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CTE Month, Celebrate Today, own Tomorrow! - Staff Highlight Mrs. Karen McLaughlin


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Once again, our next CTE Teacher Highlight is no stranger to these halls.  Mrs. Karen McLaughlin, our Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) teacher, is a WHS graduate born and raised on a farm just outside of Alsey.  On top of her four years here during high school, Mrs. McLaughlin has taught here for twelve out of her sixteen years in education.


After graduating high school, Mrs. McLaughlin continued her education at Northeast Missouri State University (now known as Truman State University) and later went on to earn a Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from the University of Illinois at Springfield.  The road to her Master’s degree was not an easy one, however.  Mrs. McLaughlin considers it one of her greatest challenges earning that degree while she had two children in high school and simultaneously experiencing the loss of two siblings.


If you were thinking that this Alsey-raised, small town teacher is a homebody, you’d be thinking wrong!  Mrs. McLaughlin has quite the travel history under her belt.  Her favorite place is Europe (Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) because of the beautiful scenery and foreign cultures.  Her second favorite trip is the Outer Banks in North Carolina with Alaska following closely behind.  Although she thinks Alaska is beautiful, Mrs. McLaughlin is a self-proclaimed warm climate fan and it was just a bit too cold up there!


It may surprise you to learn that Mrs. McLaughlin is the youngest of seven children.  Knowing that, it isn’t hard to believe that the one thing she couldn’t live without is her family.  Other than her family, Mrs. McLaughlin loves ice cream, shopping, painting, and anything on HGTV.  She also loves creating, which was perfect for her incredibly unique job of designing expensive pillows and towels for a company in Jacksonville.


As a teacher, Mrs. McLaughlin draws her inspiration from her own Family and Consumer Sciences teachers: Mary Waters and Colleen Lovekamp.  She hopes to be remembered by her students for teaching them skills they will use as soon as they leave high school, much like her FCS teachers did.  If she could go back to those days of high school, Mrs. McLaughlin would tell herself to learn more, study harder, have fun, and manage her time better because it goes by way too fast.


She may consider herself to be a little old school for this, but she has a great personal philosophy: “Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and treat others the way you would like to be treated.”  Those are definitely some words to live by!