The Warren County R-III school district has two first year teachers who are also mother and daughter from Warrenton, Missouri in the 2023 academic year.
Students and teachers across Warren County returned to school this week, filled with the anticipation and excitement that a new year brings.
But for the mother-daughter combo of Genessa Gieson and Hope Roetemeyer, the first day of school marked an incredibly rare occasion.
They both started their first year of teaching.
Both are in the R-III school district. Roetemeyer teaches second grade at Rebecca Boone Elementary School. Her mom, Gieson, began her teaching career as a special education teacher at Warrenton High School.
“I have always had the passion to be a teacher,” Roetemeyer, 22, said.
And Gieson isn’t a stranger to education, or to the R-III district. She worked as a paraprofessional in the district for 16 years.
“I first started as a sub, and I subbed one day. And just that one day I fell in love with everything about it, working with the kids,” Gieson said.
“And from there on I knew I wanted to do it.”
Despite their passion and interest in education, though, fate almost led the mother-daughter team down a different career path.
“There is a funny story to that,” Gieson said.
Roetemeyer was in school for health-care management at Columbia College. Gieson had decided to pursue a career in nursing.
She was away from education for one semester before she realized “I really did not like the nursing program.”
So she called Roetemeyer.
“I was crying and I told her, I don’t care what you want to do, just make sure it’s something you love and you’re going to want to do for the rest of your life. Make sure you love your job,” Gieson said. “And that’s when she actually told me, ‘well I’m glad you said that because I’ve been talking to my counselors about going into education.”
That switch led both mother and daughter down an entirely different path, and one both were ready to travel.
“I was kind of surprised,” Roetemeyer said when she found out her mom was planning to leave her nursing program to go back to education. “When she started in that nursing program, she was determined to get through it. But I could just tell she loved teaching still. So I was super happy for her deciding to finally make that switch and go into it.”
And she’s glad she gets to experience the start of her teaching career with her mom.
“I was excited that we were doing it together,” she said.
And what were two of the newest Warren County teachers feeling the day before school began?
“Excitement,” Gieson said, before Roetemeyer chimed in with “nervous!”
“Always excited with a little nervousness, you know. Hopefully everything will go well. You can’t wait to meet all the students actually one-on-one,” Gieson said.
About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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