Mrs. Brown, Miss Simon Have Lives Outside of NDA

Nadine Druar, Staff Writer

When we were little, we thought our teachers lived at school. It seemed that no matter what hour, late or early, we went, there they were. They seemed almost to be part of the building.  You’ve spent years in their classrooms. They stand, every day, in the front of the room, but do you really know them?

Take Mrs. Carolyn Brown who has been teaching at Notre Dame for nineteen years. She said the average day for her begins at 5:00 a.m., when she eats breakfast, prepares her school work, and gets to Notre Dame by 7:30.

After school she said she walks her Siberian Husky, Neeka, and does school work.

When she’s not at Notre Dame, she said some of her hobbies include reading, gardening, and photography.

She said the last good book she read was The Art of Arranging Flowers, which was given to her by a student.

Jack Lemkuil is a student here at Notre Dame Academy who has Mrs. Carolyn Brown for second hour IB English. “She is one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had,” Jack said. “She cares about everyone. She has a great soul.”

Mrs. Brown is very outgoing and talkative, and, Jack said, “is very hard not to like.”

When she was young, she said she played basketball, softball and volleyball in a small town of about three thousand. Mrs. Brown said she used to run, but “I just walk now.”

Mrs. Brown went to college at Texas Tech. She says that the reason she went there was because she visited during Christmas. She loved all of the decorations and school spirit. Her original major was Journalism, but she didn’t like the people in it, and switched her major to English. She did student teaching then and loved it.

“I always joke that I went [to Texas Tech] to find a husband.” And she found one. They have been married for forty-five years and have two biological sons and a foster son.

And by the way, she said she loves the Packers.

Miss Kim Simon is in her first year of teaching at Notre Dame. She said her average day is meeting with students before and after school and teaching classes. When she gets home, she plays with her dogs, Athena, a black Labrador mix, and Panda Bear, a Pit Bull-Collie mix.

Miss Simon loves to dance, do yard work, garden, and fix her house. When she was asked what she was like when she was in high school, she laughed. “I went through a lot of phases… I was a weird kid.” She said she was in sports and activities like dance, volleyball, track, musicals, and academic teams.

Natalie Klasen is a senior international student who has Miss Simon for Biology. “I love the relaxed atmosphere and how she sings and tells jokes,” Natalie said.

Up until her senior year of high school, Miss Simon thought that she wanted to be an athletic trainer, and was even taking classes for it. Then she realized that she didn’t like it. She said she went to the University of Stevens Point.

Her current office doubles as a science storage closet. She glanced back at a life sized skeleton and smiled. “Hey,” she laughed, “I love my closet!”

Your teacher isn’t a part of the school. They aren’t just an extension of the building. They once were just like you. They have stories, just like you will some one day. It’s usually worth the effort to learn them.