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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Oaks Classical Christian Academy: Avid reader Samantha Tate plan to bring love of kids to future teaching career

Samantha Tate of The Oaks High School is one of eight siblings and plans to attend New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho.  (Courtesy)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Samantha Tate demanded as a young child that her mother teach her how to read. She’s still an avid reader who loves to reread favorite novels as well as explore new ones.

“I’ve always loved reading, from when I was really little,” she said.

Tate was 7 when her family moved from Florida to Spokane so her father could take a job as a teacher at Oaks Classical Christian Academy. Like her other seven siblings, ranging in age from 7 to 25, Tate was home-schooled by her mother in her younger years. She began attending Oaks Academy in the eighth grade, though the school already felt like home.

“I’ve grown up here,” she said. “I knew all the teachers. I love it. It’s pretty great.”

That love of reading has stood her well in academics. When she has time, she often goes to pull a book off the shelf to read, even if it’s something she’s read before.

“Since we were home-schooled, we have a huge selection of books,” she said.

She’s unable to pin down a favorite author, though she’s particularly fond of books by C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and Orson Scott Card.

She’s tried her hand at several hobbies. When she was younger, she enjoyed reading so much that she figured she should try writing.

“I wrote a lot of little short stories when I was little that were really bad,” she said.

She also played the piano for a while, which she enjoyed, but said she wasn’t very good. She said one of her four sisters has the musical talent in the family.

“I love listening to music,” she said.

Tate has played on her school’s volleyball team for the last three years, which she says she does for fun.

It’s Tate’s attitude that makes her stand out, said Director of College and Career Counseling Lynn Gibson.

“Samantha’s legacy at our K-12 Academy will be her cheerful spirit and her love for kids,” she said. “Her family has shaped her optimism and she exudes gratitude for them, as well as for her school and church communities. At school, younger Oaks students view Samantha as a mentor and role model.”

Tate plans to get a degree in liberal arts at tiny New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, where two of her older siblings live. Though she wants to marry and have a family, Tate said she’d also like to be a teacher.

“I love working with kids and will hopefully get into teaching,” she said.

Tate said she loves playing with and talking to young children.

“They’re just so funny,” she said. “They say the randomest things and think of the weirdest things and they just tell you. They have no filter. It’s so much fun to talk to them and figure out what’s going on in their head.”