To a few of her fellow teachers, it may seem like just yesterday that they bid farewell to one of their colleagues. She was off to exciting new adventures in the world of learning.
Actually, she was off to middle school.
And now she’s back, this time as a first-year teacher and truly one of their own.
Laura Devine is a 2007 graduate of Clear Lake High School and a 2014 graduate of Waldorf College in Forest City. Devine joins the faculty at Clear Creek Elementary School as a special education teacher working with kindergarten and first grade students.
While the new teacher has had only a few days on the job, she’s already falling in love with her career.
“The first few days have been wonderfully chaotic,” says Devine. “I’m having a fun time. This is a positive school, very positive students, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Devine is in good company at Clear Creek, where several of her own former teachers are all still teaching themselves. It makes for a strong and unique support network.
“It’s such a nice school,” Devine says. “I feel so supported. Everyone helps everyone.”
Devine didn’t originally set out to become a teacher at all. She had planned a career in health care and had even started studies along that course.
“I wanted to be a nurse for a little while, but it didn’t take long to realize that education was my calling,” she says.
Now, as a special education teacher, Devine credits much of her career path to her family’s history with Opportunity Village.
“My parents both work at Opportunity Village, so I was raised in that environment for so long,” she says. “I also worked there after my husband and I were married, and it’s always been a part of me. I love education and I love working with people with special needs.”
In this very early part of the school year, Devine is just getting to know her new students, but she has great hopes for each one of them in the year ahead.
“I want to be a positive role model for them,” she says. “I want to help them be good citizens in their school and community and help them learn as much as they can in the year ahead.”