Chemistry teacher Keara Lenard had originally planned to become a research chemist or a doctor. That is until she was asked back to her old high school to observe a chemistry lab. After having a talk with her own high school chemistry teacher, and the person she aspires to be like, she realized that she wanted to become a teacher herself. Now, in her third year of teaching at the school, she feels like her role in students’ lives is important.
“It is kind of a weird place to be a high school chemistry teacher or a high school teacher in general because I almost feel like I get to spend more time with my students than they do at home. [students] are involved in so many activities and work and so I feel like my role is to be a support system,” said Lenard.
Realizing this, Lenard does her best to make her classroom as comfortable and accepting as possible. She wants to be a mentor for her students, like her chemistry teacher was for her. She feels like the school does that for her, and is a place where she feels loved, accepted and is very happy with her position in the school.
“This place feels like home. It doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like more of a passion,” said Lenard.
She loves the students and her colleagues in the school and says that it makes her excited to come to work. The community and the people in it make it feel a lot like her hometown of Wamego, Kansas.
However, Lenard not only wants to help kids learn science, but help them grow in other ways as well. To do this, she is keeping the option open to someday become a counselor.
“I am really excited about the possibility of getting to be a further extended student support role and reaching beyond students that I get to see in class. Although I am happy with my position for now, I can’t wait to see what this might hold for the future,” said Lenard.