Behavioral Sciences Instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College

"I have two Masters of Science degrees, one in Psychology and the other in Education."

WHAT SHES DOES FOR LOVE: "I love photography, crocheting, ATVing with my family at our cabin in Northern Wisconsin, competing in 3D Archery shoots in nearby towns and playing with my seven-year-old granddaughter."

HER BEAUTY: "I’ve never really thought too much about beauty. I’ve always felt very comfortable with who I was. As I age, I've begun to see the beauty of my parents and the things I admired about them in myself. My mother is a loving person and when I look in the mirror I see her and the beautiful person she is, rather than seeing myself age.

HER 2015 GOALS: "Personally, my husband and I are getting in shape together, so that we aren’t just sitting on the couch at 50. Well, he’s already 50 -- so, I guess so we aren’t sitting on the couch when I turn 50. We’re trying to stay fit longer by staying physically active now. My other goal this year is to watch our son marry his love and take the next step in his life as an adult - and eventually start their own family, which means that I can have more grandbabies!

"Professionally, I want to be Department Chair. I’ve been doing things in my career to help me work toward it, like leading projects within my department and taking on leadership roles within the college as a whole. A small team of instructors of Psychology, English and Statistics are working to implement a cohort model of teaching. I’m representing from the Psychology department on this collaborative project to integrate education throughout all of the courses at CVTC. And I’ll be presenting at a conference in Madison in October."

"My favorite photo of my granddaughter and me." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"My favorite photo of my granddaughter and me." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"It was a pleasure to receive the Outstanding Educator Award from the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce for Chippewa Valley Technical College." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"It was a pleasure to receive the Outstanding Educator Award from the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce for Chippewa Valley Technical College." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee


ON CHALLENGES: "I believe that finding supportive people in your life is very important to being successful and happy. And with that, I think one of the first challenges I had to overcome was marrying the wrong person. I didn’t have the emotional support I needed early on. But then I married the right person, who encouraged me and supported me to help me become the person I am.

"The second, though I don’t know that I would consider it a challenge, was having children young. I didn’t start my higher education until I was 29, so I didn’t begin my degrees until later in life. I went to school because all my kids were in school and I needed something to fill that time, because I can’t sit and do nothing. I challenged myself in that way. I had always intended to go to college before I had kids and while the kids were young. I was always very good in education, life just takes you down different aisles than you expect sometimes. I wouldn’t change anything because all of that created who I became."

"My husband and me." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"My husband and me." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

3D Archery Shoot | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

3D Archery Shoot | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

ON SACRIFICE & SELF: "I didn’t want to miss anything the kids did, so I sacrificed sleep and other things to get schoolwork done and be able to attend all the events and competitions that my kids were a part of. I didn’t take care of myself as well as I should have because I didn’t want miss anything that my kids were doing. Some of my mistakes wouldn’t have been made had I focused a little more on myself -- used a babysitter if it helped to take care of myself mentally and physically. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself so that you can better take care of your children."

ON BEAUTY & HAPPINESS: "For me, the beauty of my accomplishments -- like seeing my children succeed, the growth in my career -- outweigh my own physical appearance. So I'm looking outward, not inward. With this, you can’t focus on your negative parts because you only see the positive things you’ve created in your life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have bad days, but I’ve been very happy throughout my life."

"My children, Nichole, Raydene, Wesley and Kendi at Kendi's graduation from the University of Wisconsin--Madison." |  Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"My children, Nichole, Raydene, Wesley and Kendi at Kendi's graduation from the University of Wisconsin--Madison." | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

Raydene, Nichole, Wesley, Kendi |   Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

Raydene, Nichole, Wesley, Kendi | Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

"My mom and dad."

"My mom and dad."

ON WOMEN SHE ADMIRES: "There are a lot of women in my life that I find admirable for different reasons. First, my mom because even though she was young when she had children, she never allowed that to be part to her parenting. She always wanted the best for us and she sacrificed a lot to make sure that happened. There were dreams for her life that she’s never fulfilled. She has always been a creative writer, and she used that to entertain us when we were growing up, but it wasn’t something that she focused on for herself. She only really talked about it after my dad died, but I think she could still do it if she wanted. The qualities I admire about her are that she is a truly loving person and is always willing to help, no matter how little she has.

"My colleague, Kristi Hagen, is another woman I admire. She has lived a completely opposite life to the one that I have lived. She has literally traveled the world, and done it completely on her own. Throughout her life, she would just go by herself if she wanted to see some place and she would meet people and immediately become part of their families. She’s still friends with many of them today. I admire her spirit of adventure -- I’d like to have a little bit of that.

"Jennifer Heinz is another colleague that I admire. She used to be a District Attorney for Eau Claire and now she’s a teacher. She focused on her career first, never really thinking about finding a husband, but knowing that a partner would come along when he was supposed to. And then he did, and they started their family. She became a teacher later in life, after she had their daughter. She left a prestigious career so she could be there for her child and to be in a safer environment for her family. To me that quality is so amazing -- for her to make a change in her life so that her daughter’s life would be better."

Raydene

Raydene

Nichole

Nichole

Kendi

Kendi

"Each of my daughters -- Raydene, Nichole and Kendi -- inspire me as well. And each has different qualities that I admire. We’ll start with my oldest: I admire the fact that Raydene was able to move out on her own to follow her dream, no matter how far away that’s taken her. That would have been one of the scariest things for me. She did it and she has overcome the challenges that have been presented to her in the process. Nichole is adventurous, which is what blows me away about her. Her ability to focus on herself and go after what she wants, no matter what the cost, is also very admirable. Kendi’s heart is what I admire. She accepts everyone exactly as they are. She is such a loving and wonderful person."

The whole, and growing, family.  |   Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee

The whole, and growing, family. Photo: Courtesy Franki Larrabee