Alumni Spotlights feature MHS Alumni who have been nominated by others for the work they are doing or how they impact their community. Kelsey Brinkman was nominated by a current MHS teacher who has kept up with Kelsey and now calls her a peer in the field of teaching. We love hearing about former students who are now giving back to education and inspiring the next generation of students!
Kelsey (Hoover) Brinkman
Class of 2008
1. What activities, clubs, or organizations were you involved with during high school?
Forensics and stage crew
2. What were you best known for in high school?
I don't think I had any standouts. I was a pretty good student who was friendly to all.
3. How did your time at MHS impact your college experience?
MHS has high expectations with teachers who care about your success. The high expectations and the writing skills, organization skills, etc. I acquired in high school all prepared me to be successful in my college experience.
4. What have you been up to since graduation?
Since graduating at MHS, I earned my BA in Psychology and BA in Sociology at UW-Milwaukee. After graduating, I married my high school sweetheart and best friend, John Brinkman, in 2013. The day after returning from our honeymoon, I began attending Alverno College as part of their Licensure to Master's Program. I earned my teaching license in 6-12th grade Social Studies while completing graduate courses in Education. Part of my student teaching experience was actually with the incredibly talented MHS teacher, Kenneth Bosch!
After earning my teaching license, I got a job as a building substitute teacher at South Milwaukee Middle/High School. I learned a lot about behavior management and building relationships as a substitute. While subbing, John, our two cats (Ziggy and Luna), and I went through an apartment fire. We were displaced for over three months due to heat and smoke damage. We were just so thankful the firefighters saved our cats!
After moving back to our apartment, I got a job at Brookfield East High School as an AP Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Intro. to Psychology, and 20th Century U.S. History teacher. I also became an assistant forensics coach. I am happy to say that next school year I will be starting the AP Psychology course at South Milwaukee High School!
Besides lesson planning, grading, and hanging out with John and our cats, I have a hobby of making budgeting-related YouTube videos. Being transparent with our finances in the videos is holding us accountable in achieving our goals. Life has been a roller coaster, but I have learned that happiness is the key to success!
5. Are there any specific teachers who had a great influence on you during high school? In what ways did they influence you?
Margaret Pyne had a major influence on me during high school and she continues to be a huge role model. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn't know which subject I wanted to teach. When I first took Intro. to Psychology, I was enthralled in the subject. Not only was the subject fascinating, but Ms. Pyne had a way of making everything we did exciting. She had a passion for teaching that showed through day in and day out. I remember thinking that that was the kind of teacher I wanted to be. I wanted to teach something I was passionate about and I wanted my students to feel that excitement in the classroom. She continued to fascinate me in AP Psychology. I kept in touch with her throughout college, student teaching, applying for teaching jobs, etc. as she was always there to give me advice. I saw her fairly recently as we both attended the Milwaukee Area Teachers of Psychology meeting!
6. In what ways are you impacting your community or making an impact in your field of work?
My dream has been to make a positive difference in the lives of others and I find teaching to be a very rewarding field in achieving that goal. I want to make learning exciting and I want students to know that I care. By achieving these two things, I feel I am making a positive impact in my work and the future of our community.
7. Any advice you would like to give current MHS students or comments for the Warrior Nation community.
For current MHS students, I want to say to enjoy your high school years! You may hear it all the time, but high school IS truly one of the best years of your life. You may never see your classmates again after high school, so put aside the drama and focus on enjoying the moments as you only have them once. Make a positive impact so people will remember your greatness and kindness! Also, do whatever you can to not take out student loans :) Above all, do what makes you happy. Instead of saying that you won’t be happy until you are successful, make an effort to do things that make you happy and ultimately, you will be MORE successful! Don’t compare your life to others. Don’t worry too much about the future. Just enjoy life!