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Staff Spotlight: Laurie Wenzel

Aug 31, 2018

Title: Teacher Success Coordinator

Department: Teacher and Principal Success

Hometown: Warrenton, Missouri

How long have you been working at WGU Missouri? 3 years

What did you do before you started at WGU Missouri? District Director, Pattonville School District

What was your proudest moment at WGU Missouri? It is hard to choose one. I had a student who was passing courses at a really fast pace with a past of trauma and chronic illness and complications as a result of the illness. Her family was telling her she was not going to able to be a teacher due to her obstacles and health. I remember telling her that this is a calling if she was able to accelerate as she did overcoming all that she had to endure and that if anyone I’ve ever known was meant to live their dream of becoming a teacher it was her. She finished, graduated and landed several job offers.

What is your favorite thing about working at WGU Missouri? There is a spirit here… of complete positivity and hope. It is undeniable to everyone! I love that! And this spirit has been created in an organization where most of us have little to no physical proximity contact with colleagues. That is magical to me!

What has surprised you most about working for WGU Missouri? A spirit of excellence permeates through the university and makes us all want to work hard. Building that in an online learning environment is rare.

What was your first job? My first job out of college was as a special education teacher in St. Louis county. My first job ever was detasseling corn for DeKalb in my hometown of Marshall, Missouri.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? At first, I wanted to be a secretary like my mom. I liked all the gadgets she got to use. But once I volunteered for MO state Special Olympics when I was 15 years old, I fell in love! I knew I had to surround myself with developmentally disabled folks in my life.

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime? I will be honest, downtime is hard for me. My wiring is such that I work most of the time on something. But when I do take the time, I love hanging out with my family and friends.

If you could learn any skill instantly what would it be? Construction….there are so many cool things to build.

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