Whenever Jamie Lohuis sees a cotton ball, she can’t help but smile and remember why she chose to work with children.
Shortly after high school, the ESAA interventionist had an opportunity to go on a mission trip to work with children in Nuevos Casas Grandes. Her group had worked on lesson plans, activities, songs and crafts before their arrival.
One evening they were teaching the children about farm animals and were making sheep using cotton balls.
“I pointed to the cotton and asked the children, ‘Como se dice? (What do you call this?)’ “ she asked. “The 7-year-old girl sitting beside me said, ‘Algodon.’ I tried to repeat after her, but not being a native Spanish speaker, I had a strong accent and could not say it quite right. Over and over again, the students tried to help me say it correctly, giggling at my accent and using their hands to form my mouth so the correct sounds would come out.”
“I was struck by the fact that they didn’t give up,” Miss Lohuis added. “They kept working with me until I got the word right. It’s hard to put into words the joy that I experienced teaching them new things but even harder to express how much more I appreciated the lessons that they taught me.”
Miss Lohuis, 26, attended the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan to obtain an associate’s degree. She really enjoyed her classes relating to psychology and teaching. She then transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she received a degree in elementary education (pre-K through sixth grade) in May 2011.
She student-taught at ESAA in kindergarten with Ms. Kimme. “She’s amazing!” Miss Lohuis said of her colleague.
Last year, Miss Lohuis served as a substitute teacher in the SASD and was hired by ESAA this fall.
“I pull kids out in order to provide the additional assistance they need in reading and math,” she explained her role as interventionist. “The goal is that all students be at grade level in their classrooms.”
“I love working with small groups of students in various different classes,” Miss Lohuis shared. “Because I subbed often last year at ESAA and I student taught at ESAA the year prior, I know many of the students that attend. This way, I get to work with many of the students I had in previous years. I enjoy seeing the progress and growth that these kiddos make in such a short period of time.”
Miss Lohuis was raised in Sheboygan County and knew she wanted to teach here, not only to be close to family but also to give back to the area. She attended Cornerstone Christian Academy, Sheboygan Christian School and Sheboygan County Christian High School.
She is engaged to Alistar Faul, who works full-time at Johnsonville while pursuing a degree in environmental engineering from UW-Sheboygan. The couple met in a biology class there.
His interest in her was pretty clear from the beginning. “He kept moving closer to where I sat,” she recalled fondly. He proposed to her during a picnic at Kohler- Andrae State Park, and their wedding is set for August 3, 2013.
Do-It-Yourselfers might bump into Miss Lohuis at Menards, where she occasionally works on the weekends.
When she’s not working, this busy young professional enjoys going to drive-in movies, spending time outside walking or ice skating, and unleashing her creativity through scrapbooking and making photo books online. She also likes to watch “Once Upon a Time” and to attend Packer parties.
Miss Lohuis is happy to be a part of the ESAA team and to be fulfilling her goal of working with children.
“I passionately believe that all students learn differently and am excited to explore and discover different ways to present materials to students so that they can be successful and take part in their learning.”