2023 Blue KC Sporting Samaritan Honoree Robin Kingeter – month of June
Blue KC and the Sporting KC have announced Harmony Middle School teacher Robin Kingeter as the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan honoree for June.
When envisioning the ideal teacher for your child, you may be looking for traits and characteristics such as compassion, optimism, determination, dedication, trustworthiness, love, and respect. Well, you’ve just described Harmony Middle School visual arts teacher Robin Kingeter. A staple at the Overland Park, Kansas school for the past 16 years, Kingeter exemplifies all the traits you’d like to see in your child’s educator, and then some.
“I am fortunate enough to work with amazingly talented and dedicated educators every day (at Harmony Middle School),” said Kingeter. “I am grateful for each new day, and I have a renewed appreciation for all the good I have been blessed with in my life.”
Kingeter has a new outlook on life following her two separate cancer scares a few years ago. She is currently a two-time renal cell carcinoma cancer survivor and has been able to adapt to the curveballs thrown her way throughout the journey. Her positive mindset and approach, coupled with her ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, has made her understand what is truly most important in life, and the importance of “letting the little stuff go.”
“One of the most important lessons I want my kiddos to know is that nothing is permanent,” said Kingeter. “If they are having a bad day today, tomorrow is going to be different. I am always there for them, and through the years, they have taken me up on that statement. I have had students come tell me they were contemplating suicide, that their home life was that bad, or that they were hungry or without stable homes. Helping students through these difficult times is a privilege.”
While middle schoolers may think their lives are destined to turn out one particular way, Kingeter is there to reassure them that changing course and direction is acceptable and a part of life. It certainly was for her during her battles with cancer.
“Having a ‘Plan B’ is one of my favorite life lessons,” said Kingeter. “Be flexible, adaptable, and ready with an alternative plan for anything critical. I let them know when I am personally using a ‘Plan B’ and why. Once we’re all able to get over the initial shock of things not going the way we want, we often times find our work is even better than it would have been before.”
While she was sick, Kingeter’s students collaborated and wrote her individual letters. Each day she would receive a different letter, along with prayers of encouragement from all faiths based on her students’ individual beliefs. With children of her own, Kingeter’s family was fed from the meal train her students’ parents organized. It was a blessing and an experience that she’ll hold near and dear to her heart as she continues her teaching journey for years to come.
“I have a passion for making sure my students are ready to learn when they step into my classroom,” said Kingeter. “If their basic needs are not met, they cannot learn the way they should. Making sure each student has food, clothing and shelter is so important and it brings me great joy to see a student who has been food insecure, or without shoes that fit, have those necessities met. It is a blessing for me to find a winter coat for a child who is cold, or buy a pair of soccer boots for a child who might not be able to play otherwise.”
In addition to being named a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for the month of June, Kingeter has also been recognized as a two-time “Teacher of the Year” honoree as well as the “Kansas Middle Level Art Teacher of the Year.” She also stays in contact with former students and has been invited to numerous graduation parties, weddings, baby showers, dance recitals, soccer games, and more.
“Robin displays unparalleled compassion for families, students, and staff,” said her nominator, Michelle Sutton. “She is the most compassionate, empathetic, and kind-hearted person I have had the pleasure of knowing, and is an angel to many, and a blessing to all with whom she comes in contact with. She sets aside her own needs to put others first. Having overcome renal cancer and a recurrence of it, she has not lamented her own mortality but used it as a springboard to live life to its fullest and never waiver when it is time to help a student, friend, colleague, or even a stranger in need.”
“Recognizing teachers who go above and beyond for their students only scratches the surface when describing the impact Robin has made in her local community,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Her ability to remain strong and determined while overcoming two battles with cancer is inspiring to all. The outcry of love and support from her students, faculty, and community members further demonstrates why she is a well-deserving Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for the month of June. Congratulations, Robin!”
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans will continue to be recognized monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games this season. Fans are encouraged to nominate teachers and students who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities.
Blue KC supports the Kansas City community through impactful sports partnership programs.
Blue KC Sporting Samaritan Program