Shelby Latusek ’14

Bethany Major: Elementary Education

Employment: Second grade teacher at Zumbrota-Mazeppa Primary School

What you do: I teach the second grade standards to my students. I coach JV girls’ basketball in the winter and 7th/8th grade softball in the spring. Last year we were undefeated in the softball season. I plan to go back and get a Master’s in Special Education eventually. 

What inspires you: My mom originally inspired me to become a teacher and coach. Now, I would say different students inspire me daily. Building relationships with students and learning about their struggles, cultures, dreams, and goals is what drives me to be the best I can for them. I want students and athletes to feel that they are connected with me and can trust me if they ever need anything.

How you want to make a difference: I want to make sure my students and athletes become successful citizens. I want my students to feel connected to the world around them. I want them to have respect for other peoples’ cultures, beliefs, and morals. I like to challenge my students to have stimulating conversations about the different views they are developing of the world. My biggest goal is to instill a passion for lifelong learning.

How Bethany prepared you: Polly Browne was a huge positive role model in the educator I have become. She challenged me to think creatively and dig deep to find the passion in education. When networking and conversing with other educators, I often bring up the education I received at Bethany Lutheran College. My comment is usually, “It was a lot of money that I will be paying back for a long time, but it was the best life decision I’ve ever made.” I could go on about how blessed I am to be an alumna of the best college.

What you remember most about Bethany: Building relationships with educators and students. It was amazing to be able to walk anywhere on the campus and see a friendly, smiling face. I would have been 3 credits short my final semester, but Polly worked hard with other co-workers to make sure I was able to graduate with my classmates. Whenever I run into someone from Bethany, they still stop to say hello! My lifelong friends are from campus.

Advice for current students: Soak up every minute you have on campus and make sure you dig deep to find your passion. This is the place to make it happen!