Every weekday morning, P.E. teacher and track coach Lisa Painter greets the elementary students of Kansas City Christian School as they get out of their parents’ cars. Carrying her signature smile, she makes sure that the students are welcomed to the building for the day and are received by a friendly face.
“If my children aren’t ready for the day at school, that all changes when they see Ms. Painter open the van door when we arrive,” said Kyle Anderson, a KCC parent and former student.
For the past 28 years, Painter has had the same mission: to impact the lives of students, not just on a skill level as their P.E. teacher or coach, but also at the heart level. The daughter of a track coach herself, Painter holds tightly to the words of her father who told her, “Your life can outlast you when you weave it into the lives of others.”
“The best part about teaching is being able to invest in my students,” said Painter, also a mother of four. “The standards I set for them are life lessons they can use in college and marriage and that they can eventually pass on to their children.”
Among others, Painter focuses on encouraging three main values in her students:
- Be a leader, not a follower.
- Always maintain your integrity and do what is right.
- Find your passion and give 100 percent.
“Ms. Painter deeply cares about the lives of her students and impacts them physically, emotionally and academically,” said Anderson. “She’s one teacher who will always be remembered by her students.”
For Anderson and his family, the ties with Painter run especially deep. When he and his wife found themselves in a situation in which they wouldn’t be able to pick up their son Luke at normal dismissal time two days a week, Painter willingly stayed after with him until his parents could arrive. Through the extra time, Painter built a bond with Luke that enabled her to speak additional words of encouragement and inspiration into his young heart.
“Ms. Painter has become family to us,” said Anderson. “She will always be very special to us because of the time, energy and love she has poured into our kids, especially Luke.”
Knowing that Painter was an avid fan of Sporting Kansas City, Anderson went online and nominated her to be honored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Sporting KC. And in April 2018, his submission paid off when Painter was selected as the second Blue KC Sporting Samaritan of the season.
“It’s an honor,” said Painter. “I’m extremely humbled and blessed.”
With Blue KC Sporting Samaritans being honored monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games, fans are encouraged to nominate students and teachers like Painter who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at https://www.sportingkc.com/bluekc.