In the fall of 2009, IHAD hired Kristi Dusenbery as a full-time teacher to work with the Dreamers to make sure they’re on track in classes. Dreamers head to Ms. Dusenbery’s room, where she conducts small group study sessions, offers tutoring and tracks student progress by working collaboratively with their other grade-level teachers.
Education: B.A., University of Northern Iowa
Why did you choose to teach for IHAD? I was intrigued by the idea of working with the same students from year-to-year. Building secure, meaningful, and long-term relationships with students is a privilege that simply isn’t realistic in most academic settings, and I see the benefits of it daily.
How is your job at IHAD different from or similar to your previous positions? For nearly 16 years, I chose to stay home fulltime with our three sons. Having experienced the joys and challenges of parenting children through elementary school, middle school, and high school — and being familiar with the emotional (and academic) highs and lows parents and children/teenagers deal with – has provided invaluable experience for my current role with the Dreamers. Prior to entering the teaching field, I did quite a bit of freelance writing, including the ghostwriting of two books that were published. My passion for writing definitely impacts my work with the Dreamers, because I believe there is great power in the written word and great potential for those who learn to express themselves through writing.
What is your favorite part of your job? The element of the job that keeps me going on difficult days is having productive and honest relationships with the kids. I love laughing with them, sharing their hurts, celebrating their joys and helping them to discover the great potential that lies within.
Interests/fun facts: I earned my first college degree at the age of 40 (it’s never too late!) I love watching college football. I love quirky, thought-provoking, and motivational quotes. My husband and I have been married 23 years and have three sons — two who currently serve in the U.S. Air Force and one who is a junior in high school.