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Rockwood School District
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Then and Now: Westridge Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Lisa Schirmer

Lisa Schirmer stands by her kindergarten classroom at Westridge Elementary, where she went to school.


There are more than 300 staff members around Rockwood School District who were Rockwood students during their K-12 years. "Then and Now" is a series that highlights some of their stories and what has made Rockwood special to them as both students and educators.

Lisa Schirmer, kindergarten, Westridge Elementary
Rockwood Schools Attended: Westridge, Crestview Middle​, Marquette High
Grades Attended in Rockwood: K-12

Many people find their dream job eventually. Not many people go straight from college into their dream job, like Westridge Elementary teacher Lisa Schirmer did.

"I wanted to definitely be in Rockwood, but I didn't think I would be lucky enough to get back here at Westridge," said Schirmer, who is in her fifth year teaching kindergarten at the elementary school she attended. "This is like a dream come true, to be teaching here. This was the ultimate goal."​

Lisa Schirmer and her former teacher, now colleague Jill Stahl pose in front of a mural at Westridge Elementary.The teachers she had at every step along the way as a student in Rockwood schools, from kindergarten through senior year of high school, inspired her to pursue a career in education. When she did classroom observation during her undergraduate career, she made sure to drop in on Rockwood teachers because she knew the quality of the teachers.

Schirmer did her student teaching stint at Westridge in the classroom of Jill Stahl, who was her fourth-grade teacher when she went through school.

"She was one of the ones who really inspired me. They made you feel like they were your friend, and it made school fun," Schirmer said. "Rockwood really feels like home to me, and Westridge especially."

When the first group of kindergarteners that she taught moves on to Crestview Middle after next school year, she knows they'll be in good hands because she went there, too.Lisa Schirmer_Then and Now.jpg

She teaches just down the hallway from the classroom in which she attended kindergarten. And, when she does walk through the same halls she used to travel as a student, she can see her name listed in the 2019 slot o​n the school's Teacher of the Year plaque.

"When I was named Teacher of the Year, I never cry, and I was crying," Schirmer said. "It didn’t feel real. It honestly still doesn’t feel real. It's awesome. It feels like everything has come full circle."