When Kathy Christiansen’s husband, Jack, accepted a teaching and coaching job at North Polk in 1986, he brought his family along. They’d been living in southwest Iowa.

It turned out to be a good move for Kathy, too, who has been employed by the North Polk Schools for 28 years. She is currently the high school counselor, and she’ll retire at the end of the school year.

“Before becoming the high school counselor, I taught middle school and high school science classes,” she said. For a time, Kathy also worked as a substitute teacher and worked part-time at Heartland AEA as an audiometrist.

She has enjoyed her years of working with students. “I enjoy watching students overcome hurdles and challenges and as a result, realize how much strength and grit they have,” she said.

The advice she’d pass along to the next high school counselor, is “remember you’re not teaching a subject; you’re teaching a person.”

Kathy and Jack live on an acreage near Big Creek State Park. They have a daughter, Jodi, who lives with her family near Cedar Rapids, and a son, Todd, who lives with his family in Ankeny.

Kathy said she plans to continue working in the future in some full-time capacity, “but I don’t have definite plans yet.”