Mueller ‘believed in every child, challenged them to reach their full potential’

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Krista Mueller speaks at her retirement party. Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative Photo

Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

You certainly could see the impact Krista Mueller has had in her 30 year teaching career, by the staff at LCCVI and the people who came to wish the English teacher well in retirement.
Saturday, Mueller’s family organized an event in Sarnia as the teacher completed 30 years of teaching, much of it at LCCVI.
Mueller could be seen going throughout the crowd, talking to many who had come to honour her and her contribution to their lives.
“Teaching has been so much a part of my life, I don’t remember when I wasn’t,” she told The Independent March 2. Mueller’s first opportunity to teach was at Sunday school at 13 years of age.
Growing up on a farm near Brigden, Mueller went to Brigden Public School and LCCVI, before going to the University of Western Ontario.
She returned to Lambton County teaching music at six elementary school before working at East Lambton when it was a secondary school. She then came home to LCCVI for the remainder of her career.
While teaching English, she was also involved outside of the classroom, coaching volleyball and tennis as well as being involved with clubs such as Teens Need Truth (TNT) and Beyond Ourselves.
Saturday, former students, many of whom were co-workers at the high school spoke of the impact Mrs. Mueller had on their lives.
LCCVI History Teacher Joel Campbell was also Mueller’s student. In fact he was in the first writer’s craft course taught by Mueller. He now calls her a friend and a mentor.
He described her as always having “a smile on her face and a song in her heart, and described how she has sown seeds in many different ways in many different people’s lives.
“Look around this room,” Campbell told Mueller. “Behold your garden.”
He said the people in this room are just a small sample of those she has influenced.
LCCVI Teacher Rebecca Dawson – another former student – was hired full-time at the high school to take over her former teacher’s English class the day Mueller said goodbye to the staff.
Mueller’s family says that was the best retirement gift she could have received.
Dawson said Mueller was one of the big reasons she got into teaching and was one of her big inspirations. Dawson remembers sitting in Mueller’s writers’ craft class and feeling safe, warm and happy. Now she is teaching in Mueller’s former classroom on the third floor, she is reminded of what big shoes she has to fill.
“You believed in every child and challenged them to reach their full potential,” said Dawson.
Mueller’s love for the students could be seen in some of the memorabilia around the church hall, including a letter she penned to her Writers Craft students offering advice at the end of the school year. It reads, in part, “Go to Chuck E. Cheese once in a while and dance, ride the merry-go-round, and dive for free tokens. Don’t forget you can find fun anywhere.
“Write to cope, write to be heard, and write because it puts a piece of you down on paper and what you have to say and who you are is very valuable…. May you find faith and hope in your ups and downs, and know that when you’re near or far from home, there is a teacher at LCCVI who genuinely cares for you and can’t wait to see who you will continue to become.”
“Being a teacher has not been a chapter in my life, it has been a whole lot of chapters,” said Mueller.
One of her best memories was holding the Relay For Life event in 2019. They were able to raise $46,000, which far surpassed their goal of $20,000.
Her mom, Adeline Brown, would find people that had been missed by the Christmas For Everyone program. They would raise money, buying gifts and food, and deliver them to the people in hopes they would have a better Christmas. The people in need were sometimes living in barns and sheds.
Mueller also has many mementos from her year’s teaching including a quilt that was made by one of her writers’ craft classes and a podium, which was constructed, by one of her students.
When asked if she had any plans for her retirement, Mueller said before her mom passed, she had purchased an orphanage in the Ukraine. She hopes that one day, things can be better in the war ravished country so that she can go visit the orphanage.
“I will miss the kids and staff the most,” she said about what she will miss the most about teaching. She calls all of these people friends, and has become a mom to everyone at the school.
“I am overwhelmed, humbled and very grateful,” Mueller said.

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