Rockwood Schools Attended Michel:
Green Pines, Crestview Middle
, Lafayette HighMueller:
Green Pines, Wildwood Middle
, Lafayette High Grades Attended in Rockwood Michel and Mueller:
Jamison Michel and Laura Mueller can both point to multiple Green Pines teachers who made indelible impacts upon their lives.
Marian Robertson, Mueller's fourth-grade teacher who then served as her student-teaching mentor. Lisa Wilkinson, in whose room Michel served as a cadet teacher and who now teaches first-graders alongside Michel. Laurie Kembitzky, who both Michel and Mueller had for third grade, just a year apart.
"The teachers always went above and beyond trying to form a relationship with every child. It made the learning more meaningful," Mueller said. "That environment we went through, we felt so cared for and were more than just a student. That inspired all of us to want to join that team."
Mueller is in her fourth year at Green Pines, and Michel is in her second after starting her career at Westridge Elementary for a year.
Both say they've always wanted to be teachers, a sense that was reinforced through the positive encounters they enjoyed in Rockwood.
"I really did have such a good experience in school, K through 12," Michel said. "That led me to wanting to create the same experience for other kids."
The same goes for Mueller's husband, Greg, even if he – by his own admission – wasn't a model student like his wife. Greg also attended Rockwood from kindergarten through high school, going to Ridge Meadows Elementary
through fourth grade before transferring to Fairway Elementary
when the school opened.
He and Laura attended Wildwood Middle together, then went to different high schools – Greg at Eureka
, Laura at Lafayette – before reconnecting in a college education course.
Greg is in his third year teaching at Crestview Middle. Michel had his student-teaching mentor, Gayle Kearney, when she was a Crestview student.
"Laura and I are both very passionate about school and because of that, we talk about school a lot," Greg said. "She's a phenomenal teacher. I try to be more like her, honestly. Coming through the district and ingraining ourselves in the district is really a neat feeling."
Michel and Laura Mueller are embedded at a school with which they're intimately familiar, where some of their best memories were made and where they can still find their names written on tiles on the wall.
"I still sometimes walk into Green Pines in the morning and think, 'I'm walking into my dream job,'" Laura said. "I wouldn't rather have anything else in the world."