Teacher Works To Be Voice For Kids

After 28 Years, Wasinger Still Making A Difference
GOALS Teacher Tracey Wasinger with seniors Diego Datica and Abigail Vejrosta at the end of the school day May 21
GOALS Teacher Tracey Wasinger with seniors Diego Datica and Abigail Vejrosta at the end of the school day May 21
Destiny Knox

Since high school, she knew she wanted to make a difference, and today teacher Tracey Wasinger is doing just that.  

“My biggest motivation is being a voice for these students that really they literally can’t talk to people,” Wasinger said. “They sometimes use devices that help a little bit, but they can’t really tell their whole story, and somebody has to tell their story for them, even when it’s hard.”   

She has 28 years in the classroom and 10 years at Staley High School. Wasinger moved from general education to GOALS 10 years ago, ready to fulfill her dream of being a voice for kids who are not verbal.

When she was younger, she was concerned she couldn’t handle the medical side of teaching GOALS classes. 

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a little stronger when it comes to medical needs,” Wasinger said. “I didn’t think I could do all of that when I was younger. I thought it would make me puke, but now I really, really enjoy that part.  My brother is a doctor. I never thought I could go into medical when I was younger, but now it’s not that different.”  

Wasinger spends her days helping each student work on their goals, spending her day-to-day based off what her students need.

“I love my job because it can be individualized every single day,” Wasinger said. “I may have a plan to start the day off, but we may go off the plan depending on what each individual needs for that day, which is why I love my job.” 

Wasinger said one of the biggest things she’s learned while being in education is that everyone wakes up in the morning trying to do their best.

“No matter what other people may think of what their very best is, they’re all trying their very best every day,” Wasinger said. 

She said her students teach her a lot about patience and understanding those who others seem to overlook.

“I love all my students, and they all become like part of my family,” Wasinger said. 

While she said she loves them all, there is a former student who stands out in her memory. 

“My friend Tyrae was always very, very nervous, and we helped him through his nervousness,” Wasinger said.  “Now, he’s a graduate. He works at a fitness center. He’s very sociable out in the world. He’s doing fantastic.”  

 Wasinger said seeing the school make improvements in her department has been one of her best accomplishments.

“We have made some vast improvements in our department,” Wasinger said. “We’ve gotten two Kahler Grants this year and last year to make vocational skills for our students so they can learn how to do a job and sensory items for those students that really struggle with regulating their sensory system. I’m really proud of my peers for getting those accomplished.” 

Wasinger said her biggest worry in her career is someone in charge possibly overlooking her students’ needs.

“I’ve been concerned that someone’s not hearing my students’ story very well,” Wasinger said.

 But she said she reassures herself that everyone is trying their best at their own pace. 

“Everybody is doing their best, and I carry that with me every time,” Wasinger said.  

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