Out of a love of reading, writing, working with others and coaching, McKenna Nelson knew she wanted to teach early on. This fall, she began her first year as a full-time teacher at Wayne High School.
As a young person, Nelson worked as a camp counselor during the summers and acted as a mentor for her two younger siblings which also sparked a desire to teach.
Graduating from Seward High School, Nelson decided to attend Wayne State College after touring the campus.
"It sounds cliche, but while I walked around campus, I could see my future there," Nelson said.
While in college, she worked for WSC intramurals, student taught in Norfolk and coached junior high girls volleyball and basketball.
Nelson received her degree in middle level English and physical education.
Now, Nelson teaches seventh and eighth grade English at Wayne Jr./Sr. High School. She also coaches junior varsity volleyball and basketball and operates as the assistant coach for the varsity teams.
She said she appreciates the small-town atmosphere of the school as opposed to the bigger class sizes in Norfolk where she student taught.
"After I graduated and saw there was a position open at Wayne High School, I knew I had to stay," Nelson said. "I have formed great relationships in the community and feel safe and welcomed. It's close enough to home too that I can visit when I have time."
With the business of starting a new job and coaching fall sports, free time is something Nelson has not seen much of.
When she does have a minute to relax, Nelson enjoys watching Netflix, reading books, enjoying time outdoors- especially at the lake- and spending time with friends and family, including her younger sister who currently attends WSC.
"Teaching at Wayne has certainly been an adventure and I feel so glad to have gotten my start here," Nelson said. "The other staff in my department have gone above and beyond helping me feel settled and establishing a routine. I am excited to continue figuring out who I want to be as a teacher and getting a break from sports in the spring."