Skip to Content

TLU Alum Stacey Wiatrek Named A.J. Briesemeister Middles School Teacher of the Year

TLU extends special congratulations to Stacey Wiatrek, class of ’98, for being named Seguin ISD’s A.J. Briesemeister Middle School Teacher of the Year!

Wiatrek is grateful to have been recognized. “To be honored by your peers is an incredible experience and I am so thankful for this recognition,” she says.

This victory is all the more sweet since only a few years ago, Wiatrek was told she’d never work again. “I was diagnosed in 2003 with Gastroparesis. My stomach doesn't work like everyone else's,” she says.

Gastroparesis is a rare medical disorder wherein the stomach muscles don’t contract as they should, causing food to remain in the stomach for too long. This can lead to debilitating symptoms and complications. Wiatrek was in and out of the hospital, but still managed to work. “Even though I was sick, I became the Academic Dean at Judson Middle School, but with the work hours and stress, illness caught up with me and my body finally said no more.”

Wiatrek had no choice. She had to take medical retirement. “It was very heartbreaking considering all of the work I had put in to get where I was,” she says. But she knew her doctor’s advice was correct, so as hard as it was, she stepped back and rested.

“It was exactly what my body needed and in 2022 I had successfully stayed out of the hospital and wanted to dip my toe back in,” she says. It was then that she accepted a job through the University of Texas Reading Research Project which involved splitting her time between Briesemeister and a school in San Antonio, providing reading intervention.

She continued to stay healthy and was asked to stay at AJB to teach math. “Last year was my first full year back and I had a blast coming back to the classroom,” she says. “I still have my off days, but thankfully I have continued to stay out of the hospital. My doctor is amazed at my comeback and very proud of my also being named Teacher of the Year just two years in.”

She’s come full circle in a way—back in Seguin, and back in the classroom. “It makes it even more special serving the Seguin community, where I began my college career,” she says, adding, “Go Bulldogs!”

All teachers are heroes. But Stacey Wiatrek? She’s in a class all her own.