BEHIND THE SCENES AT KOLBE: “MEET THE CHAIR” MR. WES STRATMAN
MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR AND INSTRUCTOR
Kolbe Academy is proud to have such a talented and hardworking team helping us serve our families. Today we want to highlight Kolbe Mathematics Department Chair and Instructor, Mr. Wes Stratman.
A chair is a piece of furniture that often is not consciously noticed but is always there for support for the person who needs it. That is how Mr. Stratman approaches leadership and is happy to serve in a position titled department “chair”.
Mr. Weston Stratman graduated from the University of Missouri with a dual major in Mathematics and Statistics. He holds a graduate certification from Creighton University in Catholic School Leadership, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Catholic School Leadership from the University of Dallas. Wes taught mathematics and was the original Director of the House System at a Catholic High school in Columbia, Missouri. In addition to teaching high schoolers, youth ministry and faith leadership development have been two of his passions. Reading the works of Catholic authors and mystery novelists is one way he spends his limited leisure time, and he adores spending time with his beautiful wife and three daughters.
We sat down for a Q&A session to get to know Mr. Stratman a bit better…
What is your favorite part about working at Kolbe Academy?
Kolbe Academy is truly a community of faith. Kolbe teachers strive to form our students by providing a rigorous and challenging environment without losing the care for the overall well-being and spiritual growth of the individual. I have felt that same care as a teacher and department chair from the administrators and all my fellow colleagues. It is a safe place for all of us to be vulnerable in our progress educationally, professionally, and in pursuit of holiness.
Where are you from and where do you call home today?
I live in Columbia, Missouri, home of my alma mater University of Missouri (Go Tigers!). Our relatively rural diocese in mid-Missouri has produced four of our current Kolbe online teachers including my father, Dr. Gregory Stratman! My first experience in Catholic education was at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School here in Columbia. It was an amazing experience to learn about the life of Venerable Augustus Tolton, who was born into slavery and became the nation’s first African-American priest. I would love for the Kolbe community to join me in praying that his case for sainthood advances!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have always loved video games—especially since my parents wouldn’t let me own a game system until I graduated 8th grade. I have recently started passing that love on to my daughters (ages 3, 6, and 9). We have been playing Mario Party 3 recently on my old Nintendo GameCube!
Who is your patron or favorite saint and why?
My devotion to the Holy Family and St. Joseph has increased steadily beginning with the birth of my oldest daughter, Gabrielle (named for archangel Gabriel who may have been the angel that visited Joseph). More recently I have been moved by Ascension Press advent meditations on the Holy Family. I especially am drawn to a sculpture called “A Quiet Moment”, which is a beautiful glimpse into a peaceful moment the Holy Family may have shared together with St. Joseph’s arms wrapped around the two preciously perfect gifts God entrusted him. Fatherhood is such a beautiful gift, and I often joyfully ask St. Joseph to pray for me in my vocational role as father.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I was recently reminded of a time in college that I won a pizza-eating contest at a local buffet. I long for the days of that metabolism. I ate 25 slices that afternoon. Then, after a good-sized nap, I had some rotisserie chicken for dinner. Now, my stomach hurts just thinking about it!
How do you begin your workday each morning?
Mostly, it’s coffee 😊 Apart from that, I get to take my oldest two daughters to school. We often play games or listen to music and sing together. After dropping them off, the ride home is a great chance to hype myself up for the day with some upbeat Christian tunes or else a beautiful time for some intentional silent prayer while taking in the beauty of creation under the rising sun.
Thank you, Mr. Stratman, for dedicating your talents and service to our Kolbe families and students. May the Lord bless you and your family in this journey of fatherhood, and as Kolbe department “chair” and instructor.
Mary, our mother, pray for us.
Saint Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us.
Is there a favorite teacher, advisor, or Kolbe faculty member that you’d like to see on our Staff Spotlight series? Send us an email to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud and thankful for our wonderful team!