Big heart for little ones
Morgan Hengsteler has always enjoyed working with children. Raised in Castle Pines (attending Buffalo Ridge Elementary, Rocky Heights Middle School and Rock Canyon High School), Hengsteler babysat as a teenager in high school. She also worked over six summers as a camp counselor with the University of Denver Pioneer Athletic Super Summer camp, teaching kids ages 5 to 12 how to play different sports. This experience is where Hengsteler discovered she had a special connection with kids.
Today Hengsteler fills her days and heart teaching KindiePrep at American Academy (AA) Lincoln Meadows Campus. Working with younger children, she always knew she wanted to study elementary education, kindergarten to sixth grade. While on a campus tour of the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), Hengsteler’s excitement ignited when she was introduced to their Early Childhood Education program KindiePrep up to third grade. This program was exactly what Hengsteler had dreamed of, a program that would provide the flexibility to teach and grow with her students for several consecutive years.
Hengsteler graduated from UNC in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Criminal Justice – she has always enjoyed watching CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other crime mystery shows on TV, and at one time thought it might be a potential career path for her.
She began her career as a KindiePrep teacher assistant at the AA Mostenbocker Campus prior to teaching KindiePrep full-time. Her passion for working with children and watching their love for learning is what inspired her to become a teacher. She enjoys being a part of her students’ early education path, helping them expand their minds and watching them mature and grow over each year. Hengsteler said, “It is not just about teaching students new things but also planting the seed that learning is fun and to be confident in themselves and their abilities.”
A Castle Pines native raised in a hockey family, Hengsteler enjoys all sports – especially hockey. Her mom is a University of Denver (DU) alumni originally from Minnesota, so it was not long after she was born that she began attending DU hockey games and her twin sister and brother began playing hockey. Hengsteler is an avid Colorado Avalanche fan and has been attending games since 1995. She continues to enjoy the Colorado sports fan energy, the small town vibe of Castle Pines and being silly in her classroom.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Morgan Hengsteler