Amazing Educators: Paula Frank Keeps Her School Connected
Paula Frank, computer teacher, campus staff trainer and tech support at Christ the King Catholic School (CTK) has a huge fan club. Over 40 parents, grandparents and coworkers took the time to nominate Frank for our Amazing Educator award after her technology savvy helped her school smoothly pivot to virtual instruction in the spring of 2020. Our judges weren’t just blown away by the quantity of nominations, but the quality of dedication and support Frank offers her students, parents and school.
Nomination after nomination highlighted Frank’s constant communication and availability to parents during distance learning. Not only did Frank prepare her school for a seamless transition to online learning, she also did little things like share a daily joke on the school’s Facebook page to keep morale up during the uncertain conclusion of the 2019-20 school year.
Beyond her classroom and pandemic-era support of the school, Frank is also highly involved in extracurricular activities. She channels her passion for coding, trivia and reading into meaningful opportunities for students to explore those topics too. After school she works with third through sixth grade students in a coding club, as well as acting as co-chair for both the Junior High Quiz Bowl team and the school’s fourth through sixth grade Battle of the Books Competition team. As one of her nominators noted, “she practically lives at the school.”
Frank’s journey to education was non-traditional. “Getting into education has been my second career,” she shared. After leaving the corporate world post-kids, she decided to try the education field when her daughter was 3. “I literally fell into my job at CTK in 2005 substituting one day for the computer teacher and then being hired that afternoon when she quit. I had the technology training job skills for this position, but still decided to get my master’s degree in teaching from UCA.”
As a technology teacher, Frank’s job always changes — and she loves it. She helps guide her school as new tech arrives. For example, in 2005 she helped teachers, students and parents shift their work from offline methods and the constant threat of losing their work to “collaborating from different locations all in the same Google Doc.” Her work continues as she “still teach[es] the proper way to work in a Google Doc and now how to communicate in an online environment.”
While this is a momentous achievement, her favorite teaching memory is more personal. “My favorite memory … has been watching both of my children begin and finish at Christ the King School, starting in pre-K and graduating eighth grade. Some of their teachers are still here, as I am, and are my closest friends besides coworkers.”
When she’s not teaching, she loves reading a good book and attempting to coordinate her husband and two kids’ schedules to enjoy Razorback football together on the weekends. But if we’ve learned anything from her CTK family, she probably has a joke to share or a club meeting to lead, even when she’s officially off-the-clock.