Welcome Mrs. Wengel!

Kalina Kornacki, staff writer

New year, new teachers! Mrs. Wengel, the new special education teacher at New Providence High School, is excited to work with new faces as the school year of 2019-2020 flies on.

Mrs. Wengel grew up in Brooklyn, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut. She grew up very closely with her two sisters who have positively affected, and still affect her life.

“We are a very close knit family. We make each other laugh,” Mrs.Wengel says, eyes shining bright with memories.

When it came time to decide her career choice, Mrs.Wengel says that her parents had a big effect. 

“I wanted to go into theater, musical theater. And I did major in that in college, but my dad kept telling me to have something to fall back on,” she says, laughing. “There’s always an element of performance when you’re teaching anyway.”

So, instead of going into theater, she went to work in the insurance industry, where she negotiated hospital and provider contracts. This is also where she  met her husband.

Although the job was somewhat rewarding, Mrs. Wengel was not been satisfied with the work that she was doing. So she decided to quit and go back to get her teaching certificate. What  really solidified the change was the significant and horrifying moment of 9/11. It was her daughter’s 5th birthday and at that moment, she realized that “life is too short and unpredictable to not do what you want to do…and seek out what makes you happy.”

With that moment in mind, she went back to school. She is currently in the process of receiving her special education certification. While the special education program might still be somewhat new to her, teaching, in general, is not. She has been teaching English for 17 years prior to becoming a special educator.

Mrs. Wengel’s interests take her beyond her classroom.  If she had the chance, she would travel back in time during the 18th century France, Scotland, or Ireland. She is not afraid to admit that she absolutely loves history and would read any book that has some sort of historical background tied into it.

But even though teaching  is a part of her everyday life, Mrs. Wengel enjoys biking, hiking, and other physical activities.

“It helps keep me in the moment, it helps keep me focused and sort of mindful,” she says.

She also volunteers for the Special Olympics and is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), which has helped her become a better person and teacher. She also had previously stated how she wanted to go into theater. Well, even though that dream did not really come true, Mrs. Wengel stated that she still be very glad to work in that field, even if it is just helping out with the school’s fall plays and spring musicals.

There are a fair amount of new teachers at New Providence, but none are like Mrs. Wengel. As a special educator, a history buff, empathetic, kind, and all around awesome person, New Providence High School is definitely lucky to have such a wonderful person join our district!