Mrs. Gehrke: Liberty’s Best Kept Secret

Liberty’s theater teacher shares her experience as both a teacher and a director


Meghan Lynch

Mrs. Gehrke and Connor Higlen discuss the music for the spring musical, Bright Star.

Meghan Lynch, Reporter

People are always looking for a sense of belonging, to be a part of something. For the students in the LHS theater program, it seems they’ve finally found a welcoming and supportive group of people.

Mrs. Gehrke is the warm and compassionate heart of Liberty’s theater program. She’s been the theater teacher and director at LHS for 8 years, 9 if you include this year. She’s very hardworking and loves what she does, which is extremely evident when watching the productions she directs and the classes she teaches. 

“I love the mood we’re all in when we’re working on the show. Gehrke goes into any situation with such a hopeful outlook on everything, and it starts to affect the way you think.” Says sophomore Kylie Brennan, assistant stage manager for Liberty’s spring show, Bright Star. She continued to discuss how much more optimistic she’s become just from the first year in Liberty’s theater program.

Mrs. Gehrke is currently teaching seven different theater-related classes, such as acting, improv/comedy, and tech theater. She works hard and described it as a very time consuming job, especially when she’s in the middle of directing a show, but that doesn’t stop her from maintaining a happy and optimistic mindset.

“It’s just a really, really fun job,” Gehrke said. “To be able to see students create something and then their pride when it comes to fruition is very cool.”

Gehrke attended DePauw University and then Lindenwood for her teaching degree and Masters in the Art of Education. However, Gehrke wasn’t always planning on being a teacher. She originally went to school for journalism, then went into business, before finally landing on teaching. Even though it took a long time to figure out what she loved and wanted to do, she couldn’t be happier with the work she does. 

Every one of the kids in the theater program has immense respect for Gehrke and loves being a part of her shows. 

“She’s very understanding, she’s very flexible,” said Connor Higlen, a junior and an actor for Mrs. Gehrke. “She tries to make sure that this is a nice, warm, and inviting place.”

Gehrke’s incredible teaching and kindness towards her students has made her one of Liberty’s best kept secrets, and her students know it. Whether it’s giving her a heartfelt gift at the end of a show or helping out whenever possible, Gehrke’s students always find a way to show how much they care about and appreciate her.