Kristen Bogeajis, or “Miss Bo,” has a personal mission at Metro School - to find what makes students and staff glow. Her biggest passion is building school community and culture, and Bogeajis has implemented several systems to do just that from “Tiger Scouts” to “Glow Worms” to “Glow Scouts.”
Recognition is important to Bogeajis in the context of building school culture because it allows those who give recognition feel joy when they give it, those who receive recognition feel acknowledged and valued and bystanders are more likely to speak up when they see someone else glowing. “I hope (my students) remember all of the things that I have done to help them find what makes them glow,” she said. “And I hope they remember they are what makes me glow.”
Bogeajis considers her journey to teaching as a “series of choices.” First, she chose to become a licensed cosmetologist following her guidance counselor’s advice since he thought she wouldn’t be successful in college. She then chose to get a degree in communications sciences and disorders – a degree to honor her late father who was a speech and debate coach.
Bogeajis then chose to complete a professional internship at Walt Disney World where a fellow cast member told her she should be a kindergarten teacher. She then chose to start substituting and ultimately chose to work in every grade level K-12 and nearly every school in Pasco County, Florida.
“I chose to devote myself to working with students who needed my support and advocacy,” she said. “I chose to be a teacher because I am a relentless advocate for anybody who needs me and a relentless advocate for equity for all students with different abilities.” Now, Bogeajis is a third-fifth grade Specialized Academic Curriculum for Exceptional Children teacher at Metro School and the Teacher of the Year finalist for the Central 2 Learning Community.
Metro School Principal Fermandi Dyson said Bogeajis’ dedication to Metro School has allowed them to create unique experiences for students in a collaborative manner that includes all staff. “Ms. Bo is an extraordinary, magical teacher,” she said. “She understands the importance of bringing classroom instruction to life for our students with special abilities. Her optimistic approach to supporting the Metro School vision is contagious, and her hard work and commitment is greatly appreciated. Ms. Bo is a gem.”
Bogeajis hopes that her students remember her – and other teachers – as a safe place, and a being in their life who took a personal, vested interest in their happiness and success.