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Homegrown Jimmie – Kara Wahl

My life has been groomed, stretched, and molded in a special place called Jamestown, ND, where our proudest claim to fame is the World’s Largest Buffalo. I have the privilege of being a Jamestown High School alum, as well as graduating from the University of Jamestown. In fact, I was part of the first class to graduate from the University of Jamestown with an Elementary Education degree since its recent name change in 2013.

You may wonder why I call this town of mine special…

After receiving an education in the public schools, playing sports year-round, attending as many possible school related events, and now working in the Jamestown Public School system as a second grade teacher, I feel like I have earned the privilege of telling you why.

I have learned in life that it is not about where you live, but the people you surround yourself with. Jamestown is like one big family. I have witnessed numerous people spend a small part of their life here, and the story often remains the same. They keep coming back – and it’s for the people.

It doesn’t take long for a person to get to know a handful of people of all ages.

There are many ways to get involved, such as coaching youth sports, participating in sports leagues, or becoming part of a church family. Some of my fondest memories are participating in Jamestown sports because of the support we had from the community. I will never forget playing a high school basketball game when the whole arena was filled to the top to cheer us on to a three-point win over Fargo South.

However, it wasn’t until playing college soccer that I was challenged the most. It was a time where I grew a lot physically as an athlete, and stretched myself mentally. It is also where I learned to mold with a team of people from many different backgrounds, and for that I am forever grateful. It is because of those experiences I have been able to have a greater and broader worldview.

Now, I am living my lifelong dream of being an elementary teacher.

I always knew that this profession would be rewarding, but I never knew to what degree. Even on my most challenging days in the classroom, I always remember I am there for the children. I find it a great privilege to play a significant part in every child’s life that fills a desk in my classroom.

No one prepares you for the chaos that can occur, such as a bee buzzing around, and you, the teacher has to jump on a table in front of twenty students to strike the thing dead. Then, all of a sudden a swarm of seven year olds are gathered around, eye level on the ground, to explore exactly what that poor bee looked like. That really did happen.

However, there are also those moments when you try so hard to work with a student to gain an understanding of a new concept, and all of a sudden the light bulb turns on. I don’t think I will ever stop getting goosebumps in those moments, at least I hope not. With that said, the one thing that will always ring true is every day when I walk into my classroom, I now have the opportunity to groom, stretch, and mold young minds. For that, I am forever grateful.

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Posted:September 9, 2016

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University of Jamestown at a glance

Financial Aid

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Fine Arts Performance Awards
  • Journey Awards

Campus Demographics

Placement Rate

1,100 students from 30 states and 20 countries
(Undergraduate 2017)

Student to Faculty Ratio - 12:1