When Crystal Guell graduated high school, she was unsure about her career path but decided to go to school for massage therapy. She completed her schooling and worked as a massage practitioner for a year before switching careers.
“I enjoyed the work, but I knew it wasn’t for me long term,” Guell said. “From there, I worked in a factory for 11 years, six days a week. They were long days with an hour commute each way.”
It wasn’t until years later and having children of her own that she developed a passion for teaching.
When she became a wife and mother, it was a challenge to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Taking some time to self-reflect, she left her job at the factory to stay home with her children.
During this time, she kept busy volunteering in her community. She coached her son’s soccer team and taught Wednesday night school at her church for four and five-year-olds, which ultimately led her to pursue teaching.
“Not knowing what I wanted for a career had always bugged me,” Guell said. “I am a firm believer that everything has its own timing in life, and my experiences have prepared me and guided me to where I am today.”
Return to College
She enrolled in Moraine Park’s Early Childhood Education program in summer 2022 and will graduate with her associate degree in spring 2024. In the future, she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in hopes of becoming a kindergarten teacher.
Outside of taking classes and volunteering, Guell fills her time with family by gardening, taking road trips, camping, crafting and spending time outdoors. Recently, Guell received Moraine Park’s Gold Community Impact Award for completing 100-199 hours of service-learning or volunteering.
Read Crystal’s article “Tricks and Tricks for Parents in College” for how she made all this possible.
Early Childhood Education Program
Moraine Park’s Early Childhood Education program offers both academic coursework and practical experience. Students gain hands-on experience working in childcare centers, guiding child behavior and working cooperatively with staff and parents. Upon finishing the program, graduates may transfer their credits to one of Moraine Park’s 15+ partner colleges to obtain their bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field.