Stacy Bender interviews André Watkins, restorative justice coordinator at Waco High School, about his interesting career path.  Their conversation includes fun nuggets about how students should be well-rounded. When he was in high school, André played football, played in the band, and was a debater. His career path has been interesting, and he is blazing the trail in the Waco Independent School District as a leader in their restorative justice project which has transformed the culture of Waco High School and much of the district at large.


Stacy interviews someone from her past. Chris Rood was a chemical dependency counselor at Red River High School when Stacy was in high school. Chris currently is the Program Director for the Impact Foundation in Fargo, ND.

For more information about that organization, go to their website:

Listen for some nuggets that Chris shares about her career path including the fact that she has enjoyed every job that she has ever had.


Stacy happened to be in the Dallas area on January 19, 2018.  Jennifer Burner (learning coach at Crosslake Community School – Online Program) and Stacy joined Jennifer’s son and husband, who both work at Southwest Airlines, for a tour which turned into a series of “fly by” interviews.

Stacy even got to ride in a tug and “help” push an airplane away from the gate!

Thank you to the following people who gave their time to share about their experience in with Southwest Airlines: Rob, Garret (not interviewed but drove the tug!), Warren, Desiree, Drew, Justin, Ellen, and Niki – YOU ALL ROCK!



This episode is sponsored by the LAKE Foundation and by Shirts Plus of Aitkin.


As the introduction to Season Two, this episode features clips from people who love their jobs, from family members who aren’t sure what someone does, and advice to young people about how to approach the world of work.

This episode is sponsored by Lori Hetteen Art and Illustration. In addition to being the wife of this episode’s guest, Lori is a trailblazer in her own right as an artist, poet, and designer.

Lori is offering a discount in support of this episode of 15% off items found on her website through January 31, 2018: lorihetteen.comimg_1830

Stacy interviews Major Allan Hetteen who currently serves as the Recruiting Team Commander for the Minnesota National Guard.  They sat in his living room for the interview, and the family dog tried to get in on the interview.


At the end of the podcast, Major Hetteen shared an important nugget about the importance of taking risks. He also wanted to emphasize that the armed services should never be a back up plan but rather a plan that is worth pursuing.

If you are interested in the Army National Guard, call 1-800-GoGuard or visit the Minnesota website:


Stacy interviews a classmate with whom she attended kindergarten through 12th grade in Grand Forks, ND.  Michelle Brislin currently works at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, but lives in Shakopee, MN.

At the end of the podcast, Michelle shared an important nugget about the importance of preserving relationships when leaving.

Here are some practical ways to do that:
1. Give your supervisor as much notice as possible (minimum 2 weeks, preferably 4
2. Offer to help aid in the transition in any way – finishing projects, documenting
processes for the next hire, even training in the next hire.
3. Write a note of thanks for all you learned and request a continued relationship as
4. Ask co-workers to get together for happy hour or lunch on a regular basis (unless
those relationships were incredibly toxic. Then just be gracious and civil.)
5. Support the organization – attend events, post on social media, volunteer, etc.
6. Keep supervisor and close colleagues abreast of your career progression, your life.
7. These folks are great references, connectors, and you never know…you may want to
work with the organization again in the future.


Beatrice Middlebrook (maiden name) left for basic training with the Women’s Army Corps in 1945. She was never sent overseas because World War II ended. She met her husband, also a veteran, at a dancehall after she had been insulted by another man and had left the dance floor.
Stacy interviews her 92 year old grandmother (known as Nana to all of her grandchildren (14) and great-grandchildren (we lost count).  Nana left high school after the 10th grade in order to help support her family.  She returned to earn her GED (general equivalency diploma) at the age of 55.  Through her storytelling style, Nana encourages everyone to finish their high school diploma requirements sooner than she did.

Stacy Bender directs the online program at Crosslake Community School, the school which hosts this podcast. She enjoyed putting together this episode a lot and learned about the need for a better microphone for future episodes.  Watch for better sound starting in January 2018!

Jason Paris

Stacy and Jason discuss the trail that Jason has blazed in his life. Some highlights include nuggets such as creating objectives and goals for our lives, the importance of the trades to our economy, and finding others in our fields to encourage us. For more information about Paris Painting, go to

Please contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions of people to interview by clicking on this sentence.

Click on this sentence to donate to the scholarship fund.