MEEKER I One of the advantages to living in a small town is the number of exceptional teachers who possess such perseverance that they impact two generations of learners.
Marcus Cicero said, “What greater or better gift can we offer the republic than to teach and instruct our youth?”
Vicky Tate is retiring after 34 years of teaching for the Meeker School District. Tate was born and raised in Meeker. Her background in health and physical education was a natural direction for her to go. She was a stand-out high school athlete and a member of the mile relay team whose state record held until a year before track records changed from yards to meters.
Tate was the first female athlete from Meeker to receive an athletic scholarship. She played collegiate basketball for Western State University for four years and earned her degree in education. She and her husband of nearly 36 years, Mike, both graduated from Western State and began their careers in Meeker in 1980.
Vicky Tate was hired to teach health and physical education as well as coach volleyball, basketball and track. She spent 25 years in the classroom teaching fifth grade and coached different sports throughout the years, always contributing a great deal to the success of the programs.
She has spent the last five years in health and physical education, where her passion for educating and inspiring kids is still evident.
This year alone, her 100 Mile Club, encouraging kids to run and keep track of their distance during school hours, found the first- through fifth-grade students covering more then 10,000 miles.
Vicky makes learning exciting and staying active a lot of fun — from the bike rodeo to different sporting events to the free play days.
Through the years she has certainly seen education change, from paperwork to meeting standards and so much more, but her effectiveness in educating remains the same.
In the past 34 years, she has impacted a significant number of people through her work. She has never wanted recognition for the endless time she has put in nor has she ever been able to say “no” to helping whenever kids would benefit.
Now her four grandchildren will benefit from the energy and time she will have available.
The Tates’ oldest daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Will, just had their third son, Daiven. His older brothers are Duece and Andre, and they live in Wichita, Kansas. Vicky’s youngest daughter, Kelsey, and her daughter, Landree, live in Meeker.
There are families that undoubtedly have parents and the children talking about their favorite teacher being the same person: Mrs. Tate.
Her kindness is indicative of exceptional teachers, her longevity obtained only by great competitors and her passion for health — set by example — is invaluable in this day and age.
Meeker School District will have a void to fill with the departure of Vicky Tate, and her former students and staff will have a difficult time not missing her.
Her influence will continue to be realized for years to come.