Abby Fagerlind: Health Career Pathways: Certified Nursing Assistant
I have been teaching as a Health Careers Instructor at the Waterloo Career Center since 2019. I started working in healthcare at the age of 16 when I became a CNA. I worked as a CNA through high school. After high school, I started attending Allen College for my BSN and was hired as a Student Nurse Tech at Allen Hospital. After graduating from Allen College I worked on a Medical Surgical Unit for a year and then transferred to Outpatient Surgery where I enjoyed my time as a nurse for the next 10 years before joining the team at the WCC
Alex Place- Anatomy and Physiology + Nutrition
5th year experience teaching at the college level
BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Minor in Kinesiology
Master’s Degree in Biology
Head Soccer Coach at Cedar Falls High School- Girls Soccer
Previous work experience- UNI, Wartburg and Hawkeye Community College teaching Biology
Teaching at the Career Center is exciting to me to offer career opportunities to high school students, for free! It’s exciting to engage with future health care professionals and see how their knowledge, experiences and opportunities can grow from attending classes at the WCC.
We work directly with UnityPoint, Cedar Valley Medical Specialists and other area health centers to give students the opportunities to learn from local community members.
Amy Miehe- Administrator
I graduated with my BA in Social Science Education at the University of Northern Iowa in 2006. I began my teaching career that same year here in Waterloo, at East High School teaching Social Studies, while also coaching softball and volleyball. I then earned my MA in Educational Leadership at UNI and found myself eager to take on leadership roles to grow in the profession. I have always enjoyed working with young adults and supporting them to reach their fullest potential. In 2017, I began my role as a Career Coordinator and working at the Waterloo Career Center and discovered my passion for supporting young adults to discover their lifestyle. Beginning in 2021, I am proud to serve as the Administrator at the WCC where I get the opportunity to help students be exposed to numerous career pathways, professionalism, community and business relationships, networking and work-based learning. Students leave the WCC with a competitive advantage over their peers and are college and career ready.
Administration (WCC Director)
Brian Hahn- EMS Instructor
This is my 1st year teaching at WCC. I have been an EMT/Paramedic for 29 years. I decided in the last few years to transition from full time street shifts to teaching. I also teach EMS classes at Hawkeye a couple of nights a week. I grew up in Anamosa, IA and began my EMS career there as a volunteer EMT in 1993. I have also worked for EMS services in Cedar Rapids and also in Wisconsin, where I lived for a short time. I have spent time as an ambulance director of both private transfer and public 911 EMS services. I moved to the Waterloo area last year. I also still work as needed for MercyOne Cedar Falls as a Critical Care Paramedic. I enjoy teaching those interested in EMS, whether they are in high school or college. EMS is a truly rewarding career, where you can make a literal life change for your patients. Being able to help train the next generation of health care workers is extremely rewarding as well. The WCC provides a unique opportunity to help get young people involved and educated in the workforce, that benefits everyone!
Greg Reints- Plumbing
3rd year teaching Plumbing
Heavy Equipment Operator, CDL Licensed.
Certified Refrigeration technician thru Hawkeye.
42 years as a Master Plumber
Certified Plumbing Inspector, Certified Building Inspector.
B.A. in Business Administration, Business Management, & Psychology
With a Minor in Accounting.
Had a Business in Plumbing & Heating and Cooling for a few years.
Water Technician 1&2 Certified.
Enjoying teaching Plumbing to High Schoolers & seeing them learn a life skill that will stay with them
Heather Beaufore-Health Career Pathways
I received a Diploma and Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Hawkeye Community College. I then obtained a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and Criminal Justice Minor at Upper Iowa University. I was a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate until I graduated Nursing School and started working in Health Care in 2001. Most of my Career was spent working in the Emergency Department. I have experience in many other fields including; Forensic Nursing, Cardiac Nuclear Medicine, OutPatient Medical, Resource, Administration, Psychiatric and Detox, Mental Health Case Management, and Hospice Care.
I started teaching at WCC Fall of 2018. I was excited to start teaching high school students basic nursing skills. My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in high school. I didn’t know much about healthcare and I was terrified because I didn’t know how to care for her. She was all I had. I was amazed by the care and treatments my mother received that ultimately and unpredictably saved her life. This fear and amazement drove my decision to become a nurse. Teaching here at WCC brings my career back full circle. I can help students understand and not fear the health care world at such an impressionable time in their lives.
