I grew up on my family’s dairy farm in Fond du Lac County and attended UW-Oshkosh where I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. Recently, I started my 13th year of teaching social studies at Berlin High School. On weekends and during the summer, I also help on the farm. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening and home projects.
When you were growing up what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger but I decided education was the path for me when I took a class in high school to become a daycare teacher.
What are some of the challenges you face as a teacher?
Student apathy is challenging to deal with because it is contagious in a classroom. It’s difficult for some students to see the value in education, so they give into the distractions around them.
Over the years, I have had a number of former students reach out to let me know that my classes helped them decide what they wanted to do with their lives. I also developed our economics curriculum and pushed that at least six weeks of the semester was spent on financial literacy.
I enjoyed participating in the YFA Discussion Meet because it provided a great opportunity to meet other members from all around the state. I enjoyed digging into the topics that the questions brought up.
What is one agricultural experience that has defined you?
Raising calves on my family’s farm. From eighth grade until I was hired full-time at Berlin, I was responsible for caring for the calves. It taught me that what you do and how you do it matters. It isn’t calves anymore, but my students rely on me to bring my best every day.
What is one Farm Bureau experience that you are most proud of?
Being responsible for the Farm Bureau booth at the Alto Fair gives me the opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life to agriculture.
What is something that many Farm Bureau members do not know about you?
I built and landscaped my patio almost entirely by myself.
Is there anything else that you want to add?
Recently, I completed my 15th year as a counselor with the American Legion Auxiliary Badger Girls State program, a program teaches junior girls in each state about government by conducting a simulation of the three levels of state government.
Column appeared in the February | March 2023 Rural Route.