Behind the Mask of Teachers: Mrs. Consdorf

Consdorf has quickly become a poster child of science classes at Fargo North. She has been a chemistry/AP chemistry teacher here at North for 14 years now and she wouldn’t trade it for the world (even though she is a graduate of south high and a bit of a trader for that). Many of us know her as the fun-loving chem-mom of North, but there is a lot more to her than that. As we discovered in our interview, there is a lot more behind the mask than meets the eye with Consdorf.
As we mentioned before, Consdorf is a trader from south high (Yes that is intentionally uncapitalized.) She was a self proclaimed “grungy teen” in high school. She said instead of going to parties like the other kids, she enjoyed hanging out with her friends at a small coffee shop and going to concerts. She and her friends were also very passionate about social justice and politics, which is something that stuck with her into adulthood. During her childhood, she lived in Fargo and would often go visit her grandparent’s farm near Valley City. She considers that one of the places she grew up, because of all the time she spent there as a kid. When attending south as a nasty bruin, she was active in choir and played the cello in orchestra, was in science olympiad, medical explores (similar to health careers and HOSA), and was very active with her church and volunteering. She also played basketball in middle school and swam through both middle and high school.
Consdorf has been teaching for a combined 21 years. As previously mentioned, 14 of those were here at North. The other 7 years of her teaching career were spent at Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She enjoyed teaching there, but oftentimes felt like it was difficult to be seen and heard in such a big school. One of the things she enjoys most about being a teacher at North is how she feels like she is part of more of a community in our more moderate sized school.
When asked about what her “dream job” would be, she said that teaching was her dream job since her childhood (so don’t worry students, she’s not going anywhere). Teaching ran in her family and was something she always wanted to do. She says that is pretty common with kids who have parents as teachers. When she reached college age, she was a bit undecided at the route she wanted to take. Consdorf was stuck between going to school to be a teacher and going to school to be a pharmacist. She is a proud graduate of Concordia and eventually found herself pursuing a career in chemistry, because she knew she would need that with either path she took. She was offered a job coaching high school swimming and that is when she knew that teaching was what she wanted to do. When Consdorf eventually retires down the road, she would like to sell real estate in a different area. She does not know specifically where, but says her requirements for a place for her to live are simple; they must have an international airport, Whole Foods or Trader Joes, and a Nordstrom.
She is very involved both in and out of school. She serves as the student council advisor here at North as well as the advisor for North’s chapter of Philanthropy and Youth (PaY). Consdorf puts in COUNTLESS hours outside of school to make certain that those clubs succeed and have fun while doing it. One of her favorite student council memories this year was her start of what will now be a future tradition of a StuCo picnic and Alzhimer’s fundraiser in the fall. The day included a walk to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease and the Alzheimer’s Association, a competitive cornhole tournament, a socially distant picnic, and lots of cuddles and pets to Consdorf’s beloved dog and quarantine baby, Walter.
On a similar note, Consdorf encourages students to find something that they are truly passionate about. Joining PaY here at North is a perfect opportunity to do that. PaY offers students a $5,000 grant to allocate to local nonprofit organizations all picked by students. She believes that giving back to the community is very important to developing good character and PaY is one of the best ways you can do that because it’s not your own money ;). When asked why students should join PaY Consdorf said, “It’s great for making connections with people, making a positive difference in their life, motivating them, helping build relationships, helping to connect with support classmates.” She says she doesn’t get tired of supporting student’s and their passions and wants to be a positive influence on her students.
Outside of school, though, Consdorf enjoys a variety of activities. Her guilty pleasure is reality TV with Keeping Up with the Kardashians being her definite favorite.
“Their hair and makeup is always spot on” Consdorf says regarding the Kardashians.
She also enjoys watching Food Network and is even willing to get up early to enjoy tuning in. She is also an all-star basketball mom. Consdorf loves watching her kids play sports, with basketball being her favorite to watch. She also volunteers her little free time to being a part of the youth basketball association. Another thing she enjoys is planning and organizing trips and exploring new places (not during COVID, of course). As previously mentioned, Consdorf loves to volunteer and practice philanthropy as much as her schedule allows. She volunteers making monthly meals at a local church for people in need and finds it to be very fulfilling and enjoyable.
Those who know Consdorf either as an advisor, teacher, or both know that she is full of inspiration and advice. When we asked her for a last piece of advice in our interview she said this: “This year has been an interesting experience for all of us and it challenges us to think creatively and be flexible. There is value in being flexible and letting go of things not in your control. I encourage people to take a breath and find positive experiences like lessons and stuff you’ve enjoyed and learned about yourself. Life is about how you respond to what happens, not about what happens to you.”