16 Sep Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2012 Scholar Laura Korell
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I am a fifth grade teacher at one of the public elementary schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. Building relationships with my students is one of the best parts of my job. I love learning alongside them and using my position of influence for good in their lives. I enjoy teaching all subjects; it’s partly why I chose elementary over secondary. Between students and curriculum, my job is never dull! This fall, I’m looking forward to my fourth year of teaching and all of the freshness that comes with a new school year.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
Being a Boettcher Scholar helped me get the job I have now! My husband and I moved to Nebraska from Colorado late in the teacher-hiring season, so there were minimal openings for me to apply. Listing the Boettcher Scholarship on my resume helped me get a phone interview with the school where I work now. I was hired sight unseen, and I believe the strong reputation of the Boettcher Scholarship, even outside Colorado, helped the principal be confident in hiring me.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
I’m very active in my local church. My husband and I lead worship once a month, which has been a fun way for me to continue singing like I did in college. I also contribute to the women’s ministry by participating in our monthly women’s gatherings and meeting with women one-on-one to encourage them. Recreationally, I enjoy playing on a co-rec slow pitch softball team and following Husker football. It really is a whole state affair out here!
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
Seek feedback. Others’ eyes can be more perceptive than our own, and feedback is necessary for growth. It’s hard to hear sometimes, but it will yield progress if you humbly absorb and act on it. I want to continually be perfecting my craft as a teacher, and I’m thankful for my principal and the mentors that encourage and challenge me. This year, I even had my students give me feedback through a “Teacher Report Card.” It was insightful, and I wish I had done it sooner!
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
I would love to have a conversation with Corrie ten Boom. Her life is an incredible story of surviving the Holocaust, then choosing forgiveness over bitterness. That kind of grace amazes me, and I’d love to meet her in person to soak up some of her wisdom.