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  Laurel Kelsey Wells (JanW)
Posted: 8:47:35 pm on 10/9/2011 Modified: Never
I agree with Tom really expect me to remember all that! Let's see... I graduated from Northeastern in 1970 and somehow landed in McAlester, OK teaching second grade. That was my first experience with children of poverty. My then husband changed jobs and we moved back to Tulsa. There I taught 6th and 7th grade science for two years in Catoosa. We were building houses, and that was taking lots of bookkeeping, decorating, and such. So, that became my focus. During that time, we had two beautiful little girls, Katy and Kelsey.<BR> <BR>Well, that was the beginning of several "lives". I divorced, returned to education, and raised my girls. Broken Arrow Public Schools is where I taught fifth grade, helped write and implement the gifted program (my oldest grandson is in that program now.), was a counselor for several years, an intern principal for a couple of years, and an assistant principal for another couple of years. I became a principal in Tulsa in 1992. <BR> <BR>While teaching I earned two masters degrees, one in counseling, the other in curriculum and instruction. In addition, I taught psychology classes for Tulsa Junior College (now TCC) and University Center at Tulsa (I'm not sure how that works now). I was fascinated with Laura's daughter talking about having a "calling" and Dorothy writing about knowing she wanted to teach all her life. When I interviewed teacher candidates, I always asked them why they wanted to teach. I wanted to hear that they had always wanted teach, it was a calling, or they wanted to make a difference in a child's life. It was my belief that if you were relatively bright, I could probably teach you curriculum and classroom management. However, I could not teach you to have a heart for children and that was essential, especially when things got tough. That interview question always told me which candidates would extend themselves for our children.<BR> <BR>As Joe mentioned in his composition, I had a couple of other "stops" along the way. Just when I thought my life was all settled, I met Gaddy Wells, my current husband and a lawyer in Dallas. Never say never...that is just too tempting to God. I moved to Texas and was the principal of Starrett Elementary for ten years. Following retirement, I worked for Region XI Educational Service Center completing administrator assessments, TxPEP (educational leadership), and UTA as a supervisor of resident student teachers. All of our grants have ceased to be in existence now, so I am really retired. I'm planning on helping with some tutoring this semester. <BR> <BR>Gaddy and I celebrate our fifteenth anniversary this week. Remarkable! I told my Mom that I just didn't have the skills needed to be married. Two weeks later, I met Gaddy.<BR> <BR>In addition to Katy and Kelsey, I have two step-daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay. Katy and Kelsey live in Tulsa so I visit frequently to see my grandchildren, Kyler and Cole (Kelsey's boys) and Jacob and Sara (Katy's children). Katy works for a national recruiting company in the supervision area. Kelsey is an English teacher at Catoosa High School and is completing a masters in English. It's so delightful to say that my girls are just lovely women who have pursued their goals successfully. I have the pleasure of talking to Katy about interviews and leadership. Kelsey and I were talking today about the challenges for children that have grown up in poverty. She has the entire spectrum, affluent to poverty.<BR> <BR>Lindsay lives in Dallas, and works as a pediatric nurse a couple of days a week. She is the Mommy of our other two grandchildren, Hawkins and Mimi. Jennifer is a hepatologist (liver) with a firm at Baylor. She just completed her third set of board exams and is now certified in three areas. We are so proud of them both. <BR>

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