Deb Wensel literally followed in her husbandâ€™s footsteps when she began her Kane teaching career in 1984.
Craig Wenselâ€™s shift to the high school that year left an opening for a math teacher at the middle school. His wife, Deb gave up her post-college role as a â€śstay-at-home momâ€ť to fill the vacancy.
â€śI inherited his job,â€ť Wensel joked as she reflected on a 28-year teaching career that will end in the three weeks with her retirement.
The Wensels are both St. Marys natives, but they didnâ€™t meet until their college days at Edinboro University. They married in 1972â€”the same year Craig began his teaching career in Kane. He retired 10 years ago as a high school math teacher and head football coach.
â€śWeâ€™re a family of educators,â€ť Deb said.
The Wensels have one daughterâ€”Michele â€śShellyâ€ť Smith of Kaneâ€”who currently is a long-term substitute teacher at Kane High School. Smithâ€™s husband, Nathan, is a Kane High School math teacher and is the schoolâ€™s golf coach.
The Wensels have two sonsâ€”Rick of Kane, who is employed at Kane Hardwood, and Jason, also of Kane, who is a product engineer for Metaldyne in Ridgway. Jasonâ€™s wifeâ€”the former Christa Jamerson of Kaneâ€”is a Spanish teacher at St. Marys High School.
The Wensels have five grandchildren with a sixth â€śon the way this summer,â€ť Deb said.
Teaching school has been Wenselâ€™s ambition since she was in the third grade.