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Lisa Saxton | Faces of Midland


Where I Want to Be |

The timing wasn’t right for Lisa Saxton to start her college career after high school graduation. Although her path to a college degree might look a little different from others, Lisa is right where she wants to be.

Lisa is nearing completion of Midland University’s Teacher Career Ladder program, and in May, she will earn her degree in Education with certifications in K-8 Elementary and K-6 Special Education. She plans to pursue her Master’s following graduation.

When she graduated from high school more than two decades ago, Lisa’s journey began with starting her family, which now includes her husband and four children. However, throughout raising her family, going to college remained in her sights. “I wanted to be a mom and stay at home and raise my family, but I always knew at some point I wanted to go to college. It was hard to finally pull that trigger, and I’ve had to miss some family things along the way, but we’ve made it work. There are some long days when you work from 7 to 3, then are in school from 4 to 9, but it’s all been worth it in the end.”

As her children got older, Lisa got a job with Fremont Public Schools, working in the lunchroom. Her passion for being around students grew, and she decided to become a paraprofessional at Pathfinder Elementary School, a school that is designed to meet the needs of students who have significant behavioral or emotional difficulties. “I loved being a para and knew someday I wanted to do more. Pathfinder has such amazing teachers, and I wanted to be a part of that. I feel like I can help those students more, and you get to see the rewards when these students go into their homeschools.”

Her Pathfinder experience has been life-changing. So much so that she is completing her student teaching through the school and will continue there as a full-time teacher in the fall as she pursues her Masters in Special Education Behavioral.

As someone with a 15-year-old son with special needs, Lisa has forged a connection with Pathfinder and the Fremont community.  She has been involved with Fremont Special Olympics for the past six years, serving as a bowling coach while also assisting in a variety of other sports. “Having a son with special needs has opened a world to me that I wasn’t familiar with before. When I was in high school, I always knew I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t always planning on taking the special education route.”

Her husband and four children, which include two college-aged children and a son, Mike, who will attend Midland next year and be a part of the bowling team, have been her biggest supporters along the way. “My family has been so supportive, and with my older children in college they’ve been able to help me with my homework a few times.”

When she was ready to pursue her teaching degree, Lisa found that Midland’s TCL program offered everything she sought. “I liked the in-person classes and the hands-on experience. They bring in teachers from all different districts to teach, so not only are you learning to teach, but you’re hearing stories and learning about real-life situations.

“I had opportunities to go to different colleges or take different jobs, but Fremont and Midland are where I wanted to be. The professors at Midland have been amazing and everyone in the program has been so helpful.”

Lisa Saxton is from Fremont, Nebraska, and is a member of Midland’s Teacher Career Ladder program.

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