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Hi I'm Val

I teach English to high school juniors and seniors. I love my kitties, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm also a mother of two sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law and I'm a widow. My greatest things in life are my sons, who are grown and away from home now. So without my sons and my dear husband, I'm a total empty-nester. But I have my kitties to keep me company, especially my little calico who keeps me on a strict schedule. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. As a child I had a "classroom" set up in the crawlspace of my parents' tri-level home. On the I-beam I had chalked-in the alphabet, and hanging next to that, on manila paper, was a crayon-colored American flag. My "students" were the damaged and unwanted dolls my sisters had no more use for. I loved the idea of teaching because my dad had a remarkable talent for teaching. He taught at church in several capacities, but more than that, he taught us, his family, every time we ate meals together, not only with is knowledge, but by his example as well. Through genealogical research, I discovered that his mom had been an elementary school teacher, and going even further back, I found a Danish ancestor who had also been a teacher. So even though I always knew what I'd do with my life, making these discoveries after I had already finished school confirmed that teaching was literally, in my blood. I currently teach junior and senior English in a smaller school corporation, and I love my students, especially the broken and unwanted ones.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the church and always knew the church was true; I have never doubted this truth. Growing up in the Midwest there were few Mormons in my circle of friends. Most were Catholic, so to them, my beliefs were "strange." When mini-skirts were all the rage, my classmates made fun of me because my parents didn't allow me to dress immodestly. My skirts had to be at the knee! I am still a Mormon because, like every member of the church, I had my own conversion experience. Growing up, my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel was just natural. However, as I grew wings and moved away from home, without the safety net of my family, my choices became more influenced by those who did not live by any standards, let alone church standards. For many years I did not attend church. At the same time, no other church held interest for me. I still knew in my heart that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only church with the fullness of the gospel. Then, after I had married and we had our boys, life came crashing in around me. I'd lost a good-paying job, my husband broke his back and was unable to work anymore, and we went from a comfortable two-income living to one bread-winner making minimum wage. I eventually had a break down and hospitalized myself. While hospitalized, two important things happened. First, patients were required to have pastoral counseling twice a week, so through these sessions, I came closer to God. Second, there was a piano on the unit with a variety of hymnals on it. I realized how I longed for the hymns I'd grown up with, so I started "plinking" out melodies of those hymns I remembered. My favorite, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," has words that spoke to my very soul. During this time, my testimony flickered back to life again. Within a few years, I was back in church, my husband had joined the church, and our family was sealed in the temple for Time and Eternity. The Atonement worked then, and works still.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by being the best I can be each day. Being imperfect in many ways, this means repenting and allowing the Atonement to work in me all the time. At school, I set an example that, hopefully, my students will learn from. They are always surprised when they discover that I don't drink or smoke. But I believe that one of the reasons I teach is not only to teach the the literary greats and grammar, but to exemplify standards and morality--something many of these kids don't even have at home. I love church, as it is such a break from the real world. I need the peace that I get at church. As a music lover, I currently direct music for the congregation. In the past I've also taught and nearly every age level, from the little kids, to the youth, to the adults in Gospel Doctrine. What can I say, I love to teach.