Kat Ahrens - Vermont Commons School Skip to main content

Kat Ahrens

Math Department Chair, Co-Director of Encounter Week Program (on leave through end of 2022-23 school year) - Appointed 2017

Best VCS Moment

Crawling on my belly at 9 pm through a foot of fresh snow over a frozen pond in an epic snow storm with my headlight turned off, so as not to be seen, while trying to make it to the woods to find the other team’s flag (lantern). That moment of Encounter Week had all of my favorite parts of VCS: adventure, fun, thrill, competition, joy, laughter, risk, and being outdoors.

Interests and Hobbies

I enjoy playing volleyball, hiking with my dog, biking, skiing, and traveling with my husband.

Inspirational Quote

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Brief Biography

I was fortunate to grow up in the beautiful state of Colorado before finding my home away from home in Burlington, VT while attending UVM. Fresh out of college I began my teaching career at Mount Abraham Union High School teaching middle school math. It was there that I realized my passion for differentiated instruction and creating an atmosphere of fun and joy in a classroom where the content so often creates stress and anxiety. Joy in math comes from being challenged, discovering new patterns, solving a problem, and being given the support to find success. After four years at Mount Abraham, I married my husband Jake, traveled for a few months, and then moved back home to Colorado to teach at Altona Middle School and play in the Rocky Mountains. I am thrilled that life brought us back to Vermont, and me to VCS, where I get to teach enthusiastic learners who push and challenge my own understanding of mathematical concepts, while also getting to pursue my passion for outdoor education. Getting to teach students challenging math concepts after backcountry skiing with them for a week in the Gaspe Peninsula creates an atmosphere of trust, camaraderie, and learning that cannot be replicated any other way. 

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

Students emerge from their time at Vermont Commons School intrinsically motivated to seek out their role for improving the world, with the skills and competencies to do so.