Jane Frost-Early Childhood Instructor
BA-Early Childhood & Elementary Education UNI, MA-Clarke University
I taught preschool for two years before teaching Kindergarten at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Waterloo for 34 years. When I found out that Sacred Heart was closing, I began to search for a new opportunity which was the WCC where I have been for 4 years. After receiving my MA, I became an adjunct at the University of Northern Iowa which helped me to appreciate older students. I believe this is what allowed me to believe in myself as a high school teacher after spending most of my career with kindergartners. I never thought that I would change my career path at my age. I love my job at the WCC! I get to share my knowledge about what I have learned about early childhood students with current students who also have a passion for this age of child. While observing high school students in preschool classrooms, I also get to spend time with preschoolers who bring joy as well. It is an all around happy life!
Education (Early Childhood)
Administration (Director of Career Technical Education)
Jill Schares – Marketing Management
4 years at WCC
West High graduate 1987
BA – UNI in Business Marketing, minor Business Communication
MBA – Business Accounting
Worked in the business field for 25 years
Joe Boyle- Electrical
Kyle Kuhlers; Information Technology – Web Programming and Cybersecurity
I have been teaching Information Technology for the Waterloo Career Center since 2018. Previously I taught Business and Computer Education at Union for 3 years and Alburnett for 12 years. In 1993 I graduated from the University of Iowa and worked for Kinseth Hotels and Oral-B Laboratories in Iowa City until starting teaching in 2002. Business partnerships and classroom learning makes the WCC unique. My classroom is a mini-laboratory always ready and willing to try new ideas, which includes: students competing in esports, students competing in Cyber competitions, students completing business developed & led classroom projects, students telling their WCC story, and students demonstrating their learning by teaching others. My biggest achievement at the WCC is to have multiple students each semester out in our community working in IT to gain experience in developing their future career path. My proudest moments are when students come back to visit. I have the opportunity to learn from my former students’ experiences and learn what resources they are using to improve my teaching opportunities for my current students.
Information Technology (Web Programming and Cybersecurity)
Leigh Schmidt- Secretary
I graduated from the University of Wyoming with my BA in English and Professional Writing. I have moved from Wyoming, to Colorado, to Des Moines and now to Cedar Falls, where I live currently. I have a daughter and a Bernedoodle dog. I have been with the Waterloo Career Center since 2019. Before working at the WCC I was in Ophthalmology for 12 years and so excited to be in the education field now! I love getting to know and making connections with students, watching them grow and discover their path in life. There are so many amazing opportunities for students here, it’s hard not to get passionate about it!
Mariah Bell: Medical Laboratory Technology
I have been teaching at Hawkeye Community College in the Medical Laboratory Technology program since 2018 and at the Waterloo Career Center since 2020. I graduated from Hawkeye Community College in 2007 with an associates degree in Professional Photography then again in 2013 with an associates degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 2022 and am currently working towards my Master’s degree. After graduating from Hawkeye in 2013, I worked for a small local hospital for 6 years working 3rd shift in the lab gaining tons of experience and love for the field. I am extremely passionate about Medical Laboratory Technology and I love to share that passion with my students and make them aware about this fairly unknown field.
Mark Aalderks- Finance, Entrepreneurship and Accounting
20+ years of School Teaching Experience- Personal Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Career Exploration, Co-op(WBL), CAPS(Project Based Learning)
14 Years – Southeast Polk Schools(Altoona/Pleasant Hill)
4 Years – Cedar Falls Schools
3 Years – Waterloo Career Center
Public Accounting(School Audits) – 2 Years
Private Industry – Golf (1 Year) Inventory Control/ Shipping
Banking – Norwest/Wellsfargo (1 Year) Personal Banker
Retail – Scheels (3 Years) Department Manager – Cold Weather/Golf
BA Accounting- University of Northern Iowa 96
BA Teaching- University of Northern Iowa 01
Matt Dunkerton – Digital Interactive Media
BA in Graphic Design from UNI ‘96
Worked in the Digital Media industry for 30+years
Robert Plagge – Advanced Manufacturing
Grad of University of Northern Iowa ( Industrial Technology), then went back to UNI for my degree in Industrial Technology Education. I started my teaching pathway at Dunkerton High school, then to Logan in Waterloo. I was offered a job in manufacturing management in north central Mn. I stayed there for 15 years, then returned to teaching at West High School. At West I taught Engineering classes for 10 years before transferring to the WCC to teach Advanced Manufacturing.
