"My father was a schoolteacher in Marysville and I really admired him and his career," remembers Kristen Kreiner. "I knew that someday I would become a schoolteacher, too." Kristen never lost sight of her vision, even when her life got full and demanding.
Shortly after graduating from Marysville High School Kristen married and started a family. She enjoyed her job as manager of a clothing store and decided to put her teaching aspirations on hold.
She was working at daughter Mackenzie's pre-school when one of the other parents commented, "You'd be a wonderful teacher." That's all it took. Kristen enrolled at St. Clair County Community College (SC4) in 1997.
"I chose SC4 because it was inexpensive and close to home," Kristen said. The transfer to Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) was smooth via SC4's University Center. Kristen expects to graduate in the spring of 2003 with her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. However, Kristen isn't waiting for graduation to begin educating children. She currently tutors youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade who are struggling with math and reading.
"I like helping kids become successful," she comments. "I believe all children should be given the opportunity to have a positive and rewarding learning experience." Kristen is also self-employed at her cleaning business. Going to college, having a family and working two jobs has not been easy. Kristen's biggest challenge is scheduling her schooling and work around her children and husband's activities.
"I consider it a success to be able to work and raise children while attending school," she says. Whether she is continuing her education, focusing on her business or spending time with her family, Kristen's attitude is consistent. "It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded."
She plans to begin student teaching in January of 2003 with this objective - "I want my students to approach learning with confidence and no fear of failing. Having the courage to try is the best effort a student can make."