A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Kailey Brauer

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Kailey Brauer

Kailey Brauer is an eighth-grade science teacher at Fegley Middle School. Brauer has been around the area for a while now, but no matter where she has taught, her heart belongs to Fegley it seems. 

“I was at Fegley for a year in 2021. I left and spent a semester with different school districts, but I missed a lot. I left that school district, and I did the last semester of Fegley and then did this year, so I have technically been with Fegley for two to three years at this point,” said Brauer.

Before her start at Fegley, she attended Olivet Nazarene University, where she majored in biology. There was a lot of influence at home that brought her to her love of biology and science in general.

“I really didn't know what I wanted to teach. I started taking different prerequisite classes. I always really liked biology. My mom was a biology major, and my brother is in the science field as well, so it just fit well like that," said Brauer. "That was my favorite subject and my family is all very science-based. That led me to decide to go for science, but primarily biology.”

Behind every great teacher, there is a story of how they found their passion for teaching. Not only was it Brauer’s family that influenced her but there was also something else that resonated with her. 

“At first, I didn't really know what I wanted to teach. I wanted to be a teacher because I went on a mission trip to Carroll, Illinois, which is a poverty-stricken area. I was working in a women's shelter, and I was working with young kids," said Brauer. 

"I was originally going for dentistry,” Brauer said. “When I went on this mission trip, I was thinking to myself that I needed to be a teacher. I can't go my whole life knowing that there are kids that have serious needs that need to be met and knew I could make a difference as a teacher." 

Not only does Brauer teach biology, but she is also the science department chair, helps run the LifeSkills program, and is involved with the Student Council. Not only does Brauer help students learn in the classroom but her involvement with these activities allows her to assist students outside the classroom as well. 

“As the science department chair, I hold meetings to make sure that everybody has all the lab materials that they need. For example, if a sixth-grade class is doing a lab that requires batteries, I make sure that they have the right amount of batteries they need to complete their tasks. Also, I make sure that all the needs of the department are met. We have enough textbooks so we don't have any questions about the curriculum app,” said Brauer. 

LifeSkills has become a crucial part of today's youth, especially at Fegley Middle School. Brauer has been determined to teach the students more than just biology on a daily basis. 

“LifeSkills is a program that we use with our kids that teaches them things like coping with anger, saying no to drugs and alcohol, stress management, and things of that nature. It equips them with the real-life tools that they are going to need throughout their life. It is something that generations around my age wish we had. I teach it to the students, but then I also teach it to the teachers so they can understand how to answer any questions kids might have and everybody knows how to teach it,” said Brauer. 

Brauer will continue to make an impact on the youth of Northwest Indiana. Her determination and commitment to teaching and helping youth are amazing and will not go unnoticed.