Watching her beloved Grandma and Mother dedicate their lives to teaching, Stephanie Strawn knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps from an early age. Her sweet “Gramma” was her kindergarten and first grade teacher and her mom home schooled her and her younger brother for several years. She went on to major in Early Childhood Education and Development at Grand Canyon University.
“One of my favorite things about being a teacher is forming relationships with each child. Every child learns differently, responds differently, and progresses at a different rate,” says Stephanie. “I love finding that special combination that helps each child learn to the best of their abilities. Plus, I teach three and four year olds so I love to have fun!”
Stephanie has worked with young children for almost a decade and has been teaching pre-school at Hope Lutheran Private Christian School since 2014. She loves being blessed to share the share the love of God with the children and to speak freely of her faith. She has seen countless examples of the difference it makes when a child can grow up in an environment where they not only learn about God, but can see and experience the love of God each day.
“I hope to make a difference. I aim to develop relationships not only with each child, but with their parents as well,” says Stephanie. “The more lives I can touch, the bigger the ripple effect will be.”
Even as young as 3 and 4, children are capable of reasoning and problem solving so she encourages her little ones to think about the choices that they make, whether good or not so good. When good choices are made, she uses verbal encouragement in her classroom. When not so favorable choices are made, she takes the time to explain why a different choice would have had produced a better outcome.
Stephanie grew up in a loving Christian home and her faith became personal for her in her mid-twenties. Now, she continues to grow deeper in the faith and could talk all day about what Jesus has done for her. Through life’s good and bad, ups and down, trials and triumphs, rejoicing or sorrow, she cannot imagine dealing with it without her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“He is my rock, my joy, and my strength. Jesus took a sinful, broken and imperfect me and shown me his immense love and given me purpose,” says Stephanie. “One of the biggest blessings God has given me is my family at Hope Lutheran. Being a part of all this has been such an opportunity for spiritual, emotional, and mental growth. Being at Hope has given me a place where I can serve God and the purpose he has for my life and to use the talents that he has given me.”
Stephanie grew up in Portland, Oregon for most of her life and the majority of her family still lives there. In January 2002, she married the love of her life, Jason, and in July of 2003, God brought this sweet family to Idaho Falls. They love the area and consider it to be home. They have three children and serve as foster parents to their 15-year-old niece.
I always wanted a big family and even though it is often crazy, I have been blessed beyond measure,” laughs Stephanie. “I call it joyful chaos!”