On most Tuesdays, Hooper Auditorium is packed full of teachers preparing for their weekly faculty meeting. This Tuesday, the auditorium was packed with something different: students and teachers celebrating Karin McWhorter’s advancement from Major to Lieutenant Colonel.
By West Givens, Photography Editor for The Vision
Karin McWhorter, a math teacher at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, grew up in a military family. When she was eight years old, her father was assigned to the Air Force Academy. McWhorter decided that she would follow in his footsteps.
“I told my dad, ‘I’m going to go to the Air Force Academy and I’m going to be a fighter pilot,’” said McWhorter.
McWhorter was accepted to the Academy and while attending, she encountered her first experience with teaching. At the Academy, every student has the opportunity to fly in a glider. McWhorter, still desperate to fly, became a Glider Instructor Pilot.
"I feel like I have my own people now. This school is my family." -Karin McWhorter
“I’m in this little plane, and it’s me and a student who is my peer, but there’s nobody else, it’s just us and we’re at 2,000 feet with no engine,” she said. “I think that’s where I first decided that I really like teaching someone how to do something.”
After receiving an undergraduate degree in math from the Academy, and marrying her husband, McWhorter became a Public Affairs Officer. She received her graduate degree in secondary education from Old Dominion University.
McWhorter’s profession has taken her all across the world – from Haiti to Europe to Korea. Being from a military family, McWhorter has had to do little adjusting.“I’ve been transient my entire life,” she said.
Although she is accustomed to moving from place to place every other year, McWhorter plans to stay a while at MSMS. “I feel like I have my own people now. This school is my family,” she said in regards to Tuesday’s ceremony. “It was a really neat experience to see teachers that I don’t know well, but will in the coming years, and students that I have and haven’t taught. To have my husband promote me was really neat too. It was just a really, really great day for me.”