mountain escapades to the show she binge-watched during quarantine, you can definitely say that you learned some interesting information about her personal and professional life.
Living most of her life in California and Oregon, leaving the US and travelling the world along her family was a step forward towards adventure for Dr. Miner. After hearing about her coworkers’ exciting lives in international schools abroad, she took the decision to go nomad and raise her children, then middle schoolers, in an international environment; she has brought her family much joy and changed her and her children’s life forever. Her son chose a most unusual path, that directly correlates to the exciting lifestyle she created for him: he’s a senior in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at University of Colorado – Boulder while also teaching rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (he’s the youngest person to solo the summit of Denali, Alaska), while her daughter excelled in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California – San Diego, which led her to be the research coordinator of a study on COVID-19. Her family’s love for hiking is obviously welcome in Austria, and they seem to be looking forward to all the mountain trips they will take.
Dr. Miner is an avid art lover, and her favorite new Viennese activity is visiting the wonderful museums our town offers. Just last week, she visited Albertina. She also loves photography and painting, but when the weather is dreadful and the possibility of hiking or biking is not on the table, Dr. Miner resorts to an activity we all engage in as well: binge-watching. At the moment, the series she’s enjoying is “Madam Secretary”. The film that she thinks will convince us if we are suited for a career in education is “Mr. Holland’s Opus“, and she recommends a career in an international school to instill multicultural mindsets in students that enjoy kindling diverse relationships and fostering inclusiveness.
In her San Francisco high school life, Dr. Miner would enjoy going for a drive and listening to The Rolling Stones or James Taylor, when she wasn’t too busy being the Activities Officer of the Student Council or training for cheerleading and track. She even did a semester abroad in Salzburg in her senior year of high school, which is what contributed to her great German skills. Her compassion is what led her to a career in teaching Special Education in Oregon and later becoming principal and director.
Dr. Miner wants to finally thank all of the, in her opinion, resilient, confident and strong AIS community for being so mindful of others and respecting all of the COVID-19 measures, even though it takes a lot of understanding and collaboration. The collective effort is contributing to keeping the school open for the end of the year, and she hopes that all the experiences that we want and need as high school students will take place this year.