GRACE Teacher Spotlight
Ms. Abbie Withbroe, St. John the Baptist School
Ms. Withbroe is in her ninth year at St. John the Baptist School, where she teaches social studies (grades 6-8), reading (grades 7-8) and English (grade 8). Overall, this is her 11th year of teaching.
“I enjoy teaching at St. John because it allows me to be part of the wonderful community of Catholic education,” Ms. Withbroe said.
“The first part of that community is the students and families I work with. We have such supportive families and wonderful children! I love that with these students I can truly be a teacher and share my passion with them.
“I also love being a part of the community of teachers within my school. I work with some of the most dedicated and hard-working professionals! I feel blessed to call them my friends.
“And I love being part of this community because we are able to share our faith. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t pray with my students and talk about my faith — within my content area and beyond.”
Ms. Withbroe knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a youngster.
“Being a student in a Catholic school myself (she graduated from St. Bernard), I always felt a calling to be a teacher,” she said. “I had so many wonderful teachers growing up, and I wanted to give that experience to my own students. This job is truly a vocation, and I feel right at home!”
It is important to Ms. Withbroe that her students harness a strong understanding of social studies, English and reading.
With social studies, she said: “I believe that for students to be active and informed citizens, both in our country and in our Church, they need to have a thorough understanding of our history. I am so passionate about teaching social studies, and I hope I share that love for learning with my students through engaging and interactive lessons.
“Whether we are talking about how the ancient Egyptians lived, or the rights given to us in the Bill of Rights, I want them to feel connected to social studies and get excited about the knowledge they’re gaining.”
English and reading are also important, she added.
“Being able to listen, speak and write is essential for all people,” Ms. Withbroe said. “As my students are preparing to enter high school, we work a lot on the written language and write many different types of essays. These are skills they will need not only in high school, but forever.”
Ms. Withbroe also has been coaching the school’s Forensics team since she arrived at St. John the Baptist. The extracurricular activity offers students an opportunity to practice their public speaking or acting skills.
“My favorite moments of coaching forensics are seeing students who are sometimes quiet or timid in class take on the role in a play or Reader’s Theater and see them come out of their shell,” she said. “It is a really rewarding part of my job!”
In addition, Ms. Withbroe works with Gayle Fritsch, Sharon Johnson and Michelle Wagnitz as the GRACE Forensic Coordinating Committee.
When she isn’t engaged in school activities, Ms. Withbroe enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with friends and family.
Thank you, Ms. Withbroe, and all of our GRACE teachers and staff members for your dedication to providing quality academics in a faith-filled environment.