Mrs. Wildenberg is in her eighth year as a teacher at Holy Cross Catholic School
She started as the Thunderbolts’ preschool teacher before transitioning to second grade starting last school year. Prior to joining GRACE, she taught preschool for three years in public schools, served as a family daycare provider and also worked as a substitute teacher.
Mrs. Wildenberg values her position as a teacher, saying, “I enjoy that every day is different and that I always learn something new. Students can be the best teachers! I especially enjoy teaching at a smaller Catholic school. I get to live out my faith while doing my job as a teacher. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
“Being a Catholic school teacher allows my students and me to have the best of both worlds. We can learn and grow together in our faith as we see how it is entwined in every aspect of our lives — all while we become the best life-long learners possible.”
Mrs. Wildenberg embraces the responsibility of teaching students who are in some of their most formative years.
“When students have a strong foundation early on in their educational experience they are better equipped to handle any challenges later on in their education,” she said. “Students with a strong foundation aren’t afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. They are more flexible learners who think ‘outside the box’ to solve problems.”
“A strong foundation provides students with the opportunities to practice skills to make them successful life-long learners academically, emotionally, physically and, in my case, spiritually as well. Another bonus to being a Catholic school teacher is I am able to teach the whole child!”
Mrs. Wildenberg often prays to her guardian angel and St. Christopher.
“Guardian angels have a special spot in my heart,” she said. “As a teacher of younger students, I find that guardian angels and their guardian angel prayer often bring comfort to children. Guardian angels were also the saints chosen for my old preschool room.” Mrs. Wildenberg thrives on interacting with students who are full of curiosity and excitement. “This often provides them with great enthusiasm for learning,” she said. “I also like to watch as the students become more independent as the school year progresses. In fact, every year it amazes me how much the students grow, and this is never more evident than when I start over with a new group of students each fall.”
Mrs. Wildenberg fondly recalls her own educational journey as a youngster. She thrived in art, science and reading “because they intrigued me the most and allowed my imagination and creativity to soar.”
Like her students, Mrs. Wildenberg has grown over the years to better provide for the academic and social development of her students. “My understanding of students’ needs and how to accommodate and modify instruction to meet their needs has improved,” she said. “As with anything, with age comes experience. My experience has taught me how to be more flexible and patient … as well as being better at adapting in the moment when things don’t go as planned.” “My continued professional development has also kept me current providing me with new teaching skills. I have really learned a lot about technology and online resources during this pandemic. And I have been able to put my training to good use during virtual and in-person class sessions with my students.”
Mrs. Wildenberg views Holy Cross as her second home. “It has such a family vibe with a warm welcoming atmosphere,” she said. “My colleagues are the greatest. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive team to work with. The students and their families are also the reason I continue to count my blessings as a teacher at Holy Cross. We all truly work together as a team to provide the best education for the students. and that has really been evident during these recent challenging times of uncertainty.”
Away from school, Mrs. Wildenberg loves spending time at her parents’ cottage on a lake up north, as well as water sports, fishing and four-wheeling with her family. At home, she and her husband, Wally, frequently have projects they work on together. “This summer our project together was building the outdoor classroom at school,” she said. “It is a great outdoor space for teachers to use with their students!”
Mrs. Wildenberg received her bachelor’s degree in School Health Education with a child/youth care emphasis from UW-La Crosse. She later added an early childhood teaching license through UW-Green Bay.
Thank you Mrs. Wildenberg for your dedication to our students, as well as the effort and talents you and your husband, Wally, put into creating the outdoor classroom at Holy Cross. We are truly blessed with a standout team of teachers here at Holy Cross.