Professional Experiences


California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Earned from California State University, Chico over the course of two semesters, awarded Spring of 2019.

Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

Minor in Special Education

Graduated from California State University, Chico in Spring 2018 with a minor in special education. Instead of graduating in four years, I graduated in three through ITEC (Integrated Teacher Education Core), an accelerated program limited to 25 students a year.

Professional Experience

Chico Unified School District

Fine Arts Teacher and First Grade Teacher – Fall 2020 – Current

Monday through Thursday I am a 1st-5th grade fine arts teacher at Sierra View Elementary School, while I am a first grade teacher on Fridays at Parkview Elementary School.

During fine arts, I teach upwards of 60+ students on Zoom at a time, tackling the diverse needs of seventeen classrooms and over 460 students. To keep up with shifting times, I am constantly adapting the way I teach to accommodate student and teacher needs. I build schedules and Google Classrooms that are flexible and organized both for students, their families, and their homeroom teachers. I constantly communicate with all groups, sending out weekly newsletters and replying promptly to questions, concerns, or comments. I allow time for sharing art in-class and on Flipgrid.

For fine arts, I maintain a separate website, Fine Arts with Katie Cordy as well as the YouTube channel Art with Katie Cordy. I create weekly lessons and lectures using Adobe Premiere Pro with a touch of Photoshop through materials I have either designed myself, or through commercial-use, royalty-free stock images, audio, and videos.

I focus on creating succinct lessons that not only educate but allow students to express their creativity. Rather than guiding them step-by-step through a lesson, I prefer to give them a “base” that they can then customize. For example, I may teach them how to draw a three-dimensional background using layers, but then allow them to fill the environment with whatever school-appropriate ideas they like. The entire class succeeds in learning the same lesson – such as how to use perspective to create landscapes – but each student’s work is unique. One may draw the surface of an alien planet, another may choose to sketch a mysterious, vine-filled forest, and another may desire a farm filled with cute animals.

In the first grade classrooms, I adapt quickly to rapidly changing curriculum, procedures, and schedules. Whether I am teaching in-person or on Zoom, I create vivid, interactive lesson plans that encourage discussion and thinking, rather than leading students to a singular conclusion.

Illustrator – Spring 2015 – Current

In my spare time, I occasionally choose to take on art commissions that interest me. I have repeatedly accepted work from Space Wizard Science Fantasy and have currently illustrated three books for the company: Distant Gardens and the upcoming anthologies Farther Reefs and The World of JUNO.

You can see my portfolio here.

Author – Summer 2022 – Current

In summer of 2022, I was hired by Space Wizard Science Fantasy to write a story for the upcoming anthology The World of Juno, which I also illustrated. Although this is my first published work, it is not the first manuscript I have written. I am currently querying my political intrigue fantasy Name of the King for publication. You can read more about that here.

Curiosity Untamed LLC

Curriculum Consultant and Editor – June 2016 to September 2020

Over the years, I have completed various projects for Curiosity Untamed and its offshoots Frontier Girls and Quest Clubs.  Most recently, I edited, reformatted, and modernized curriculum. This required my skills as an educator, as well as my technological knowledge of WordPress, HTML, CSS, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s Office 365. As an educational consultant, I have been adapting the Frontier Girls, Quest Club, and Curiosity Untamed curriculum for public and charter schools, as well as after school programs, homeschooling, senior centers, and more. In the past, I have also created clip art, written blogs, and created and managed content for six social media sites, using programs such as HootSuite and Adobe Photoshop.

Chico Unified School District, Oroville City Elementary School District, Wildflower Open Classroom, Blue Oak Charter School, Sherwood Montessori

Elementary Substitute Teacher – Spring 2019 – Summer 2020

Before Covid-19 arrived, I substitute taught in two school districts and three charter schools in Butte County, California. I subbed kindergarten through eighth grade, both in single grade classrooms and combination grade classrooms. This included teaching as a full day sub, a half day sub, a roving sub, an emergency sub, and as support staff for teachers who need an extra pair of hands. The classrooms ranged from traditional structure to open classrooms, to schools that specialized in Waldorf or Montessori pedagogy. I also successfully subbed as a 3-5th PE teacher, worked as an instructional aide, and subbed 1st/2nd grade mod/severe special education. 

