Glen Allen is a teacher in the Theology department of Messmer High School, teaching several classes that help high schoolers live up to their potential. Through God he feels that his role in life is to be here and be both a role model and support system for his students.
To help his students find their path in life, Glen Allen first had to find his own. And that path was anything but straightforward.
Now a teacher in the Theology department at Messmer High School, Glen couldn’t have predicted his career when he was a middle schooler in Milwaukee. “I was making poor decisions,” he admits, “not living up to my potential, just trying to be a bad boy.”
But after high school, Glen eventually landed at a small university in Chicago. He graduated with a business administration degree – and a wife and daughter. Having a hard time finding a job back in Milwaukee and needing money, he heard MPS was looking for substitute teachers.
“The seeds were planted,” Glen recalls. “You had kids from all walks of life, all different emotional and academic needs.”
But needing to earn more for his family, he soon became a police officer in Madison. Disillusioned with the demands, Glen would redirect his path yet again. He enrolled in an alternative certification program while he taught middle school, eventually mastering in curriculum instruction at Marquette.
“I was there for about seven or eight years and loved every moment of it,” he says. After receiving his administrative license leading to a short stint as a principal, his wife of 15 years was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. It was then that Glen prayed hard for the next path to follow.
The answer led him to Milwaukee College Prep, teaching in a variety of schools. Unfortunately, Glen’s wife lost her battle. He was devastated.
To stay closer to home, he launched a mentoring program, visiting campuses and talking to at-risk boys. He was feeling great, making connections, impacting lives. And then Covid hit, shutting it all down.
Glen joined St. Augustine Prep, teaching bible classes. “I created my own curriculum and I’m connecting with kids,” Glen says. But with virtual learning in effect, the challenges of a single dad forced one more change.
His long, winding path finally brought him to Messmer. As Glen tells his students, “We’re all here for a reason.” He believes teaching is a calling.
“It’s a call for greatness, to impact these kids. And the rewards are far greater than you’ll ever be able to see. If that call is in your heart, then you’ve got to answer the call.”