Ms Patnaik came from a family of eleven. The best part of growing up was having parents who loved the Lord and raised their children in the ways of the Lord. At the age of fourteen, her dad went home to be with the Lord. She was angry with God and rebelled by refusing to go to church and school. But God had His hand on her and she dedicated her life to Him and finished school.
She had just graduated from high school and was wondering what God had in store for her. Through many incidents, He told her clearly to be a teacher. This was not what she had in mind. After much prayer, she felt beyond a shadow of a doubt, she needed to do what He had planned for her to do and now after 53 years of teaching, she has no regrets.
She discovered that with God as her Master Teacher, she just could not go wrong. She enrolled in evening college and taught full time during the day to support her family and pay for her education. It was hard but God was with her. Within 5 years she had, with the help of God, achieved my BA and B Ed. She was a fully trained and qualified teacher with six years of teaching experience.
Although she expected to teach junior high, she knew her calling was to teach younger kids because she felt teaching them study skills and instilling in them the joy and desire for learning and introducing Christ to them was the foundation for being a good student. As a class teacher, she would be with them most of the day and would with the help of God be able to train them in the ways of the Lord. To her, the growth of the whole person (the child) was and still is the primary reason why she loves teaching.
In 1980 the Lord miraculously brought her mom, her sister and herself to this beautiful country of America as immigrants. God once again opened up doors, for her to work in Christian Schools. She was a Preschool- Kindergarten director for eight years. She has been in Highlands Christian Schools as a teacher for more than 27 years where she has been teaching 1st Grade. She still loves teaching. It is her life. It is important to her. It is all about giving a young child skills that will enable him/her not only to be a good student but one who is able to make choices that will be pleasing to God.
After coming to America, He gave her the opportunity to complete her Masters in Church and School Administration.
Ms Patnaik says, “I do not know what the Lord has in store for me. What I do know is I belong to Him and He is in control and will direct my path. He will use me in whatever way He sees fit. I can’t go wrong when he is my leader. Blessed be His name”.