As a substitute, I aimed to provide efficient instruction while maintaining the classroom’s general routine and management style as much as possible. Many children depend on their daily routine, and I attempted to provide it to them to the best of my ability. I aimed to follow the teacher’s instructions and plans (as it is their classroom), maintain a safe and focused classroom, and remain on schedule.

Elementary Tutor – Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

I provided one-on-one tutoring to students during the course of the school year. Depending on a student’s needs, we would focus on one particular subject or multiple subjects. I remained in communication with their teacher(s) as well as their parents/guardians to ensure personalized, specific instruction based on the child’s strengths and needs. 

Parkview Elementary School

Parent Teacher Organization Childcare Provider – Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Once every two months I provided childcare services during PTO meetings at a local public school. By myself, I cared for and entertained 10-15 children ranging from 22 months to fourth grade. With my trusty mobile classroom (my backpack), I was able to entertain children with games, crafts, songs, and more using a wide range of materials and a mobile speaker.

Sierra View Elementary School

4th Grade Student Teacher (Practicum II) – Spring 2019

During my time in this classroom, I planned and taught whole group, small group, partner, and individual lessons. I improved relations with student family through direct communication. This occurred both in the classroom, as well as during the multiple field trips over the course of the year.

Using my artistic talents, I designed and taught comprehension-based writing prompts with directed draws for whole class novels. These were incredibly popular, and I began doing directed draws during Fun Friday activities.

I also assessed students through I-Ready, Renaissance Star, practice CAASPP tests, and traditional formative and summative assessments. I used these results to help students continually improve by personalizing their education to their needs. I also managed funds, records, and various other paperwork, both physically and digitally.

McManus Elementary School

1st Grade Student Teacher (Practicum I) – Fall 2018

I was accepted into the Triad Project, where with my CT and a local science teacher, I designed, wrote, taught, and published a Next Generation Science Standards unit called The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. My diverse class had six English Language Learners (EL’s), three Individualized Education Plan (IEP) students , and students from varying socio-economic status. To encourage equal opportunities for education, I emphasized writing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) based lesson plans.

Bird In Hand

Salesperson – June 2016 to July 2018

For a little over two years, I worked at a toy and gift store Bird In Hand and the attached National Yo-Yo Museum. I guided the public on purchases of educational gifts and toys personalized to their needs. As many customers were tourists, I became knowledgeable about the attractions, restaurants, and history of the local area. Through the National Yo-Yo Museum, I educated public on the history, use, and types of yo-yo’s for competition and recreation. I pitched, organized, and lead a community-wide model horse event, called a Breyer Fun Day.

Supportive Experience

Reading Excuses

Advanced Member – February 2020 – Current

Reading Excuses is an international writing group brought together by our love of Writing Excuses, a Hugo-award winning writing podcast. In this highly active group, I critique, edit, and offer resources and advice to members of all ages and abilities. This writing group aims towards publishing manuscripts either traditionally or through self-publishing, and includes published authors such as William C. Tracy, J.S. Fields, and Sara Codair.

World Fantasy Convention 2020

Moderator and Panelist – October 2020

I was invited as a moderator and panelist for Artists as Writers due to my abilities both as a writer and an illustrator. I created questions and participated in discussions with multiple author/artists, including Lee Moyer and Kathleen Jennings.

Caring Choices

Volunteer and Section Lead – November 2018

During the Camp Fire, I volunteered through Caring Choices to help at the emergency animal shelter at Chico Municipal Airport. I worked with the National Guard, California VMA’s California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps, and other local and national organizations to care for several hundred dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, and more.

I worked the evening shifts and was always one of the last to leave. My dependability, resourcefulness, and calm composure led to my promotion to section lead, where I was in charge of a team of ever-shifting volunteers and over fifty frightened and often injured dogs.

California State University, Chico

Hands-On Mathematics Lab – Spring 2018

Every class session we had a new group of visiting students from local 3-5th grade classrooms. Since no class is ever the same, I practiced flexibility and in-the-moment decision making each time. In the lab, we used a wide variety of manipulatives to guide and assess learning.

California State University, Chico

CAVE Volunteer – Spring 2015 to Fall 2017

Over the course of two years, I volunteered to teach centers and tutored individual students in six schools, from general to special education, kindergarten through high school. These schools and classrooms varied in their diversity, resources, and socio-economic statuses. Overall, I volunteered over 134 hours through Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE).