“The important thing to know when going on safari is that you have to be able to run fast and climb a tree.”
Brenda should know. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she has been on her fair share of safaris. “There have been a few times when I had to get into a thorny tree and sit there for a while until the animals passed,” she said.
Before becoming a Substitute Teacher for MHED, Brenda began her teaching career in Johannesburg. It was also where she started her family. Her and her husband met at a tennis club where they were both the worst players. It was love at first sight. They would go on to have four children.
On one of their safaris, Brenda’s daughter saw a lion kill a giraffe. She reminded her children that it was all part of the circle of life.
Her favorite animal to watch on safari is the elephant — even though they were once chased by one, an experience Brenda describes as “quite scary.”
In 1985, her husband got an opportunity to work in the United States. The whole family was very excited to immigrate to a country in which they had never been. They arrived in Kansas City, KS and have been here ever since.
Brenda started substitute teaching in the Kansas City, KS school district, and went back to school to get her American teaching degree. She worked at West Middle School and Schlagle as a Special Education Teacher for several years until she retired in 2007. After her career as a full-time teacher, Brenda wanted to continue working with kids and found substitute teaching to be the perfect fit.
Not only is Brenda a teacher, she has also written and published a children’s book called “There’s Nothing Funny About Being Irish” (available on Amazon Kindle). Complete with a study guide, the book is a great tool for educators. She is also currently writing a screenplay called “King of the Mountain” about African King Moshesh, one of the few peace-loving African kinds of the 19th century. She hopes to have it produced locally next year and is excited to offer some of the musical parts to many of the students she has met over the years.
Brenda has been a substitute teacher for 10 years in the KCK school district. Her favorite schools to teach at are Harmon and Wyandotte High. Thanks Brenda for all you have done over your career as an educator!