Fulfilling her calling in life

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Media specialist’s goal is to excite children about reading

Teaching children is allowing one Albert Lea woman the chance to help her family and give back to the community where she grew up.

Kristen Seeger is the media specialist in the libraries at Lakeview and Sibley elementary schools.

Seeger — a 1999 Albert Lea High School graduate — leads both libraries and their collections, teaching media literacy and technology to K-5 students, and she is a building technology integration coach at Sibley.

“Days are busy, but I really enjoy being able to work with all of the teachers and all of the students in both buildings,” Seeger said. “It’s really fulfilling.”

Seeger is implementing a Makerspace pilot program this year to incorporate computational thinking, coding skills, collaboration, problem solving and play. She said fourth-graders in both buildings are being introduced to the program this year before the program is expanded to all grade levels next year at Sibley and Lakeview.

Donations are welcome to help Seeger purchase 10 spheros — balls that can be programmed with an iPad —  to help students in the Makerspace program.

Seeger began as a substitute teacher in 2004, and she became a long-term substitute teacher in the district in 2005 and a sixth-grade teacher in 2006.

She was also a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher before becoming media specialist four years ago.

Seeger was an undergraduate at University of Minnesota-Duluth. She attended Southwest Minnesota State University for her master’s degree, and she received her library media specialist degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

She is receiving extra graduate credits from Southwest Minnesota State.

Seeger said she hopes her mission is known.

“I hope that It’s obvious that I care about kids,” she said. “Trying to get kids excited about books and technology together is my challenge, and I hope that people realize that I am working hard to get kids engaged and have them excited about all of the things that are possible when they read a book or create something with a device.”

Seeger’s daughter, Peyton, is a first-grader at Lakeview.

“I always tease her that she is my guinea pig, so new tech that I want to try with kids I bring home, and she gets to play with it first,” she said. “The highlight of my day is having her come into the library and give me a hug while she is checking out books. I think that’s pretty special to be here while she is here. To have someone call you mom for real when you are in the classroom and not by accident is kinda fun too, so I get to be her teacher, which is cool.”

Seeger said she has wanted to teach since her childhood.

“I loved school,” Seeger said. “I loved to read. I just never questioned it; I just always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I love kids, and I love working with kids.”

Seeger said though she enjoyed being a classroom teacher, she feels she has found her calling as a media specialist.

“This is the best,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Kristen Seeger

Age: 35

Address: 103 Tamara Lane

Livelihood: media specialist at Lakeview and Sibley elementary schools

Family: husband, Dirk; children Peyton and Culley

Interesting fact: Seeger can operate heavy machinery

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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