Karen Mensing


Karen Mensing

One word that describes your journey or path


Current job position

Technology Integration Facilitator

What were you like in middle school?

In middle school, my family had a Texas Instruments computer and then later an Apple IIC and I absolutely loved both of them! I spent hours teaching myself BASIC programming out of a book. At school a few classrooms had a computer or two, but we were barely allowed to use them and teachers were kind of nervous and protective of them. For example, I remember on one computer it said, "press any key to continue" but the teacher told us we MUST press the number 1 key when we got that prompt. I remember trying to explain that you could actually press any key, not just the number 1 and he shushed me. The summer between 7th and 8th grade I took a computer class at the local high school. That was the first time I was ever exposed to a mouse! I loved the class and was excited to be taking a "high school level" class.

What types of courses did you take in HS?

Language Arts

What was the one course you took that has served you throughout your life? Why?

My high school English teacher was very tough, but really good. The writing skills I learned from him (I had him all four years of high school) have served me well.

Was your Information Technology experience attained though on-the-job experiences or through a formal educational path?

On the job training

Where did you get your first exposure to Information Technology and start your training/experience?

I guess I would say my first exposure to Informational Technology was when I started working with the IT Department in the fall of 2015. I have loved tech since I was in 3rd grade and have been a heavy user ever since, but I am not sure I would classify any prior experience as Informational Technology.

What was your path? How did you get from where you started to where you are today?

After college I was a retail manager and while the pay was excellent, it was quickly apparent that was not the job for me. I went to Broadcasting School (waste of money - don't bother!) because I had a strong interest in media and ended up working at a little radio station called KPTY Arizona's Party Station. Radio was an absolute blast and I mainly worked as a traffic manager/continuity director which is the person who schedules all the commercials and makes sure the right spot runs at the right time. I also did lots of voiceover work and wrote local commercials. After eight years in radio I was ready for a change and I started substitute teaching. A charter school in Surprise, Arizona took a chance and hired me as a 2nd grade teacher for the fall. At that point I had virtually no teaching experience, had taken no education classes and did not have a teaching certificate. I enrolled in a Masters/certification program and went to school at night while teaching during the day. Those were two very challenging years but I learned a ton! Once I was certified, I got hired to teach a K, 1 and 2 self-contained gifted classroom in PVUSD. With all those grade levels together all day, I quickly realized technology was the best way to differentiate instruction and bring authentic learning experiences into the classroom. After teaching elementary for eight years, I was hired as a teacher with the IT Department. It is completely different from any of my previous jobs and I learn something new every day!

What trait(s) or characteristic(s) do you see in yourself?

I am a very creative thinker and I love trying new things. I don't need to know how things work before I try it because I assume I will figure it out along the way.

Words of wisdom....

Be smart about what you post online. Your digital footprint is forever and NOTHING is private on the Internet!