Teacher Feature: The Staats Family

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If you go through Casady school, chances are you likely have had the pleasure of having at least one Staats as a teacher. Mrs. Staats teaches third grade math, while Mr. Staats teaches seventh grade American History. This dynamic duo go beyond teaching their subject matter; they promote character traits that will help their students be successful in life. Perseverance is the attribute the Staats family strives to instill in their students. The importance of not giving up is the most important lesson for Mr. Staats to share with his classes, while Mrs. Staats believes it is important for her students to learn not to give up when something is difficult, to help those who are struggling, and to always be humble and kind.

Mr. and Mrs. Staats have a three and a half year old son, August. They have two dogs–a rescue Springer Spaniel named Spooky and a Dachshund named Gunner. A typical weekend for the Staats family starts with Mr. Staats making a big breakfast, followed by watching a sports game, enjoying board games together, and an occasional trip to the zoo. They are big fans of the OU Sooners and OKC Thunder. They love that their family is part of Casady, as Mr. Staats said, “We are extremely blessed and thankful to be a part of the Casady Community. It is truly a warm, welcoming, and embracing community of people.”

Mrs. Staats was born in West Monroe, Louisiana and moved to Newman, Georgia for elementary and middle school, and then to Plano, Texas for high school. As a child, she loved playing softball, reading science fiction and fantasy books, and going to the movies with her dad. Mrs. Staats fondly recalls coming home from school when she was young and teaching her little sister everything she had learned from school that day. Mrs. Staats said, “Teaching always just felt right for me. I loved all my teachers in school, as well.” While teaching has always been her first career choice, she did briefly consider being a dentist. Mrs. Staats has always enjoyed math, as it was her favorite subject as a student in elementary. During middle and high school, Mrs. Staats loved band class, where she played the flute.

Casady Lower Division has benefitted from having Mrs. Staats teach third grade math for the past six years. Prior to Casady, Mrs. Staats taught 2nd and 4th grades at Norman Public Schools. She attended the University of Oklahoma, where she majored in Elementary Education and continued at OU for her master’s degree in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with the emphasis in math education. Mrs. Staats chose to teach math as a result of her college education classes that taught her numerous strategies for teaching math concepts that went beyond traditional math instruction. When asked what she enjoys most about the Lower Division, Mrs. Staats responded, “I love the age group of the students. I love that everyone is friendly and the students say hi to you in the hallways.”

Mr. Staats began his teaching career in Norman, where he taught one year before joining Casady. This is his ninth year at the Middle Division, where he currently teaches 7th Grade American History (before 1865). He also helps coach Middle Division field hockey and enjoys seeing his student athletes in a different light. Mr. Staats was born in Turkey and his military family moved to Oklahoma before he turned three, where he was raised in Deer Creek. He was ten years old when the Harry Potter Series debuted and he became a lifelong fan of the book series. Mr. Staats was a wrestler throughout high school. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Special Education degree and then from graduate school at the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Educational Leadership. 

When asked what he enjoys about history and geography, Mr. Staats responded, “Have you ever seen the tv show segments where they ask strangers on the street to name any country and they can’t? To me, that makes my soul sad. We should always know who we are, where we are from, and basic information about the world we live in today.” Mr. Staats is passionate about what he teaches, and if he hadn’t become a teacher, he thinks he would have become a lawyer or policeman because he very much likes rules. Mr. Staats hopes to be remembered as a teacher who was always there for his students, yet he fears he will be remembered for his challenging map quizzes. As a former student of Mr. Staats’ geography class, I feel confident that if his students were approached on the street with a geography question, they would be able to answer the question in a way that would make Mr. Staats’ heart very happy. 

The Staats family has made a significant impact on the Casady community as they teach their students higher level thinking skills and life skills that will lead to success.