Celebrating FC Women | Kea Deppe shapes future teachers with experience [Cover]

Kea Deppe guides her education students with knowledge from her travels and makes them part of her family.

Deppe joined Franklin College as a new professor in the education department, while the college pursues reaccreditation.

She said the education department is special because as students within the major move through courses the faculty get to know them really well.

“I like getting to know more about the students, what's going on in their lives and helping them, you know, hopefully, become a teacher someday,” Deppe said.

The little things

Deppe’s students said additional things she does both inside and out of the classroom help make them feel comfortable and loved.

“She always does the little things to let her students know she cares about them. She brought me a little goodie bag to just let me know she was thinking about me before going into my surgery,” sophomore Maddie Holmer said. “I really appreciate how she has made me feel like I have a professor that truly cares about me and my education.”

Sophomore Savanna Van Hoy said the extra ways she tries to connect and engage with the students make them feel special.

“She is so thoughtful. She genuinely cares for every single one of her students,” Van Hoy said. “She’s written me personal notes and gives out candy during class. She makes her lessons really engaging and fun to listen to.”

Sophomore Brittany Bryant said because of COVID restrictions limiting what they can do in class, Deppe came up with the idea of “Dinner at the Deppes” where she allots spaces for three students to join her family for dinner on Thursdays.

“She has gone above and beyond not only for her students but students she knows from outside the college,” Bryant said. “Outside of class, she is super super understanding and always there if you need someone to talk to.”

Along with the nice incentives, students said Deppe goes the extra mile to create a great learning environment.

“Professor Deppe is one of the kindest, nicest, and most caring professors I have had,” Holmer said. “She has always made me feel comfortable in her classroom and is always willing to help her students in order to help them get the best education possible.”

Sophomore Grace Laker said because students know she cares about them outside of the classroom too, they know she is there to help and support them.

“I think professor Deppe sets a great example of what she expects in her students,” Laker said. “She goes out of her way for the success of her students. She makes her classes fun to go to, and creates a great learning environment.”

“Kea Deppe is one of my favorite professors at Franklin. Her teaching style allows everyone to be engaged and openly ask questions,” sophomore Yajaira Quezada said. “She consistently goes out of her way to make her students feel loved and heard. Professor Deppe is the embodiment of what Franklin wants to represent and I’m very grateful to have had her classes.”

Learning through experiencing

Deppe said her favorite things to do outside of the classroom are traveling, doing anything crafty or artistic like painting, cooking, and baking.

Deppe is definitely a seasoned traveler.

After graduating college, she and her roommates backpacked across Europe for six weeks while they rode trains and visited 10 countries and several major cities.

She said on this trip she was bit by the travel bug and has loved doing it ever since.

Deppe said studying abroad in Lithuania during graduate school, was really interesting because of the differences between the school systems.

The bug must have a strong bite because now her whole family loves joining her on trips.

“We have a family rule that wherever we are, we eat whatever their food is like we try everything,” Deppe said.

Their most recent big adventure was to Iceland for her son’s senior trip. The Deppe family rented a camper and drove around Iceland for 10 days.

During their time in Iceland, Deppe said the family ate lots of candies because Icelanders are big sweet fanatics. She said they also visited a market where they ate lots of seafood because Iceland is an island with a surplus of fish.

This summer, Deppe and her daughter want to visit Australia. Her daughter, a junior in high school, has been raising money with her Girl Scout troop for years to go on this trip.

Deppe wants to make it to six of the seven continents. After this trip, she will have marked three off the list.

The family is already discussing where to go next.

She said it is incredibly important to her and her husband that their children travel and see the world.

“We want our kids to travel; we're pretty much requiring them when they go to college to do some sort of a travel time,” Deppe said.

Deppe said eventually she wants to find a way to combine her love of travel with teaching students how to be the best teachers possible through a study abroad trip.

“Something I'd really like to do is figure out how to do one of these travel trips for Immersive Term so I think that'd be really fun,” she said. “One of these days I’m excited to be able to work with the travel department and get that all setup.”

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