Meet NDA’s Newest Staff Member!


Grace Schuh, Frannie Wied, Staff Writers, Journalism I

Adviser’s Note:  Mrs. Gast agreed to be interviewed by the Journalism I students.  Below are a couple of their stories about NDA’s newest staff member.  Enjoy!

Kristen Gast is the newest staff member here at Notre Dame Academy. 

“They asked me about three weeks ago. Mrs. Gerl was like, think about it, and I already knew that I wanted to work here so I said yes immediately,” said Gast.

Gast is going to be the new guidance counselor along with Mrs. Gerl and Mrs. Abler. She will be taking the students with the last names I through N.

“I wanted to change the way that student counselors are seen because I didn’t have a good counselor, and I want to be there and be real with the students that I work with,” said Gast. 

Gast did her first semester of interning at a Pulaski public elementary school and came to Notre Dame to get her high school internship done. 

“It was nice to get to see the younger kids, but they always are making up nonsense stuff. I felt like I could really help the older kids,” said Gast.

Gast has an associate’s degree in early childhood education, a bachelor’s in human services, and a master’s in school counseling. “I had a baby and took a two-year break, but I wanted to get back to school,” explained Gast.

“I like to help people work through their problems because mental health is a high thing,” said Gast. Gast describes herself as a person that is more realistic and to the point.

Gast is originally from a small town in Wisconsin named Marion. “It was a small town with only thirty people in my graduating class,” said Gast.

Gast has been married for five years to her husband. “We met when we were fifteen and after we both went to college, I thought we were going to break up ‘cause that’s normally what you do, but we stayed together and now we have two kids together,” said Gast. 

Gast explained if you want to come to meet with one of the guidance counselors, to either come upstairs or to email them. They are there, willing to help you.  (Grace Schuh) 


Notre Dame Academy is delighted to welcome its newest addition to the staff: Mrs. Kristen Gast as a school counselor.

Gast started her time here at NDA through a school counseling internship with Liberty University. Her first internship was at a Pulaski elementary school, but she confided how much more she enjoyed her time at NDA and how accepting the position was an easy decision to make.

“I immediately accepted the job offer. I didn’t even need time to think about it,” said Gast.  “Faith is very important in my life and that’s an aspect of Notre Dame that I love. I wasn’t able to talk about faith or things like praying when I was at Pulaski, and it was something that was missing for me.”

Gast is from the small town of Marion, Wisconsin, where she was born and raised. She and her husband were high school sweethearts, having met when they were only 15. 

After high school, she spent six months completing mission work in Montana and then spent two months in Thailand where she went to local orphanages, spoke to human trafficking victims, and educated young women about empowerment. Gast then completed her associate’s degree in early childhood education, her bachelor’s in human services, and her master’s in school counseling. 

Since all of this, she’s married, had two kids, and has lived all over the United States. Her daughter, two, loves to sing, and her son, four, is an avid sports player. 

When talking to Mrs. Brown’s journalism class, it was very obvious that she had a passion for helping students reach their full potential and tackle mental health struggles both inside and outside of the classroom. 

“As someone who could have used more support as a kid and teenager, I realized that there were so many issues with high school counseling. I really thought, ‘you know what this needs to be worked on.’ Things need to change on how counselors are. A counselor needs to be a positive role model in a student’s life. My high school counselor was never like that, and I really could have benefited from that. I think mental health is such a huge thing and being able to be there for students is really important. I love being real with the students I work with,” said Gast. 

So what was Gast’s revelation to this profound passion of hers? She initially wanted to be a nurse and becoming a school counselor wasn’t even on her radar. 

“When I was going for my undergraduate degree, I took a course in school counseling, and I loved every second of it. I knew then that’s what I wanted to do. Shortly after, I had my first child, so I waited two years after my baby was born to go back to it and get the training,” said Gast. 

Besides helping students tackle the struggles that they face, she loves to spend time at the lake and time with her family.

“I love being on the water. This past weekend my kids and I went kayaking. I also love swimming,” said Gast.

Finally, Gast was asked who her role model in life was. 

Replying with a heartfelt answer, she said, “Probably my grandma. She is like this spunky 80-year-old lady. She’s very blunt, which is something that I think is good for me.”  (Frannie Wied)