Member Spotlight: Lauren Goettge, Early Childhood Education Teacher

February 1, 2018

In our monthly "Member Spotlight" series, we'll shed light (no pun intended) on you, our PERA members: your goals and aspirations, your commitment to public service, your reason "why" you do what you do.  And, of course, your plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse.

This month, we sit down for a Q&A with Lauren Goettge, an early childhood education (a.k.a. preschool) teacher for Denver Public Schools.

1. What’s your job title? How long have you been working in your current position? 

I am an ECE ELA-E (which stands for "Early Childhood Education English Language Acquisition") teacher, and have been doing that for three to four years. I've been a teacher for six years, but have held this specific position for the last two.

2. Where do you teach? How long have you been a PERA member? 

Cole Arts and Science Academy in Denver. I've been a PERA member for four years. 

3. Walk us through a typical “day in the life.”

I get up, walk the dog, go to work, work out, go home, hang with the pup, then go to bed.

4. What did your career path look like to get to here?

I completed an alternative teaching licensure program, and after graduating from the program, I worked at private schools for two years while I finished up my master’s. As soon as I received my master’s degree, I started applying to positions in the public sector. 

5. What’s your favorite part of your day?

Coming home to my dog!

6. If you could no longer do your job for whatever reason, what would you want to do instead?

I'd want to have my own "flip or flop" reality series on HGTV (all about Denver, of course).

7. What does it mean to you to work in the public sector?

To be a public servant to my community.

8. What kind of public employee do you want to be?

Committed—I plan to remain a public employee for as long as I can. 

9. What do you love most about living and/or working in Colorado?

The close proximity to the mountains. 

10. What is your intention with your job? 

To provide the best education possible for my students, and to give them opportunities that they cannot experience elsewhere. 

11. All of the best of things start with the "why." What's your "why?" 

The kiddos. 

What is your favorite teaching method? 

Student-led exploration. If they're not loving it, they're not learning it. 

12. Are you aware of The Dime and/or Colorado PERA?

I'm aware that I have a PERA account by being a DPS (Denver Public Schools) employee.

13. What does financial literacy mean to you?

It means that you are aware of your finances. You have a budget, and you keep track of your expenditures, your savings, etc. You have plans for yourself and your money—and you know what it will take to accomplish those plans. 

14. What does financial independence mean to you?

It means being able to make informed financial decisions. I like to live debt free, so when I make a big purchase like a house or a car, I know how much money I will need, where that money is coming from, and how long it will take to pay off my loan (if there is one). 

15. Tell us something that’s true, that almost no one agrees with you on.

Football is pointless. 

16. What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

I would keep a few zombies as pets to ward off the other zombies. 

17. What’s your favorite quote?

“The mountains are calling and I must go!”

18. What’s your superpower…or spirit animal?

A honey badger.

19. On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?

12. Definitely.