Volunteer Spotlight : Greg and Beats Vasterling


Greg and Beats Vasterling are both volunteer tutors at the East Side Learning Center.  Beats worked as a Professional Tutor for five years at East Side Learning before shifting to be a volunteer. This year she recruited her husband to volunteer as well. Not only are they both volunteer tutors, but they are also a volunteer team.  As a volunteer team, they work with the same three students, but take turns by coming in every other day. 

After retiring from teaching, Beats began looking for part time work in the schools. She came across a job posting through the Cathedral of St. Paul for a part time reading tutor at the East Side Learning Center.  She thought that the position sounded like a good fit and so she applied.  Later on the East Side Learning Center was in need of a new accountant.  Beats mentioned it to Greg, who is a retired accountant and has a lot of experience working on finances with churches.  Greg has been connected to the School Sisters of Notre Dame since elementary school.  Through the years he has always felt supported by the Sisters and enjoys that he is now able to give back to them by both helping with finances and tutoring.

Tutoring comes with many rewards. When asked what those rewards are Beats said that it is watching the progression that the kids make in such a short period of time. She likes that the students are teaching her as well. She has learned to be more patient and to be open to different ways of doing things since children do not all learn the same way.  Greg has enjoyed getting to know each of the kids as individuals as well. He noticed that some of his kids will give up easily if they do not know something, but he has found that with encouragement they gain confidence and do well.  Greg also enjoys working with a girl who is left handed like himself. It gives him the opportunity to model writing for her, so that she can improve.

Greg and Beats would like to advise new or potential volunteer tutors to, “Try it! It’s not easy, but it is very rewarding. Remember it is a commitment and it is very important that you show up. By showing up you will become attached to the kids and will wonder why you didn’t start earlier.”

Fun Facts:
Beats won a rascal contest when she was 2 years old and got $5.
Greg won an ice cream eating contest at age 30.

Know anyone else who would be an awesome tutor? Send them our way. Contact Kristina Scherber, Coordinator of Volunteer Tutors at kristina.scherber@spps.org.