My niece, Liz Masterson is a teacher of Journalism and English at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming. She is a dedicated teacher, who loves her job and her students, and they love her too. She isn’t an easy teacher, but the students learn from her, and they work hard for her, because she draws the best out of them.
This school year began normally, but as we all know, it has progressed in an anything but normal manner. Due to the COVID19 Pandemic, the schools have been closed since March 13th. Spring Break was supposed to have started on March 30th, but of course, it has been closed for two weeks already. In reality, the teachers and administration are working very hard, albeit at home, to prepare to finish this seriously unconventional school year. Since moving into the new part of Kelly Walsh, Liz’s students have been using Google Classroom for parts of their classes. That is most definitely a good thing, because it is Google Classroom that will be put into action to finish the school year. It will, however, be used differently than they are used to. Still, it is a form of remote learning, and it will allow the students and teachers to finish the school year. It has to be done, because you can’t just pass a generation of students with three months less class time than they should have.
For Liz, this unique situation is like being on hold or in limbo. Teachers are used to having their summer off, so two and a half months of no school feels normal, but summer is planned for…prepared for. This is nothing like that. She feels at loose ends. She misses her students and the classroom discussions they had. She misses the co-workers she had. She misses the sports, which she took pictures of for the annual, mostly because she is the biggest sports fan ever!! I think they were happy to have Liz take pictures of the sports, because she caught the essence of the plays. That’s because she saw the game from the mind of the players.
There are so many regrets that come with an unfinished school year, especially for the Seniors. This is their last year. so many things that they will never be able to do again…prom, graduation, the last part of being the top class. In sports, they miss the scouts, and possible chances at sports scholarships. For teachers, there are regrets too. Teachers are destined to teach, and to suddenly not be able to be stand before the class and see their faces as they get what is being taught, to see their smiling faces…it defeats the whole concept of classroom teaching. This generation of students and their teachers can never get back the last three months of the 2020 school year, and that is a loss indeed. Nevertheless, today is Liz’s birthday, and I know that her students wish her the best, as do we, her family. And while this is a strange school year, I hope it will still be rewarding. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Liz Masterson, doesn’t realize what an inspiration she is to a lot of people, or if she does, she is just so not conceited, that she would never acknowledge that she knows. She is a journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh High School, and as such, she also teaches English, and puts out the yearbook. Her younger English students may or may not realize how much she does for them, but her journalism students, and the students she works with on the yearbook, know very well, how special she is. The friendships she has made with those students, and yes, I say friendships, have and will last for as long as they live. How many people keep in touch with and even spend time with their teachers after high school? Not very many, if any, but Liz is special. She treats them like the amazing people she knows they can become, when they are still students, and later when they start out in their lives, they remember that she was always there for them…cheering them on. There is no greater tribute a teacher can receive than to have a student say that if it wasn’t for this teacher, I might not have lived to my full potential. Liz has been that teacher to her students, and they have told her so.
Another part of Liz’s job as the journalism teacher, is photographer, and she is an amazing photographer. She captures such precious moments in the students’ lives. Everything from sports, to team pictures, to dances, and other functions, have been captured by Liz’s lens…and in perfect detail. She has also taken many of the Senior pictures for the yearbook, including the family members who have gone through the ranks of high school. She has also taken many other family pictures, and recently, the pictures for our church’s website. Her photographic talents are endless and ever expanding. Liz stays up on techniques and styles, and so her photography changes with the times…becoming more amazing.
Liz has many interests, not the least of which is traveling, and of course, her babies…puppies, Luka, Scout, and Buffy, and her cat, Piper. She mothers those babies just like you would a child, and they love her like she is their mom. It is a beautiful relationship. They love her as much as she loves them. Liz has a well rounded, happy life, and she is an amazing inspiration to all who know her. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Elizabeth Masterson is a journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming. She also takes all the photos for, and designs the yearbook every year. Her photographs have given her so many opportunities over the years. She now has her own photography buisness and she takes senior pictures, wedding pictures, as well as pregnancy photos and family photos. She catches action photos in sports in such and interesting way. You feel like you are standing right there with her. There is a lot to be said for having a talent that people find out about. Her photography sessions have steadily increased, which is very nice for her.
Liz is a teacher, but she is not your typical teacher. Liz is also a friend to many of her students. She has friends from probably every year she has been a teacher. Her students judt don’t go away after high school. They keep in touch. I have run into a couple of my teachers over the years…even favorite teachers, but they are aquaintances now, not friends that I stay in touch with or do things with. Not so Liz…but then, she is not your typical teacher. Liz participates in things with the students, like swap day, when two of her students decided to come looking like her, and so she came to school dressed like them.
Liz doesn’t mind getting dirty when the situation warrants it either. When the 5K Mud Run event was going on, she got on a team, and got a whole lot dirtier than I ever would have. I suppose it might be fun, but then, I simply can’t imagine being covered with mud, so…maybe not. Nevertheless, Liz had no issue with it, and I think that’s very cool.
Liz is all about family. She is very close to her mom and her siblings. She spends a lot of time with them, and photographs them often. Her pictures have helped me with my stories more than once. As to her own little family, well Liz is mom to four babies…pet babies that is. She has 3 cute little dogs, and a cat who lets everyone else know that she is the boss. The dogs never stood a chance agains the cat…I mean, she has claws, and she will use them. So they have learned to get along and so has she, but she doesn’t put up with any guff from those dogs. Liz is the typical mom to her babies, even to the point of not wanting them to spend too much time alone, so sometimes, they go to the babysitter’s, ie Grandma’s House. My sister, Cheryl has adapted herself to having mulitple pets, or should I say multiple additional pets, at her house from time to time, because Liz is a big softie when it comes to her pets…whether she admits it or not. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!