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Katherine Toews Staff Photo
Ms.  Katherine  Toews
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Ms. Toews graduated from Atascadero High School with honors. Later she attended USC, graduating with honors with a dual degree in English Literature and French Language and Literature. She also holds a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.

Prior to beginning her assignment at Santa Maria High School, Ms. Toews taught English as a second language in Germany from 2002 - 2006, and in Turkey from 2006 - 2012. She herself is fluent in French, German and Turksh, and is passionate about language.

When not teaching, grading or planning, Ms. Toews is happiest on a hiking trail or curled up with a good book.  Preferably both. Camping, anyone?

Ms. Toews received her Secondary Teaching Credential from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


Ms. Toews has a long history of connecting with people from other cultures, languages and races. As a child, her family moved to Saudi Arabia, where she spent four years at an international school, making friends from all over the world. Later, as a student of French at USC, she continued her studies of French in France. Following graduation from USC, Ms. Toews worked in the travel industry in Los Angeles, serving an exclusively French market. Several years later, she moved to San Francisco and began a stint in the tech industry, where she filled many roles at a start-up company, from secretary to accountant to graphic designer and website manager. But her childhood had planted the seeds of internationalism, and there remained an unscratched itch which grew too great to be ignored. After four years in the tech sector, Ms. Toews bought a one-way ticket to Germany with the aim of learning German and perhaps landing a teaching job. This she did, and after four years in Germany, she was well-versed in German and on the way to having an established teaching career.  In 2006, she moved with her partner to Izmir, Turkey, where she immersed herself in the Turkish language, culture and customs - and continued her teaching career at a private Turkish elementary school (fourth and fifth grade). Although the six years she spent in Turkey were fantastic, at some point Ms. Toews concluded it was time to come home. She bought a one-way ticket back to San Luis Obispo and enrolled in Cal Poly with the aim of completing her California teaching credential. A year later, she had her provisional teaching credential and was hired on by the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. Two years later, Ms. Toews now holds a clear California teaching credential. More importantly, she has had her heart profoundly touched by the warmth and humor of her students, and is pleased to now call SMHS home.