Chaplin Kate Harrigan
I am the Chaplain at St. Stephen’s and I teach the religious formation program. I teach religion to PS-8th grade so I have the opportunity to know all the children. I also lead chapel on Monday morning and guide the 8th graders in chapel leadership. As chaplain, I am available to all the children, to the parents, and to the faculty and staff as well.
What is the teaching philosophy in your classroom?
My teaching philosophy is that we are all teachers and we are all life long learners, from the youngest of us to the oldest of us. Questions are more important than answers. And I strongly believe and practice the philosophy that, “If you tell me, I will forget. If you show me, I may remember. If you involve me, I will learn.”
Describe your classroom in 5 words
What do you want every student in your room to leave a year with you believing?
If the students learn nothing else, I want them to leave believing that they are loved and that God is a loving God. I would also like them to leave with a sense of respect for each other, an interest in those who are different from them, an ability to listen to others who have varying beliefs. I would like them to leave with an appreciation for God’s creation, with the wonder of creation, both from a scientific perspective and a religious perspective
Outside of the classroom, what is important to you? What are your hobbies/interests?
The most important thing to me outside the classroom is my family. I have three grown children, two of whom graduated from St. Stephen’s, and I am married to Bill Alford, also an Episcopal priest. My larger family of cousins and godchildren are also very important to me. My congregation at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Harrisburg is also deeply important to me.
My hobbies and interests include theatre, fishing, camping, crocheting, playing the guitar and Celtic drum
What message would you give to parents of students in your classroom?
Believe in your children, love them, give them a foundation of strength and faith, listen to them and communicate with them.
Where did you graduate from college/ grad school?
I graduated from the University of Georgia with a BSEd in Education, from Michigan State University with an MA, and from Yale Divinity School with an MDiv
Do you have any additional certifications, specialties or areas of focus?
I have degrees in English Education and in Theatre as well as Divinity. I have spent much of my life in theatre and I teach drama and write and direct the school play. I also teach and work in the area of vocational discernment and I have a vocational speciality in Liturgy. I am also certified in Congregational Development.