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Kindergarten Crew Teacher
Meet Ms. Bethany!
While the author is unknown, not a truer thing could be said for teaching than, "A great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart!"
We, as parents, hand our babies over to Kindergarten teachers to have those teacher’s help ease them into school. They wipe tears, comfort troubled minds, encourage independence, handle their share of “Kleenex” moments and love each student with all their hearts! Whether they realize it or not, they’re teaching so much more than phonics and figures. They’re inspiring young minds when they’re most open to seeing their potential. They take the babies who walk into their classroom each fall and turn them into big kids who are equipped and excited to tackle the next 12 years. Those classrooms are where it all begins, and REMS is blessed to have Ms. Bethany and her team in one of our Kindie Crews.
Ms. Bethany grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and is an avid Cubs fan. Both her parents were teachers and as a child she wanted to be a teacher as well. She surprised everyone and broke the mold as she went to the University of IL and received her degree in Business. For 20 years she worked in the hospitality, restaurant and hotel management industries. In 1999 she took a job in a restaurant here in CO and that is where she met her sweetheart, Jeff. They have been married for 17 years and have 3 children. Alex who is 26 and lives in OK, JJ who is 16, and Josh who is 13. Bethany and Jeff are thrilled to become grandparents for the first time this Fall!
Bethany started her career in REMS like most of us do. As a mom with kids in school, she wanted to be involved. She started volunteering in the library 11 years ago, participated in voyages, and helped out in other areas in the school. She had been a stay at home mom for 9 years when she decided to get back into the work force but did not want to go back into the restaurant business. She received her teaching license and began working as a substitute teacher in the District. “I learned very quickly that I loved working with the little ones in school. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades were where my heart was.” She subbed as much as she could in Renaissance as both her kids were students in the school at that time. She says, “I loved the culture and being able to be on the same schedule as my kids during the day.” When an opportunity to work full time in REMS opened, she took it. She started as an Instructional aide in the Kindergarten crew 7 years ago! As with all schools, changes are inevitable, so when the Kindergarten teacher position was posted, Bethany jumped at the chance to receive her alternative licensure which would allow her to be the main teacher in one of the Kindergarten crews. Working and going to school at the same time kept her busy but she is “so grateful for the opportunity to find my passion, my second career in mid-life. One of the things I love most about Kindergarten, they are so full of joy and wonder all of the time. Everything is new and exciting!” said Bethany. “Being a wife and a mother is my main purpose, and teaching feeds my soul.”
“As a teacher one of my biggest goals is that every child feels safe and loved and happy when they come to school. I feel like we really set the foundation in Kindergarten for them to have that for the rest of their school careers.”
With her sons now at middle school and high school, she shared that, “Both kids are thriving beyond the walls of Renaissance. They are taking what they have learned here and applying it to middle school and beyond. The foundation they received here has given them a true sense of self, empathy for others, and confidence in tackling new challenges. I am so grateful for this community and all that it has given my family.”
When asked what Bethany loves about Renaissance, she responded: “Renaissance is an experience like none other. There is a community that does not exist anywhere else. We take care of our school, each other and each person is invested in the well being of the next. We push our students to go on voyages and bond as crews. We teach them that they can conquer mountains, literally and figuratively, while caring for each other. That attitude will be with them the rest of their lives and will reach far into their communities.”
During the summer months you can find Bethany and her family out hiking and in the mountains. They have a Jeep and spend a lot of time checking new areas out. Bethany has been to 47 of the 50 states: Oregon, Washington and Alaska are all that is left. “We love road trips and really enjoy seeing as much of the country as we can. We especially love to find off the beaten path places, explore National Parks and overall, adventuring with our family.”
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