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Spotlight: Ruth Fuersten (Belleau)

August 6, 2009

RuthwShe can have you handcuffed and restrained in less than two minutes.  Yes, Ruth Fuersten, class of 1973, a double major in Special and Elementary Education, has gone on to enjoy quite a few diverse careers—not all of which are directly involved in education.  From her first job at Algoma school district, teaching 2nd and 3rd grade, and then special education, to teaching at a small school of 100 kids in Park Falls, to selling Pampered Chef, Ruth’s life lives up to a quote from her friend: “God never takes us from A to B.  God takes us on the scenic route.”

Currently, Ruth works for the Homme Youth and Family Program in Wittenburg, Wis., teaching math and science to kids who are “in the system”.  Her job is both rewarding and frustrating.  She teaches kids with an extensive four-letter word vocabulary (not appropriate to quote in an article) and sometimes has to go “hands-on” to prevents a kid from hurting his/herself and others.  However, she says, “What keeps me there is that every once in a while a kid will get discharged and will give you a hug, and whisper in your ear, ‘Thanks for believing in me.’  And I tell them, ‘I love you.  I love you dearly.  But I don’t ever want to see you again!’.”

Along with this demanding job, Ruth is also a motivational speaker and direct sales coach.  After twelve years of selling Pampered Chef products, she wrote a book, How to Book, Sell, and Recruit Your Way to Success (www.booksellrecruit.com).

Ruth has many fond memories of Silver Lake College, which she describes as a place where you can “leave your purse sitting on a table and someone will find you and remind you to pick it up”.  She decided to go to Silver Lake because when she walked into the building to check it out, the first person she saw was Sister Mary Grace, wearing sandals and a peace sign.  Sister Mary Grace would later celebrate with Ruth and the other students at the End of the Vietnam War party, and even spend a weekend at Ruth’s house.

Ruth spent much of her out-of-class time around the same table in the Student Lounge, studying and joking with her friends.  She even spent some of her in-class time out of class, since she got kicked out of Bishop Morneau’s class (then Father Morneau) [you’ll have to e-mail her for the rest of that story!].

Ruth was most impressed with the professors, who she considered profoundly knowledgeable.  To Ruth, the professors wanted their students to be successful and did everything they could to help the student to be successful.  Ruth once brought her son on an admissions visit to Silver Lake, and Sister Arlene noticed her and said, “I suppose you’re not Miss Belleau any more.”  After 22 years, Sister Arlene not only recognized Ruth, but remembered her name.

Ruth went on from graduation in 1973 to change the lives of countless students, and now is helping people who are involved in the direct sales industry to improve their party plan business.

To contact Ruth, e-mail her at ruth@booksellrecruit.com.

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One comment

  1. Heartwarming story of a great woman…doing the ordinary with much heart. Thanks, Ruth!



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