Over the years, Lisa Kristjuhan Woo, born Lisa Walzem, has held a plethora of positions in the field of education. Initially, she pursued a mathematics and computer degree, but decided that she wanted to work principally with children rather than numbers. She changed her major to child psychology, earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dayton. To her dismay, this did not lead to an actual career in the way she had hoped. She moved to Colorado, where she worked as a waitress for a year, establishing residency before returning to school at the University of Northern Colorado. There, Ms. Woo pursued a Master of Arts in special education, particularly with emotionally disturbed and socially maladjusted children, and a teaching certificate.
Throughout her career, Ms. Woo kept her skills sharp, earning additional certificates in English and social studies, as well as becoming a reading specialist. She also pursued certification as supervisor and principal. For six years, she served as the union representative for her building and was on the negotiation committee for the final contract of her career. Ms. Woo enjoys new challenges.
With degrees in child psychology and special education, Ms. Woo taught special education and reading in elementary, middle and high school in Florida and New Jersey. She took some time off to have two wonderful children. She continued with her interest in computers, which enabled her to be part of the startup program as a traveling teacher in grades K-5 for the Wayne Public Schools in New Jersey. She taught adult education on weekends as another change of pace. After eight years, the administration determined that both teachers and children were proficient in computers, so Ms. Woo moved into the classroom teaching third grade.
It is Ms. Woo’s firm belief that all teachers should be recognized for the important work that they do every day. She points out that the professionals of today wouldn’t be in their fields if they had not mastered reading, writing and computing at an early age, most under the direction of a public school teacher. People would be surprised how many children come back as adults to visit their favorite teacher. Teaching may be more transparent and appreciated by many parents since the pandemic changed all our lives.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Woo intends to enjoy her well-deserved retirement. She never tires of learning. She has traveled extensively in the Americas and abroad, as well as studying stocks, bonds and those addictive options. It is possible that Ms. Woo got a little carried away, judging by the number of newsletters and travel brochures constantly entering the house. Adding in the community newsletter and the technology club, there are still not enough hours in the day of an enriching retirement. She is married to her loving husband Ronald and is the proud mother of two children.