Inspired by the teachers who took the time to give her the help she needed in school, Susan M. Rickerl vowed to do the same for younger generations. She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was young, which meant she missed a lot of school and classroom work. Her teachers ensured she didn’t get left behind, however, often tutoring her and working with her one-on-one to help her succeed. This helped shape her idea of the ideal teacher: the one who is always there for students, no matter what. Ms. Rickerl’s first position in the field was teacher in the Pflugerville School District in Austin, Texas. She transferred to the Round Rock School District, where she taught pre-K and science a year later. She has served as a high school teacher since 2002.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Rickerl focuses on her love for poetry. She has released three anthologies of poems, “Our Western World’s Greatest Poems,” “Our Beloved Poets,” and “Poetic Voices of America,” and was a poetry reader at the Columbus Arts Festival from 2003 to 2005. Her efforts led her to be named to the National Library of Poetry Hall of Fame and to receive numerous Merit Awards from the World of Poetry. If Ms. Rickerl could offer some advice to future poets, it would be to be open and honest when writing. Poems, in her eyes, should be full of feelings and should invoke an emotional response from the reader.
To prepare for her endeavors, Ms. Rickerl earned a Bachelor of Arts from Carlow College in 1983 and a writing degree from the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut in 1991, as well as certification in elementary education. She also garnered hands-on professional experience as a receptionist at Magee Women’s Hospital in Pennsylvania and as a dental assistant and office manager for Dr. Wm. Garver, DDS.
When Ms. Rickerl has free time, she enjoys kung fu, cooking, reading, and music. She’s even written a number of pieces about kung fu over the years.