Teacher Feature: Mr. Rogers


Mr. Kip Rogers is a science teacher at West Po. He teaches freshman Environmental Science and Biology, as well as AP Environmental Science. This is his 5th year teaching at West Po after being a long-term sub for a year before coming to the school. 

Rogers loves the community at West Po, explaining, “Everyone’s super friendly and super helpful. A lot of us are friends outside of the school day, which is not something I’ve always had at other jobs.”

Not only has Rogers made lots of friends at West Po, but it’s also where he met his wife, Mrs. Pendleton. Rogers started at West Po just teaching freshman biology, and Mrs. Pendleton was also teaching biology, so they started hanging out and hit it off. About a year and a half to two years later, he proposed to her, and she said yes. They had their wedding in June 2020 with a small group of friends and family.

Rogers received his Bachelors of Science degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin before progressing forward to achieve his Masters in Plant Sciences at the University of Delaware. Finally, he has been working on his Masters of Education at the University of Virginia. Rogers especially enjoyed his undergraduate years because of all of the new people he had the chance to meet and the new experience of going to school away from his home in northern Virginia. 

He said, “I liked the campus [and] the cold weather … and I knew I wanted to do something biology related, so it was a very good school for that.”

When it comes to teaching, Rogers had considered the idea for a while, but he did not initially believe he would be a good fit for it, saying, “I didn’t think it [teaching] would be good because I’m generally … a very quiet person. I did not like doing presentations in front of the class and things like that.”

Despite his initial attitude, Rogers kept the idea of teaching in mind because he greatly looked up to science educators like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Carl Sagan. He also believed the skills of teaching would benefit him.

He explained, “I thought being able to take a lot of things I learned and be able to communicate to people would be a really good skill to have and to practice, and I think something that would be useful to a lot of people.”

After finishing grad school, Rogers came back home and looked for lab jobs in the public sector. To make some extra money, he decided to become a substitute teacher because he had some friends who taught and they recommended it to him. He ended up really enjoying the experience and decided to make the switch to pursuing a career in education, leading him first to a job as a long-term sub and then a teacher at West Po.

Rogers loves getting questions from students. They help open his mind up to new ideas and connections he had not previously considered. 

He explained, “Having that opportunity to … go back and reassess some of my prior conceptions or go back and do some more learning … is a really rewarding experience.”

Rogers is the sponsor of the West Po Scholastic Bowl and Science Olympiad. He helps students prepare for competition in trivia-based events in Scholastic Bowl, and he assists students with scientific events in Science Olympiad. For Scholastic Bowl, he loves the variety of discussions he has.

He discussed, “That’s [Scholastic Bowl] … a lot of fun conversations to be had because I spend most of my day talking about science, so it’s nice to hear some … questions from students about history, literature, or movies.”

In Science Olympiad, Rogers enjoys seeing the students combine their interests when they compete. He explained that some students have a certain area of science that they focus on and are enthusiastic about because they plan to use it after high school. With all the different events, the students have the opportunity to combine their interests to help the team earn points.

Outside of school, Rogers enjoys cycling with his father when he can find the time, saying, “He’s [Rogers’s father] always been into that. He’s much faster … so I lag behind a little bit, but that is something I’d like to get more into.”