Teachers in the Peoria Unified School District are getting a helping hand from a special volunteer.
Krista Aufdemberge is a recent high school graduate, now teaching life lessons to some of the district’s youngest students. She makes a lasting impression on everyone she meets.
“Just unconditional love and happiness,” said Gina Musselman, who teaches kindergarten at Paseo Verde Elementary School.
Krista graduated from high school last year but hopes to stay in the classroom as long as she can.
“I love it and I like to work,” she said.
“She helps me do a lot of paperwork, she'll put stickers on papers, she'll file papers,” said Musselman. “She also works with children one-on-one to help them recognize letters, letter names, letter sounds, all that kind of good stuff.”
Aufdemberge volunteers at several schools in the district. The desire to teach is in her blood.
“I was a teacher for many years...so are my sisters,” said Kathy Aufdemberge, Krista’s mom.
Kathy also credits Liberty High School’s Special Education program for helping Krista find her passion for working with kids.
“She was able to participate in so many things and it gave her the confidence to do what she's doing now,” said Kathy.
However, lessons in letters and hard work only skim the surface. It’s what students are learning beyond the books that teachers like Musselman appreciate most.
“They do not see Krista as anyone different from anybody else,” said Musselman. “The sense of love and acceptance no matter who we are, we're all equal and that's what I love about having Krista come in.”
Krista has become so popular more teachers are now requesting her help.