Lindsey (Hibma) Wyatt — Teacher
Lindsey (Hibma) Wyatt, Covenant Award for Service Recipient, 2003-04 Academic Year
Lindsey (Hibma) Wyatt '04, originally from Worthington, Minnesota, majored in special education and Spanish at Augustana. She received the Covenant Award for Service for the 2003-04 academic year.
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — your career path (what are you doing now), family, education (graduate school), travel, etc.
A. After teaching four years in Sioux Falls (two at Children’s Home Society and two at Roosevelt High School) I went on a one-year adventure (that turned into nine years) to Wasilla, Alaska. I taught in the Behavior Support Program at Wasilla High School. While in Alaska I met my husband, Reuben, got married and had our son, Theodore. This past summer, we decided it was time to return to the Midwest to be near family and to pay much less for a gallon of milk. This year I’ve been teaching in the Tier II Behavior Program at Memorial Middle School in Sioux Falls. I’ve taken a number of graduate classes and hope to complete a master’s degree in the near future.
Q. Greatest challenges and best rewards of your current role?
A. Working with students and families who deal with mental illness and emotional/behavioral issues can be draining and feel hopeless at times, but when a student finds a new strategy that turns their tears to a smile or I help a family connect to a resource that betters their lives, it makes the tough days worth it.
Q. What’s given you the greatest personal satisfaction since graduating from Augie? And why?
A. Flying up to Alaska with two suitcases and a box of textbooks/lesson plans and making a life for myself. I built up a struggling program into an exemplar program for the district. I mastered new things like skiing and winter camping, deep sea fishing and dressing out a moose.
Q. Favorite class or favorite professor at Augustana, and why?
A. All the special education faculty, but especially Joan Bacon, who was my advisor, mentor, Augie-Mom, and now, friend. She helped me see how my deep gladness and a deep hunger in the world could meet.
Q. What were you involved in that prepared you for the present and future?
A. Being involved in various chapel activities (CIA musicians, Outreach, chapel staff, mission trip to Pine Ridge, etc.) allowed me to look outside myself and all that I had always known.
Those involvements taught me to give without expecting to receive, to serve with a grateful heart, and to “remember the least of these.”
Q. Best Augie memory?
A. My Work Study job in the Financial Aid Office. Who knew shredding paper and filing could be so much fun?! Judy, Laine, Rita, Renee, Brenda and Larry made coming to work fun and they sure knew how to throw a good party!
Q. If you could offer an Augustana student some advice, what would you say?
A. Don’t stay in a field (major) that you’re not passionate about. It is okay if you don’t end up with the same degree you started out declaring as a freshman – I changed mine four times! Also, study abroad –even if just for a J-term.
Q. A foundation for life at Augustana begins with our five core values — Christian Faith, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service. How did your time at Augustana help to ensure those values remain central in your life?
A. I was fortunate enough to grow up with in a home with a Christian Faith foundation and that is partly why Augie was such a good fit for me. Through chapel speakers/activities, religion classes, and other professors who were open with their faith lives, I was able to take the faith I grew up with and shape it into something that was my own. To this day, I value the community that comes from being a part of a congregation of believers as well as the service opportunities we are called to in the world as the Church. I’ve taken three mission trips to Mexico, served on leadership teams at churches, coordinated a Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, served as a mentor at a crisis pregnancy center, and consider each day in the classroom as a chance to build community among my struggling students, serve their families and my fellow colleagues, and do it all with a spirit of grace and excellence.