Guardian angel led K-M Teacher of the Year to Kasson
When Curt Naylor was driving from Rochester to Mankato to pick up his transcripts on a September day in 1989, he stopped by the K-M district office, to drop off an application.
Around the same time Naylor had dropped off his application, the school district was scrambling after losing a first grade teacher at the beginning of the school year.
As luck what would have it, Naylor was a elementary school teacher, and a few days later he was hired.
30 years later, and now he is the 2019 K-M Teacher of the Year.
Naylor explained that his guarding angel was looking over him and that’s how things worked out.
“It was a guarding angel moment,” Naylor said.
For Naylor, his first teaching job was in Montana. He was always interested in traveling, and after graduating from Mankato State, he decided to pack up his bags and moved there without having a job.
After substituting and bartending, he was able to get a full-time teaching job there where he worked for four years.
During that adventure, he saw that they were having a job fair for teachers to travel overseas to work at an Army base in Germany. Since he always wanted to teach overseas he jumped on the opportunity and taught there for one year, before moving back to his hometown of Rochester.
Naylor explained that although both his parents were school teachers he was inspired to teach for a number of different reasons. Some of those reasons include, his personality being one where he could relate to kids, the ability to have time to coach his kids in sports and volunteer, especially during the summers, and his fourth grade teacher who really inspired him.
His decision to pursue a career in education was certainly the correct one, as he was voted the K-M Teacher of the Year this year.
After winning the award, he explained that he felt very honored because he works with a lot of very talented teachers who are all deserving of the honor.
“It’s a tremendous honor because I work with so many wonderful and talented people,” Naylor said. “It’s a capstone in my career,” he added.
Over the years, Naylor explained that he has felt very lucky to work in such a wonderful community, and one that has grown over the years, including going from the old elementary school behind Erdmans to the new state of the art facility that K-M has to offer students.
“This is a tremendous community and I feel blessed to work here,” Naylor said. “I have met some wonderful people and I have gotten to work with so many talented people,” he added.
KMES Principal Ariana Wright, explained that Naylor is leaving behind a great legacy and has been a great asset to the school district for many years.
“Curt Naylor leaves a legacy of positive connections with students, parents and staff. He is always willing to go the extra mile for kids to show he cares. From hearing about their latest news, to going to their sporting events on the weekend, Mr. Naylor has always been there for his students. His humor, positivity, and leadership will be deeply missed by the KM community,” Wright said.
As he approaches retirement at the end of the school year, Naylor is looking forward to new adventures in life. One of the things he is considering doing is using his Masters degree in counseling, and working with students who are studying abroad whether they are in the U.S or studying in a different country. He also hopes to be able to use his love for traveling by teaching English in different countries.
“Life is an adventure and I am going to continue pursue things,” Naylor said.
“My life has been blessed,” Naylor said.