Get to Know Blackhawk’s Stacey Chester, Career Coach

November 15, 2023


Welcome to our “Get to Know Blackhawk” series, which uses a Q&A format to showcase the diverse and talented individuals within the college community.

What is your name and where did you grow up?

My name is Stacey Chester. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland.

What is your role at Blackhawk Technical College?

Career Coach

What was your journey to this role? Where did you go to school? What did you study?

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Towson University, I worked as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. In 1999, my husband and I were relocated to western Maryland for his job. While living there, I completed my master’s degree in Education at Frostburg University and began working for Big Brothers Big Sisters as a case manager. In 2004, we relocated to Illinois, which began a 15-year career working as a library manager. During the pandemic, I returned to the classroom for three years but have always been interested in higher education. 

Is there something that drew you to this career?

I enjoy helping people meet their goals.

What motivated you to apply for this position at Blackhawk?

Being part of a team that helps students be successful is very appealing. 

What is something Blackhawk offers that you feel other colleges do not?

Blackhawk offers a wide variety of learning modalities to help all students reach their goals. 

What is your life like outside of work? Family? Community involvement? Adorable pets?

I’ve been married to my husband for 28 years. We have a son who works as a software developer and lives in Cedarburg and a daughter who is a senior at the University of Wisconsin.  I have volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, scout leader, basketball coach (this did not go well, but I tried), and a member of the Cherry Valley Recreation Board. My husband and I also sponsored a young person’s education through World Vision. After nine years of sponsorship, our student has graduated! In my free time, I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and visiting local parks and historical sites. I also enjoy traveling. Some of the places I have visited include Alaska, Amsterdam, Germany, Austria, Scotland and England. 

Tell us something about yourself you think people would be surprised to know.

I attended Woodstock 1994 for free by selling veggie burgers all weekend in the rain and mud with a group of my college friends. 

What is your favorite quote?

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” - Oprah Winfrey

What was your first job?

At 15, I worked at the local florist. I would ride the school bus there every day. 

What game show would you most want to participate in? Do you think you could win?

I think it would be fun to participate in “People Puzzler.” I don’t think I would win because I would be so nervous, but I would do my best!

What was your first concert?

My mom was a huge Kenny Rogers fan, so when I was in middle school the whole family went to see him. 

If you could be any movie character, who would you choose and why?

Erin Brockovich, because the character is based on a real person who showed perseverance and continues to work to improve our country to this day. 

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, which food would you pick?

I would say a banana. They are very versatile. 

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

“Mighty Mouse”

What/who was your favorite pro athlete?

Pele is my favorite pro athlete. My students enjoyed reading his biography every year. His story is truly inspiring.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you pick?

I would love to fly! 

What/who is your favorite book or author?

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is one of my favorite books. The main character, Kya Clark, perseveres through childhood trauma and social ridicule to become a well-known author by following her passion for nature through self-education. 

What is your dream vacation destination?

Iceland would be a dream vacation. The natural wonders would be amazing to see.

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

Riding in a hot air balloon.

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