Branching out

Branching+out

Ella Daugherty, Reporter

When roots are planted, no one knows which direction the branches will move or the direction in which the tree will grow. This same analogy can be said about career choices. 

 Louise Graner, a special education teacher at Etowah, had her career roots growing towards being in college admissions where she reviewed students’ applications to get into college. When that job brought her to visit high school campuses, her career ended up branching in a different direction. She decided to leave her college admissions job to become a teacher. She taught literature education for twenty-four years between three Cherokee County high schools:  Etowah, Woodstock, and Creekview. However, that was not the end of her career growth. Another branch started to develop on her career tree that she knew she had to follow. This school year, Graner switched to teaching special education which brought her back to Etowah where she first began her teaching career. 

“I felt like that was something [moving to special education] I needed to do,” Graner said.  

Special education was a big transition for Graner. Going into special education provided many new challenges for her, such as learning how to teach each student differently. It is important for her to teach her students to believe in themselves. She encourages her students to have confidence to achieve their goals. 

“I want students to know that I care about them, what they do, and who they are as people,” Graner said. 

Graner wants to impact the students she teaches. She realizes that teenagers worry about their futures, what the world is going to be like, and how they are going to fit in. From this pressure, she wants to let her students know she cares about them and recognizes their struggles.  

“I felt like teaching was a calling,” Graner said. 

The main reason for Graner’s move to Etowah was her family. Her son, Andrew, is a senior, and her husband, Rob, is a coach and physical education teacher, so she felt like it was the perfect time to make the transition. 

“Since my family is all here [at Etowah], they had to come first,” Graner said. 

With all the new branches she has experienced in her life, Graner knew that teaching was right for her. She is ready to apply her wisdom and philosophies in this new branch of her life.