Marguerite Ohrtman didn’t always want to pursue teaching and counseling.
“My original plan was to major in history to then attend law school, but my mom encouraged me to also get my teaching license,” she recalls.
As a student teacher, Ohrtman taught eighth graders and loved it which led her to pursue a career in teaching. Her first permanent position was as a middle school and high school history teacher in a small, rural town in Iowa where she also coached volleyball, basketball, and cheerleading.
After teaching for two years, Ohrtman discovered she enjoyed working with students on a more personal level and decided to pursue a career in school counseling. She earned both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Ohrtman worked as a school counselor at Shakopee High School while earning her doctoral degree and was also an adjunct professor during her doctoral program.
Today, Ohrtman is the director of school counseling and M.A. clinical training in the Department of Educational Psychology, specifically within the counseling and student personnel psychology (CSPP) program. When asked about her position here Ohrtman says, “I feel fortunate that I get to combine my two passions—teaching and counseling—in my current job.”
Ohrtman is a leader in the field of school counseling. In 2016, she was awarded the College of Education and Human Development’s New Career Excellence Award. She is the Lakes Area Counselors Association (LACA) president and treasurer. For the last four years, she’s been the vice president of post-secondary institutions for the Minnesota School Counselor Association Board. And she was recently elected President-Elect of the Minnesota School Counselor Association for 2018-2019.
“The most exciting part of my job is definitely working with our students.” Ohrtman says.
“I love mentoring and advising students as they progress through our program.”
Ohrtman’s advice to students: “‘Don’t stew, just do.’ Often times we get in our own way of our dreams and goals. I encourage students to do more and to challenge themselves each day. I also tell them, ‘Ask your advisors and mentors for help when you need it.’ We all want to help if we can!”
Outside of work, when not chasing her two toddlers, Orhtman loves traveling with her husband and mom, especially to California and Europe. She also enjoys going to Twins and Gopher games, shopping, taking her children to the zoo, photography, and wine.
“I am proud to say that I work for the University of Minnesota and the Department of Educational Psychology,” Ohrtman says. “I have amazing colleagues in the CSPP M.A. program.”
“I look forward to continuing to connect with others here at the U!”