A Stoughton native who is the latest in a line of educators in her family, Lisa Mennes-Coon worked as an elementary school teacher in Texas before moving back to Stoughton, where she taught for more than 27 years. Not many educators get to teach their children at school, which is what she got to do, and now she’ll be spending time with her family, and hopefully some globe-trotting as well.
What inspired you to get into education?
Teachers and administrators have been a part of my family for many generations and from an early age, I was interested in working with children.
What was your path to the district?
I began my teaching career in the Houston and Katy areas in Texas as an elementary teacher of second, fourth, and first grades. When my children were about 3 and 7, my husband and I decided it was important to be closer to extended family. I worked as a substitute teacher for a year in the Stoughton area. Next, I was lucky to be hired as a sixth grade Language Arts teacher, a seventh grade Math teacher, and most recently as a sixth grade Math teacher.
What were the most challenging/satisfying parts about your job?
The most challenging parts of my job have been balancing the needs of students with expectations as measured by standardized math test scores. The most satisfying parts of my job have included the looks on student’s faces when they finally “get” the math skill/concept that they have been struggling with and when I hear about the continued success of former students as they move forward.
What has this last year been like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
When we moved to virtual learning due to COVID-19, the learning curve was extremely steep for all of us. I feel quite lucky to have worked and collaborated with some amazing teachers as we figured out technology and instructional practices together. Our students were amazing in their patience and perseverance.
What is a favorite memory of your time in the district?
I remember the year that my son happened to be in my math class. It was close to winter break and one of the students in class raised their hand and asked me if Jonathan was my son? I did not have to answer the question because all the other students groaned, laughed, and answered for me.
What will you miss the most about your job?
I will miss the day-to-day interaction with students and seeing their enthusiasm and excitement when a new skill or concept has been figured out.
Why are you retiring now, and what are your plans?
I chose to retire this year in order to spend more time with my family. My plans include taking care of projects around my house, reading, visiting Wisconsin State Parks, and traveling to Europe and the Caribbean when it is possible.