Number of years you’ve been teaching: 40! It went by so amazingly fast!

Number of years you’ve been teaching for North Polk: 33

What positions have you held at North Polk and what is your current job that you will retire from?

I was the only special ed teacher at West for 17 years, and have spent the last 16 years as a member of the West Special Education team.

What other school districts did you teach in previous to North Polk?

I taught special education my first year in Woodbine. After that, I was a special education teacher in Mason City for seven years.

Where were you raised and what did you love about your upbringing and schools you attended?

I was raised in Carroll. I loved everything about my upbringing. I went to the same school for all 12 years and had a large, supportive loving family.

Why did you go into teaching/education? Did someone influence you?

I went into education because it seemed natural. I loved school, loved reading, loved learning, loved to please my teachers. I went into special education because I had two family members with special needs and I loved finding ways to help them be successful. My philosophy of teaching was influenced by my mother, who always taught me that everything starts with feeling safe and loved in your life.

If you had chosen another career, what might that have been?

I’ve never thought about it, since this just seemed the natural course of my life. It would be wonderful though, in 2017 to be starting a new career because there are so many exciting things to choose from. I still think I’d choose education, but I would also love to have studied clouds and weather, and I love technology.

What have you loved most about your time at North Polk Schools?

I’ve had the most wonderful students every single year. I have students for multiple years, so I get a chance to know them and watch them grow and see them discover what they are capable of. I love that I’ve gotten a chance to be a part of their lives. I remember all of them and am so happy when I hear about their successes as adults.

What was the biggest challenge you faced over the years?

Balancing family and school, when my own kids were small and going through elementary and high school.

Do you have any advice for those thinking about this profession or just starting out in the profession?

My advice would be to open your mind and learn everything you can from the teachers who have experience. Share all of your newly learned knowledge and strategies, while you soak up everything you can from the people who have gone ahead of you.

Who are the family members you will now enjoy spending more time with?

My two granddaughters! They are the loves of my life. And my husband too, of course.

What activities do you hope to pursue in retirement?

Some people retire and go traveling and adventuring, my husband and I are so thrilled to be moving in order to take care of our sweet granddaughters. I also am so looking forward to just doing simple things, like going to Target or the grocery store on a Tuesday morning.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I want to thank the administrators, my colleagues and the community members of the North Polk School District for being a part of our lives for the last 33 years. I have enjoyed all of the things I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve encountered, both as a teacher and as a parent in the district.