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Column: Oregon to Minnesota - New WCS teacher says 'why not?'

WORTHINGTON -- It was a moderately warm afternoon when I first stepped out of my car here in Worthington, exactly two months ago from today. My mom and I had left behind the rest of my family in Salem, Ore., and drove roughly 1,700 miles to arrive without a hitch here in town.

As I looked up and down Oxford Street., a sense of excitement and nervousness rose suddenly like two tidal waves inside my mind and seemingly crashed into each other, much like the waves do against the rock strewn seashore along the Oregon Coast back home. Within 10 minutes of arriving, I knew it was time to begin a new chapter of my life in a foreign town with unknown faces but two known facts. One was that I was told my job as the fifth-and sixth-grade teacher at Worthington Christian was a great place to begin my teaching career, as well as the fact that I was going to love it here. And by the end of the day, I knew that both of these things were indeed true.

When many people meet me, their first question to me is "You're from Oregon? Well, why Worthington?" To this often-heard inquiry, my instinctive response is "why not?" but my actual response involves some background about my life.

Yes, I was born and raised in Salem, Ore., but after graduating from high school, I decided to go to a small private college that some of you may have heard of, located in northwest Iowa: Dordt College. It was there that I decided to become a teacher and, within four years, I graduated (this past May) with a degree in elementary education and a reading minor.

After returning home to my younger brother and loving parents, I began the long and arduous journey that many post college grads experience: the job search. After about a month of filling out page after page applications for teaching positions from all over the country, my search abrubtly came to a skidding halt the day I received an email stating that I was offered a contract with Worthington Christian. After much consideration and prayer, I realized that this is where God wanted me to be, and the rest is history.

My new job so far at Worthington Christian has been a terrific whirlwind of learning the ropes, connecting with students and facing challenging situations that are all involved with the wonderful experience of first-year teaching. During a regular week of teaching, I teach fifth- and sixth-graders multiple subjects, seventh- and eighth-graders English, Literature and Geography as well as Technology/Library for grades 3-6.

Every Tuesday I look forward to Chapel and worship as a whole school; this time is definitely the highlight of my workweek. I am looking forward to the many school events that our school puts on, including the Soup Supper and Music Festival and any other opportunities to have the community and school interact.

Aside from school, when I am not teaching, I love spending time exploring the town, walking around the lake, meeting new people and just having downtime to take a break from the busyness of life.

Here's to a fantastic year at WCS!