Karrie Andersch was nominated by her colleague, Ruth Herbert-Hensen.
Ms. Andersch has developed a program that incorporates the Common Core Standards with FASFA completion, scholarship application forms, and essays for scholarships. Through this program, students research their chosen career and investigate a path to financially obtain that goal.
Ms. Andersch strives to make sure students understand the concept of a living wage and what is needed to achieve the career paths that interest them. In its first year, her program generated $9.6 million in educational scholarships, and 35 students entered into military service out of a graduating class of 433. This year, her students received $23 million in scholarships, and more than 45 students entered into military service out of 446 graduates. Her program has helped the area tremendously in generating revenue and keeping up with the surrounding counties.
"I have never seen a teacher more dedicated to her profession," Herbert-Hensen said. "She arrives at school over an hour early and leaves around 7 every night. Her 12 hour days allow for students and their parents to receive help with FASFA forms. Many of our parents have trouble reading, and we need to earn their trust in order to get them into a school and discuss their concerns with a teacher. I've never seen a teacher gain the trust of this community so quickly. Her students have even brought older siblings for help with funding their education."
Ms. Andersch has worked very hard to break the cycle of poverty in her community. Her program has increased test scores by implementing free testing such as the ASVAB to assess skills to work on for the ACT and SATs. She has also tutored students for the Workkeys assessments, and they took home 22 Platinum awards. She used the results of these tests to showcase each student's strengths with local businesses. As a result, students who chose to work immediately after graduating secured livable wages.
"Overall, this program has shown students the importance of educational training for a 21st Century world," Herbert-Hensen said. "She has taught soft skills and proper dress attire to a community that has been left behind due to family traditions and lack of understanding of the educational changes in society. She has taught students to be self-sufficient and to value education and important testing. Ms. Andersch has connected with parents, local businesses and colleges to open the avenues for student success. She has taught her colleagues how to insure student success and meet the state standards for our jobs. Her impact on anyone she meets is tremendous, and we are all better for being able to share in her positive outlook on the future."