About The Film
While painfully disappointed to be leaving the classroom, Konrad hopes that this new journey with his family will provide a unique avenue to advocate and pursue his commitment to special education. Using music as a platform he works to nurture a conversation about the subject from show to show. While the venues may be non-traditional, the shows attract teachers, parents, and advocates from across the country who are eager to share their experiences.
Konrad's end-goal of becoming re-inspired and returning to teaching is interrupted as opportunities arise from the success of his music and touring. Faced with a number of options, he must weigh the benefits of advocacy and financial security vs following his passion back into the special education classroom.
Konrad Wert was born and raised in the Mennonite church in the small but ethnically diverse town of Immokalee, Florida.
His parents both worked through the church, his mother as a nurse and his father as an educator and pastor. The family attended church two to three times per week, their faith rooted in the service of helping others, living simply, and pacifism.
Even after breaking from the church, Konrad has held strong to the belief of living a life of service. "I firmly believe that our lives on earth are here to help," Konrad says. "I think now more than ever that our existence will be determined by our conservation and that means attempting to live with less."
Starting in high school, Konrad was involved in kids outreach, working with families going through social services, and Habitat for Humanity. In college, he began mentoring kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. After a semester abroad to Ghana, Konrad dropped out of college and moved around from Washington, D.C. to California to Texas, all the while still working in non-profits focused on youth and the under-served.
"In those urban settings I got a lot of experience with loss and violence," Konrad said. "It's significant in seeing how tragic it can easily become with teens and tweens."
Following a trip abroad to Guatemala, he ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he met his wife, Jenny Gillespie. He finished his college degree and found work near Austin as a teacher working with special needs kids. He was awarded Teacher of the Year for his district in 2012. Konrad and Jenny have two kids, Jonah and Kai.
After years of delicately balancing the callings of education, music, and family, Konrad has decided to combine them all together and hit the open road.