26 years later, Wangberg to retire from PR-B
During the 1989-90 school year, the Pine River-Backus School District hired a teacher who would eventually start a very popular tradition. Lynn Wangberg came into the district as an elementary teacher at the school building in Backus. Several yea...
During the 1989-90 school year, the Pine River-Backus School District hired a teacher who would eventually start a very popular tradition.
Lynn Wangberg came into the district as an elementary teacher at the school building in Backus. Several years earlier, she and her family had come to the area for her husband's job. She had been a substitute teacher for the district, but this was the beginning of a career. It was the realization of a long time dream.
"I grew up and graduated in Chatfield, Minnesota," Wangberg said. "I had an aunt that lived in Chicago who was an eighth-grade English teacher. I would go and visit her in the summers and I loved her and her lifestyle. I used to put my dolls in desks and play school. From the time I was about 6, I knew I wanted to be a teacher."
Wangberg taught at the elementary level for approximately seven years, which she enjoyed, but she found her true calling when she moved to the school in Pine River.
"I would say my favorite subject to teach is junior high," Wangberg said. "I never thought that would be my niche, but it is mine. I love the age. I love their enthusiasm. I love the curriculum, especially the Holocaust. Seventh- and eighth-grade English would be my favorite thing to teach."
It was during her time in the junior high that she started the school's annual Holocaust Project Fair, where students every year for eight years researched Holocaust era issues and created displays to teach other students and the public during the fair. It became a tradition the school intends to continue after Wangberg's retirement June 4.
"I'll definitely miss the kids," Wangberg said. "They keep you young. They keep you aware of what's going on with sports and what's going on in fashion, but also, the teachers I teach with. I used to be one of the youngest and now I'm one of the oldest. It's just the most giving, helpful environment I can imagine. People ask how I can stay this long. It's because of the environment and the kids."
In her time at the school, Wangberg said there have been many changes, technology being the greatest. She still recalls when she believed she would never really use email that much.
During her time, Wangberg has achieved her own acclaims. She was a speaker at the 2014 graduation ceremony, and in the fall of 2014 she was named Pine River-Backus Teacher of the Year. She also served as a junior high volleyball coach for eight years, and taught Power Learners for nine years.
Wangberg hopes to continue substitute teaching in her retirement, but she also has plans for her free time. She hopes to golf and travel, but she intends to spend most of her time with her grandchildren.
"We are building a playhouse right now for them," Wangberg said. "I plan on spending a lot of time with them. I plan on going and spending a lot of time with them whether they like it or not."