Alumni Highlight: Rob Kittrell

Rob Kittrell

Alumni Highlight: Rob Kittrell

Rob Kittrell

About Rob

  • BA Special Education

What drew you to pursuing a career in education and why did you choose the University of Nevada, Reno, and the College of Education & Human Development? 

I attended and graduated from Sparks High in 1987 and had wonderful mentors that guided and helped me become a good student and a better person. After graduating from High School, I had coached a 5th grade elementary school basketball team and I realized how rewarding it was to work and help young students. At that moment I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Nevada was an easy choice as it was my hometown University and I had grown up watching Wolf Pack football and basketball.

What were your favorite traditions at UNR? 

As a child and as a student, I spent many afternoons at Mackey Stadium watching Chris Ault coaching football teams. There is not a more scenic campus or stadium than Nevada's in the fall. Walking to the stadium and taking in the picturesque fall setting in old Northwest Reno knowing that we were about to witness another Nevada victory.

How did your education in the College of Education & Human Development contribute to your career and life journey? 

I had many wonderful professors at the University of Nevada that cared about you as a student. Specifically Dr's Baer, Cheyney, and Templeton. All three professors were very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, but they also were readily available for guidance and assistance. They showed a great passion for their subject matter and cared deeply about producing teachers that cared for their students.

What are you most proud of in your professional life? 

I'm most proud of the relationships I have built with my students and players. There is nothing more rewarding when you run into a former student out in the community and they get a big smile on their face and say thank you for helping them. It is very rewarding to know that you had an impact on a student's life.

What advice would you give to students following in your footsteps today? 

The importance of relationships with students. Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Teach them, do not grade them.

What has been a recent meaningful moment for you in your teaching? We are calling these “Moments that Matter”.  

This year I have become the discipline dean at Sparks High School. I have created numerous relationships with difficult students. I have been able to create a safe and trusting environment in which students can come and talk if they are having conflict issues with teachers and staff so that we can work through it before it escalates into a behavior.

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Student on the front lawn of the William Raggio Building
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