For Norfolkan, travel is the thing

November 30, 2018

Five continents, countless countries. She’s living the life and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Kate Trindle — a native of New Jersey but raised in California — seemed almost born into the traveler’s mentality. As an adult, she moved with her husband to Colorado and later landed in Norfolk.

“I was in my 30s before I decided to go back to school,” Trindle said. “My original education was in accounting from a community college in California. I did accounting here in town (Norfolk) for a while, and then I got bored.”

Even with two young boys at home, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree. She spent one year at Northeast Community College in Norfolk and then earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College in 1990. All the while, her instructors were steering her into the teaching field. When that path started at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, her instructors helped steer her into the teaching field.

“Certainly, the decision to go back to school, it changed my life — and getting my first teaching job,” said Trindle, who also earned a master’s degree from Wayne State in 1997.

Following college, Trindle taught at Madison High School for 10 years, then at Wisner-Pilger High School for nine years before moving into the world of college — again.

She began teaching at Northeast Community College, spending five years there, making her total teaching years at 25.

While teaching both high school and college, Trindle had the opportunity to take students on trips abroad. She taught history and geography, and she incorporated her travels and experiences into her lectures for education purposes. Her first trip with students was in 1997.

“I’ve taken 12 student trips,” Trindle said. “I figured out I’ve taken close to 300 students. We usually visit a lot of the historical places, looking at art and architecture, a lot of museums. We also try to soak up the culture and give the Nebraska students an opportunity to experience another culture.”

Her trips were mainly to Europe, except one trip with Northeast students where she went to Costa Rica. The longest trip with students was two weeks during summer break, and the shortest was a week in Costa Rica over spring break a couple of years ago.

Europe is the preferred place to travel because it is affordable for students, she said. Plus, for other places, more security precautions are needed.

“It really changed students,” Trindle said of the trips. “It really made them grow. Almost every student that I have traveled with has kept in touch with me, so you really get to know someone well.”

Not only did Trindle take a large number of students on trips, she also travels with her husband on her own time. Now retired from teaching, she still volunteers with the ESL program and adult basic education at Madison. She also is a member of the Elkhorn Valley Historical Society.

She isn’t sure where her next trip will be. There are multiple countries that she would love to visit again.

“There are places I’ve been that so blew me away that I just bawled at the awesome beauty of it or just the wonder of standing in a place where so much history took place,” she said.

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