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Meet Your Neighbors: Lisa Joesten

Meet Lisa! Lisa is a student coach and tutor in the dunes area. You can learn more about her business, “Empowering Student Success”, right here.

What brought you to the dunes? I was born and raised in Michigan City. The lake was always a highlight growing up. I have very special memories of time spent at the lakefront year round, but especially summers. I attended Valparaiso University where I met my husband of 25 years. He loved the area as much as I did so we decided to stay in Chesterton where we’ve raised our three children: David (21), Madeline (18), and Abigail (16).

How long have you lived here? We have lived in the Chesterton/Porter area for almost 26 years now.

What is your favorite thing to do in the area? Going to the beach in the summer is definitely at the top of my list. I especially love heading down early in the morning before the crowds. There is nothing better than feeling the early morning sun, toes in the sand, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves, while enjoying my morning cup of coffee.

Tell us a secret about the dunes. Not sure how much of this is a secret as it is interesting trivia. As a kid I was amazed to learn that the SS Eastland, which sank while still tied to the dock on the Chicago River in 1915, was heading to Michigan City where the employees of Western Electric were excited for a day of fun at the lake. As a side note, it happened on July 24th , which is my birthday!

Top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!”)

1) There’s a great trail that starts near our home in Porter Beach and leads to Cowles Bog near Dune Acres. It’s a common stopping point for Sand Hill Cranes during their migration in the spring and fall.

2) The Harvest Fest at Chellburg Farm has always been one of our favorite events to go to as a family.

3) Bartlett’s in Beverly Shores and Fish Camp in Michigan City are two of our favorite restaurants year round, but we especially love dining al fresco at either location in the summer!

What would you like to teach people about the dunes? It is beautiful and amazing year round. I think what I enjoy most about living in the dunes is being able to witness the change of seasons in such a dramatic way.

Anything else? Three years ago, I opened a small tutoring business in downtown Chesterton. Previously, I had been a special education teacher for over 20 years (8 of them being at Yost Elementary in the Duneland schools) specializing in teaching students with Learning Disabilities. I left the classroom to become an educational diagnostician with Porter County Education Services three years ago, but really missed teaching. I began seeing just a couple of students here and there; I now have a full after school schedule. I specialize in reading and math delays as well as study skills. Last year, I became an ADHD Certified Clinical Service Provider and now offer academic coaching to middle and high school students in addition to private tutoring. Unlike students who need individual tutoring, academic coaching students struggle with organization, task initiation, time management, planning, goal oriented persistence, and/or decision making. Through regular coaching sessions, teens learn these skills and are supported as they put these new skills into action. As the mother of three, I know first-hand that teens can be resistant to a parent checking their grades or hounding them about missing work. As a coach, I am able to be subjective and matter of fact as we conduct weekly grade analyses, make a plan to tackle missing work, address low grades, and work on lack of motivation and organization. I love the work that I am able to do with all of the kids and families that I see! I’m in the unique position to be able to really get to know the kids and their families. I especially love being able to individualize each session based on what the child is needing at that time. It is incredibly rewarding to see the growth these kids can make in these one on one sessions. with summer just around the corner, I’m excited to be able to offer more day time sessions, so that i can serve more students through my summer programs.

Learn more about “Empowering Student Success”, right here.

Do you know someone you would like to see featured? Be sure to let us know! Also check out our full “cool digs” directory, right here.

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