Erica Hertel Wyse, Class of 1983

May 20, 2000
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Erica is the youngest of three daughters of Wes and Carol Else Hertel and the granddaughter of Edith Bernice McDivitt Hertel, Class of 1916. Erica’s sisters are Lynne Hertel Merrill, Class of 1979, and Lori Hertel Holst, Class of 1981.At SPHS Erica was involved in the track team and served as president of the Keywanettes, where she learned the importance of giving your time to others.After graduating from SPHS, she got her bachelor’s degree in Humanities at University of California, Irvine in 1987. While at UCI, she became involved with a Christian student group called Campus Crusade for Christ. Following graduation, she joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and was placed at the University of Arizona in Tucson.Erica always had the desire to help and/or teach others, which was cultivated during her time growing up in Santa Paula. Being on staff with Campus Crusade meant helping college students with their spiritual lives, and also in the many life decisions that happen in college years. With her high school track experience, she was able to relate to the college athletes. Some of her duties on staff were to give talks to campus groups, including sports teams, on subjects such as confidence, study skills, and time management. The bulk of her time was spent meeting with students one on one or in small group Bible studies.Erica felt the need for more education, so she went on to get her master’s in Religion at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School from 1991 to 1993. While at Trinity she was again able to help people on a part time basis at Circle Urban Ministries in the inner city of Chicago. Here she counseled and referred clients to the right departments for help. Circle helps the poor with housing, education, job training, medical needs, food and clothing, and spiritual needs. Most of her clients were African-American single mothers. It was here at Trinity that Erica met Joe Wyse.
Upon graduation from Trinity in 1993, Erica and Joe returned to Santa Paula to be wed at the Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Tom Bousman. They went back to North Chicago, Illinois, where Joe worked for Trinity in Admissions and Erica worked at a church until their first daughter was born in 1995.In 1996, Trinity merged with a Christian law school in Orange County which is now called Trinity Law School; Joe is the assistant dean of Administration at this school. It was here there second daughter was born.Erica has now received her certificate from UCI for teaching English as a second language, and teaches English to adults two nights a week. Her number one priority now is to spend time with her children and stay active in their church, where she teaches a women’s Bible study group.Last summer they had the opportunity to go to Germany with a group from their church, and taught English to Russian immigrants in Germany.

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