Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Joy Tiefel

What's your title at CLHS?
Spanish 1 teacher
When did you start at CLHS?
January 2021
Please describe your position at CLHS.
I have the pleasure of teaching and introducing students to the Spanish language. I try hard to make the subject understandable and interesting. While it most certainly not the only language to learn I feel it is very useful as we have more and more people in the USA speak it as a first language.
What was your education that led you to CLHS?
I first attended Concordia University Seward Nebraska. I was studying to be a Director of Christian Education at first. However, I was auditing a Spanish class there for fun, and I guess it kind of stuck. I took a break from college because I got married and started a family. We ended up in Fort Wayne where I attended IPFW (at the time) for my teaching degree. I had always wanted to teach in Lutheran Schools so I had Concordia as my student teaching experience under the wise guidance of Darcy Lugo in 2014. It just took me a bit of time to get back here. 
What did you love most about teaching at CLHS?
I love how friendly the staff and the students are. As a teenager I was terrified of teachers, but the students here are comfortable enough to approach me and have real conversations. While I cannot convince all of the students how wonderful Spanish is, they at least appreciate my effort. I still have a lot of people to get to meet and know, I must admit, Concordia feels like a family. Who wouldn't want to work where they feel loved and wanted?
What's your favorite story about your time at CLHS?
While I can't say it is my favorite story this is the most impactful. CLHS is a place that values the person over everything else. When my daughter Coralie died last year suddenly the out pouring of support and love was beyond measure. Coralie had been in public school before coming to CLHS and I had worried about her finding her way in life. When she got here the people, classes, and BAND!, helped her blossom into the young woman I had always hoped she would be. I no longer had fears about what the future would hold for her because they helped pave the way. While I didn't get to see that future I do have the confidence to know her future isn't ended. In her religion class she had a journal that helped me see her faith so I know I will see her again one day. So while walking the halls of Concordia is bitter sweet, that is a gift that no other school could have given Coralie or our family. 
Who were your mentors in your career to becoming an educator?
I wish I could say it was a teacher in school but alas no. I would have to say my parents. While my father was a pastor and my mother a stay-at-home wife, we always valued education over grades. They taught me the love and fun of learning. Each day I look forward not only to teaching but also to what I am going to learn. It is a life long thrill to always be learning new things.