Subject and Grade Level: Counselor
Hobbies/Interests: I am an avid exerciser. Besides Running and working out, I enjoy being outdoors, grilling and barbecuing for family and friends. I also enjoy bike riding, going for walks, traveling and reading. My favorite hobby is playing the piano and pipe organ. I am a music minister at St. Edward Church in Waterloo and am also the director of Agnus Dei Ministry, a group of music ministers in the Cedar Valley. I play piano at weddings, receptions, and other functions. I am an avid baseball and Cincinnati Reds fan and enjoy cheering on the Panthers, Cyclones and Hawkeyes. Orchard Hill students know that I also enjoy doing magic tricks.
Family Members: Kathy Berns (wife); two adult children: Michael (and his finace, Megan) and Andrea.
The Thing You Like Most About Teaching: The wonderful students, staff and counselors I get to work with. I love that I have the opportunity to make a positive difference int he lives of hundreds of students each day. I love that as a counselor I get to know every student in out school family.
The Thing I Find Most Challenging About Counseling/Teaching: Find the time t meet the ever increasing and diverse needs of students. Being the only counselor for hundreds of children makes it a challenge to meet with students in a consist and timely manner.
Best Tip for New Teachers: Be professional in all that you do. Build respectful, caring relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Years from now your students may not remember what you taught them, but they will remember how you treated them.
Advice For Students: You have something to offer that no one else can. You are a leader, so set your goals high and don’t ever give up on yourself. You have the strength within you to get through anything. Surround yourself with positive people and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What Being A Gold Star Teacher Means To You: I am surrounded by gold star caliber colleagues every fay and I feel very humbled and honored to be selected as a Gold Star recipient. I accept this award on behalf of the many outstanding teachers and counselors in our profession.