Life After High School: Interview with Stacie Lea Quatsoe

Stacie Quatsoe Family
Stacie Quatsoe Family

Today’s interview with Stacie Lea Quatsoe is part of my ongoing blog-to-book project: Life After High School: Secrets To A Successful Life By Those Who Have Had Twenty Years To Think About It (or) What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. If you missed the last post, click here, otherwise, you can start at the beginning here.

Stacie Lea Quatsoe

Formerly Stacie Lea Walter

Burlington, WA

My Life In High School

Stacie Walter AHS 1996
Who were you in High School and how did you feel about it?

In High School, I feel like I was someone who people could count on and one who didn’t judge. I kind of feel like my High School years were spent hanging out with people from all different crowds. I definitely had my very quiet years and then I had my breakout years, which at times I wish I could go back to and maybe not get into trouble. 🙂 I was definitely someone who had a lot of fun and would never take those years back.

What did you think your life would become when you graduated?

When I graduated I definitely thought that I would end up going to college at UW or Western and knew that I wanted to become a teacher. I definitely thought that I would’ve been married and with children sooner than I did, however, I’m very glad that I waited until I did.

My Life After High School

Stacie Quatsoe Family

What happened in your life to you, for you, and by you in the last twenty years (how have you used your time and who have you become)?

My life has definitely taken me for a ride. I feel like I definitely lived my younger years and did plenty of partying to last me quite some time. When I graduated High School I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to go off to school, so I decided to head to Skagit and get my AA.

After spending one year at Skagit and partying way too much I realized that it was time to move on to something different and away from Anacortes in order to make myself grow up and become something that I would be proud of. I decided to go to a private school in Seattle called Seattle Pacific University, I figured that I needed something to really make me think.

My first year at SPU was spent hanging low and working really hard on my grades in order to fix the mistakes that I had made at Skagit. I worked really hard on my grades and was able to bring everything back up to A’s and B’s. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to major in until I was introduced to how people think. I decided that I wanted to learn more about the brain and how it works, so I landed myself in Psychology as a major and I never turned back.

My years at SPU flew by and were ones that I will never forget, the times from living in the dorms to living in a house with a group of girls. Not only did I get to experience college life for the amazing classes I took, but also the other side of college and that was the times to hang out with friends and yes I guess you could say partying. I remember going to parties with friends from college and then also heading over to UW to party a few times with Emily Miller. Those were definitely the days that wore me out. I could tell many stories from those days but let’s not go into that. 🙂

After college, I moved to Bellingham to live closer to my then boyfriend and to start my career as a teacher. Since I graduated in January I spent the first 6 months of my teaching career substitute teaching in order to really get myself out there and to see what I really wanted to teach. By the time September hit I was ready to do it on my own. I taught my first year of teaching at Bayview Elementary in Burlington as a title teacher for reading for half the year and then moved into a 5th-grade classroom to take over for someone who left of maternity leave. That is when I knew 5th grade was exactly where I wanted to be.

Not having a contract yet, I left Bayview after that year and moved to teaching 5th grade over at Washington Elementary in Mount Vernon. I taught there for 2 years and then once again moved on to another school due to cuts and being the low man on the totem pole, so you could say. I next landed a job in Mukilteo at Challenger Elementary first in a 4/5 split for a year and then moving into just a straight 5th grade my second year. I made some amazing friends while working there. During my 4th year of teaching there, I met my now husband Jason through a friend.

Jason and I met in September of 2007 and our story began from there. We got engaged in 2008 and then married January 31st of 2009 and not only did I get an amazing husband, but was now a stepmom to an amazing little girl Kaylyn who was at the time 5. We were living in Big Lake and I was commuting every day to work in Mukilteo and it was rough. I had my son, Casey on January 23 of 2010 and took the rest that school year off to stay at home with him. I stayed one more year at Challenger Elementary, but after finding out I was pregnant with my daughter I decided it was time to move my job closer in order to have more family time.

In September of 2011, I got a job Teaching at Mary Purcell Elementary in Sedro-Woolley. I had my daughter, Sydney in January of 2012 and now my family was complete. I have been teaching 5th grade at Mary Purcell ever since and am loving life. My husband and I just recently finished building our house in Bayview and I can truly say that I feel I have accomplished all that I could have hoped for, I have an amazing family, a career I always wanted, and some lifelong friends that I can always count on. 🙂

Stacie Quatsoe couple

My Life Lessons

What were the major life lessons and wisdom that you gained during your journey over the last 20 years?

My greatest success in my life over that past 20 years I would have to say is the life that I live today and the family that I have created. My only failures that I would really call failures would be some of the years I spent partying a little too hard.

I don’t want to necessarily call it a failing time in my life, but there are definitely some times in those years that I would have to say I learned some lessons the hard way and were just going to leave it at that.

The only other mistake that I feel I have made is that I have lost many friendships that I had in High School, which I know happens often, but I wish I could reconnect with those people because so many of them were so inspirational to me and went through some great years of my life with me.

Stacie Quatsoe frame

Letter To My High School Self

If you could write your 18-year-old self (or however old you were when you graduated) a letter, and send it back in time, what would you say? What lessons, wisdom, encouragement, or warnings would you give yourself?

Dear Self,

There are many things that I would want to tell you, but I feel that you need to find out a lot on your own and make your own mistakes because that is what will make you who you are in the future.

The few things that I would really want you to know is always live your life to its fullest and never take life for granted because you never know when life will be taken from you.

Cherish your friends and have many fun times with them because you never know when they will be gone. Make sure to always tell the people you love, that you love them because you never know when that door may be shut.

You will make mistakes in your life that you may wish you could take back, but just remember that all things happen for a reason and sometimes you have to endure the bad in order to see the good.

Love yourself for who you are and don’t ever change because someone tells you too. Always be happy and go root for the Seahawks!!! Seattle Seahawks that is!! Your life is your life go live it.

Stacie Quatsoe Seahawks

In the next post, I will continue with more interesting interviews, like this one with Scott Bjerk.

Are you from Generation X? I want to hear what you think! Please comment below and participate in the conversation about What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. What do you wish someone told you when you were eighteen?


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