When you walk down the red hallway and peek your head in the doors of the shop rooms, you will often see students hard at work. One might be surprised that under one of the welding masks, a ponytail can be found.

That ponytail belongs to welding teacher Kristie Heckendorf.

Heckendorf has been an influential member of the BRFHS staff for the past two years. She has really liked the atmosphere.

“My favorite thing about BRFHS is the students and staff,” said Heckendorf. “The staff is truly here for the students.”

She made a lasting impact on co-workers and students alike. “[Ms. Heckendorf] is someone who works really hard and is dedicated to her students,” said tech ed teacher Steve Nyman. “She is very passionate about her work.”

Nyman encouraged Heckendorf to be a part of the SkillsUSA program through the tech ed department. Through this, she became one of the advisers of Super Millage Vehicle (SMV) club. She has been able to closely mentor the kids in the club.

Students have enjoyed having Heckendorf as a teacher for many reasons. “She is always in a good mood,” said Junior Roger Stahl. “She is a very imformative teacher, and she is a really pleasant person to be around.”

Heckendorf is a good-hearted person that is looking to help the students in any way possible. “I have gone about setting up to have transcribed credit for the metals classes starting in the fall of 2011 through WTC,” said Heckendorf.

 Although she will be spending her summer welding, it will be a little bit different that the school setting that she is found in during the fall, winter and spring months. “[This summer] I will be training an artist how to weld,” said Heckendorf.

She is excited to be able to spend some more quality time with her family with her extra time.  Although she has not found another teaching job, yet, she keeps a positive attitude throughout the whole process. “Things happen when they are meant to be,” said Heckendorf.