Howdie Mrs. Colleen Kroeker!

Mrs. Colleen Kroeker is a very good creative director and newspaper adviser who brings kindness and a family type of feeling to the newspaper staff.


Ethan McGinty

Mrs. Colleen Kroeker one of the founding teachers that helped opened George Ranch and now the leader of newspaper.

By Ethan McGinty, Staff Writer

The Wrangler: Being the Newspaper teacher, what are some of your favorite memories?

Kroeker: Our trips to San Antonio to attend the TAJE Fall Fiesta conference will always bring warm memories. Taking night pictures at the Alamo, great workshops, fun walks along the Riverwarlk. Fantasitic times. I also remember my first year, I had newspaper first period and we brought in breakfast “stuff” and cooked pancakes and had a real feast.

The Wrangler: Coming from Canada, what was it like migrating to a completely different country?

Kroeker: Canada and the US are very similar. We wear the same types of clothing (except in the winter), eat similar foods, watch some of the same tv and listen to the same music. So, it wasn’t terribly different. The hardest part is leaving family and friends and knowing the you won’t see them very often.

The Wrangler: This year you’ve taken on some new teachings and sponsoring new clubs, how have you been able to control your work environment, manage your classes, and manage to have time for yourself?

Kroeker: Honestly, not very well. After doing NHS for 10 years, I decided to step down and focus on other things. I was asked to do Speech and Debate this year and after being initially stressed about doing it I am now enjoying the students and learning with them. Working with Mr. Duncan has made it manageable. COVID-19 has definitely made it more challenging this year. I try to stay positive and not let it overwhelm me.

The Wrangler: What or who inspired you to start teaching, and why?

Kroeker: My mother used to say that when I was little I would always want to play school and I had to be the teacher. Over the years I had several teachers that had an impact on me. In high school it was my Home Economics teacher. She always made learning fun. Social Studies teachers in grade 8,10,11 grew my love of history and the world. Working with kids in summer camps made me realize how much I love working with them and how I could do this as a teacher.

The Wrangler: Who is one of your biggest role models, and why?

Kroeker: The pastor of my church ran the youth program and he always had an open door. He could just drop in and he would take time to talk to us.I think I learned from him how to be open to others. I don’t think I had anyone famous but rather personal contact. My parents were huge role models. They demonstrated what it meant to be a caring and giving person.

The Wrangler: Being a huge impact on student’s lives is something not many teachers may possess, but you have it. How or what do you always make sure to do when helping or talking to a student in need?

Kroeker: I try to just be available for students. I want them to know that I care and will listen and help them in any way I can. I have spent many hours before and after school (pre-pandemic) just talking and listening. That’s the difference. I spend time with them outside of the 50 minute class period.

The Wrangler: What are some of yours and/or the newspaper class you instruct achievements or honorable mentions that you would look to achieve again, and why?

Kroeker: I always enjoy when the student magazines get recognized at CSPA or other competitions. I love it when individual students get recognized for their hard work.

The Wrangler: Being a teacher for a long time, what is some advice you would give a student to help them succeed not only in school but also in life?

Kroeker: Believe in yourself. You can do more than you think. Don’t give up when things get tough, because through that you will be stronger. Seek out people who will lift you up, not pull you down. Don’t get caught up in the negativity.

The Wrangler: Being able to go on school trips during the summer is an amazing opportunity in which you have been able to take, what are some of your favorite places to visit, and why? Also, where would you recommend someone to go if they’ve never been out of the country?

Kroeker: In eighth grade I had a science teacher who showed us her slides (pictures) from trips she had taken with her husband. She lit the fire in me to want to travel. My parents had always taken me on trips for summer vacation, but not ones in other parts of the world. I knew that I would want to see new places and learn about different cultures. I was fortunate to marry someone who also loves to travel. I first took students from Canada to Florida for Science and Technology field trips. Since being at GR I have taken students to England, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, North Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. As well my husband and I have travelled throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland. We also went to Singapore and Malaysia. We have also travelled extensively in Canada and the US (35 states). I have loved everywhere we have travelled. Each place brings special memories. If you have never travelled out of the country, I would recommend going to somewhere you have always wanted to go and then work to make that happen. I would try and connect with back packer groups as they have great programs and the price is usually good. Just go, and keep going.

The Wrangler: Lastly, thank you for being our advisor and always believing in us. Now, what is something you believe in, while also wanting to strive for and how do you plan to achieve it?

Kroeker: This is a tough one. It is so much easier to encourage others than myself. I would like to work on achieving better balance in my life so that my health improves. I am working on it, but that is hard. I believe that family is important. My faith is really important to me. My relationship with my husband is important. Friends are important. My students are important. Recognizing the things that I value sets me on the path to maintaining and strengthening them even more. Taking time for all of these things or people is what I want to make sure to treasure and nurture. The only way I can do that is to put the things I value first.