Amanda Kuehl was only 5 years old when she knew she wanted to be a teacher someday.
“Since kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to be Miss Kuehl,” she said.
In 2006, she graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
While a student at the university, Kuehl went through Missouri Lutheran Synod training. “My first call was to Peoria, Illinois. I taught at Concordia Lutheran School two years. I taught second grade both years,” she said.
But, the native of Iron Ridge, Wis., missed her family and her boyfriend, Bryan Dusso, who is now her fiance.
“I missed everybody, and there was no job guarantee,” Kuehl said. “I decided to move home.”
She got a job teaching first grade at Forest Lane Elementary School in Montello.
It was a one-year contract last year, and during that time, she studied to obtain her reading license.
Kuehl said that teaching reading to her first-grade students made her curious about the topic.
She decided to take classes through the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and completed the requirements in August.
When the new school year began, she was without a job.
Several weeks into the school year, she was hired as a part-time Title I reading teacher at Waupaca Learning Center.
“It is part time, but I’m getting experience. I’m broadening myself more,” Kuehl said.
Since she teaches in the morning, she is also available to be a substitute teacher in the afternoon.
For Kuehl, it is easy to explain why she wanted to be a teacher.
“My aunts are both teachers. My Aunt Laura was my kindergarten teacher,” she said.
When Kuehl was starting school, her aunt was not yet married, and so she was Miss Kuehl.
Because Kuehl’s parents worked, they dropped her off each morning before school at her grandparent’s home.
“Laura was still living with my grandma,” Kuehl said. “Grandma would have coffee. That is one of my fondest memories. She would always read the paper to me – the funnies. Aunt Laura would take me to school. I would hand out all the pencils. From then on, I wanted to be a teacher.”
Kuehl graduated from Horicon High School and said she wanted to be an elementary teacher, because she loves to work with young children.
“I just like when kids get the skills to do things independently – things that they’ve learned,” she said.
When not teaching, Kuehl enjoys running, biking, reading, fishing and spending time with family and friends.
These days, her free time also includes planning her wedding.
Kuehl says that teaching is her passion. “I’m a teacher,” she said. “That’s what I do.”