Number of years you’ve been teaching:
Number of years you’ve been teaching for Nevada:
42 years in the Nevada Community Schools
What positions have you held at Nevada and what is your current job that you will retire from?
I was first employed as a reading specialist and held that position for 10 years. For the past 32 years I have been a second-grade teacher. I also taught summer school for many years teaching first-graders through middle school.
What other school districts did you teach in previous to Nevada?
The first year after I graduated from Iowa State University, I was a substitute teacher in various Story County schools.
Where were you raised and what did you love about your upbringing and schools you attended?
I was born and raised in Ames. I had a strong farm family background. My parents believed in hard work, respect and responsibility, and instilled those qualities in all five of their children.
I’m an Iowa State University graduate and an avid fan. I have lived my whole life in Story County.
Why did you go into teaching/education? Did someone influence you?
I decided I wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed working with children and I wanted a job that would be challenging, rewarding and would be different every day. Many people influenced me. Two of my sisters were in education, as well as several relatives. Several of my elementary teachers, my high school American Literature teacher and high school science teachers also had an influence on my decision.
If you had chosen another career, what might that have been?
I had considered being a physical therapist.
What have you loved most about your time at Nevada Schools?
Each year, I looked forward to a new set of students and we became close throughout the year. Not only did they learn from me, but I learned a great deal from them. It is always a thrill to see “the light bulb come on” when students understand a concept or skill you are trying to teach. I am amazed at the many things children have said to me throughout my career — some humorous and others heartbreaking. So many children will hold a special place in my heart. I have enjoyed getting to know many of the families I have had throughout my career. Many of my students are now children of my former students.
I have developed deep friendships with many of the teachers at Central. We have become a very close family. We are there for each other through good times and bad.
What was the biggest challenge you faced over the years?
The change in curriculum — we have more to teach the students and the same amount of time to do it. We are now expected to teach many social skills that were once taught at home. The increased testing of students also takes away from the time I can spend teaching.
Another challenge has been to teach children that speak very little English. They often are dedicated to learning and eager to adapt to a new culture. I am not fluent in a foreign language, but we have a wonderful ESL teacher to help both the students and the teachers.
Do you have any advice for those thinking about this profession or just starting out in the profession?
If you decide to be a teacher, make sure it is your passion. It requires a dedication that is different from many other professions. You will spend many countless hours working on lessons, making learning fun and interesting, and being concerned about all of your students.
Who are the family members you will now enjoy spending more time with?
I will be spending time with my husband Alan. I also will be spending time with my sister, my brother and his family, and my husband’s family.
What activities do you hope to pursue in retirement?
I plan on doing many things: traveling with my husband, reading, cooking, gardening and developing some new hobbies.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I have enjoyed teaching in the Nevada Schools with such wonderful teachers and staff.
I am currently teaching with three of my former students—Shelby Myers, Kedra Hamilton and Maggie Davis.
In my teaching career, I have worked with over 1,400 students and I always try to remember them. I may not recognize their face because they change a great deal from second grade to adulthood, but if they tell me their name, I bet I will remember them. It is always a joy to hear from parents and/or former students and to find out what they are currently doing in their life.