Trades (Advanced Manufacturing)
Talia Nieman – Hospitality and Tourism Instructor
I have worked in the hospitality industry since I was in high school. I enjoyed my time working in the industry, so I chose to start my education at Iowa Lakes Community College in the Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Management program. After obtaining my AAS Degree at ILCC, I moved on to Iowa State University where I then received my Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management. I have held leadership positions since 2009, working at various hospitality establishments. I have worked for the Inn of Okoboji, Iowa State University Dining Facilities, the Iowa Events Center, the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, and the University of Northern Iowa Housing and Dining Department. Working with the UNI student leadership crew at the Piazza ignited a spark in me to share my passion for hospitality with others. I then joined Waterloo Schools in 2014 as a teacher at East High School and now currently teach at both East and the Waterloo Career Center. I have been teaching Hospitality and Business-related high school courses for the Waterloo Community School District for about eight years.
Education (K-12 Teacher Prep)
Todd Kern – Digital Graphics
I spent approximately 17 years in the apparel industry after going through college ‘the first time’. I worked for a number of labels and traveled quite extensively. Working up the corporate ladder lived in New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Ohio. My largest claim to fame was being a Sr. Creative Designer with Abercrombie and Fitch and assisting in the development of the Hollister line of clothing. I also worked with Hanes and WalMart to design a line of apparel for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Throughout all of this time I wanted to teach, finally I worked my way out of the apparel industry, returned to school to receive my teaching certification in Art Education and also finished my Masters in Art Education at the University of Northern Iowa.
I have taught for nearly 11 years with the last 5 years being here at the Waterloo Career Center. I feel the WCC provides a unique opportunity for students to truly immerse themselves in the possibilities of what their future can unfold to be. By utilizing industry standard equipment, working with true professionals straight from the field and working through industry challenges and practices; students develop their skills in such a way that they (the student) have a distinctive competitive advantage over their peers when they enter the military, college or continuing onto a career.
Tom Laures– Math for Liberal Arts, Intro to Statistics, Applied Geometry for the Construction Trade, and Applied Math for Manufacturing.
I have been teaching at the WCC for 4 years. Before that I taught at another High School for 19 years.
After high school I went to the University of Iowa and studied Mechanical Engineering. After 3 years, I began to question if I really wanted to be an engineer. Over the next 3 years, I traveled around Iowa doing various jobs….I delivered pizza, I blew up balloons, I worked at a paint factory, I was in commissioned sales, I worked at an metal fabrication shop, I worked in a cold storage facility, I was a property manager, I was night manager of a laundromat/dry cleaner….I basically had little direction and did many labor positions. After that stint, I began school at UNI, where I got a BS in Mathematics and a MA in Education. My time between colleges was important because it really helped me to figure out what was important to me. I became employed teaching senior-level math…Trig, Pre-Calc, Algebra 2, Statistics and Math for Liberal Arts, and Geometry. I spent nearly every day telling students that they needed to go to college even though I knew that only a portion would have success there.
It was then that I had an identity crisis, and this position at the WCC became available and seemed like a perfect fit for me. I got to teach practical classes that can be used immediately and didn’t feel like I needed to push students towards college.
Since coming to the WCC, I have been involved with numerous construction and building projects.
Tracey Hulme – Culinary Arts Instructor
Bachelor of Science from UNI
Started teaching at West High in 2011 and moved to the WCC in 2019
Owned my own catering company
Love to help kids open their minds to new cooking techniques and flavors
Live in Traer, Iowa
Taught FCS in Hudson and Montezuma
I am the building sub, testing facilitator and many other things. I have worked for the Waterloo school district for over 18 years. I am also an alumni of the Waterloo schools. I’m going to school to get my Special Education degree. When I’m done with my degree I plan on teaching in the schools here.I have seen what the WCC can do for young adults that have been through the programs.
Hawkeye College/Career Transition Counselor
Part Time Secretary