Life sometimes takes a different path than we plan

Kelsey Goughnour has faced a large group of rowdy students and tried to get them to complete assignments. So it is not a mystery why she has such confidence in training a group of 400+ doctors. Goughnour had no intention of working in hospital administration, yet that is the career she is in today.

Goughnour graduated from the David O. McKay School of Education in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Education was always on her mind, and from an early age she set her sights on teaching.

“I had teachers that encouraged me, challenged me, and helped mold me into the person I was when I graduated from high school," said Goughnour. "My original goal was to own and operate my own private school, so I chose becoming a teacher as the first step.”

While at BYU, Goughnour decided to complete her student teaching in Samoa. Though not part of the usual BYU experience, her trip to Samoa was a good one, and she was grateful for the experience she had.

While in Samoa, Goughnour lived on the campus of the school she taught at. It was on the same lot as the temple, and that brought the Spirit and helped her with her student teaching. There were a few things that she was not used to in Samoa. For example, teachers had to pay to make copies. Since this was an expensive endeavor, creating worksheets by hand became a nightly routine.

Upon returning from her student teaching experience, Goughnour turned her focus on finding a job. She did substitute teaching for about a year while looking for a permanent teaching job. Nothing lined up for her. She decided to start working at a hospital because they offered her a job, and, quite frankly, she “needed income to live.”

Goughnour found that her degree was the reason that she got a job at the hospital doing secretarial work. In a later conversation, the CEO related to her that having a degree showed that she had a great work ethic and dedication. And for Goughnour, her degree proved to be a valuable source of inspiration. “I felt confident because I had a degree," she said. "I felt confident that I could accomplish things because I had to in order to finish my classes and my student teaching.”

In 2011 she became a certified professional in medical services management. After receiving this certification, she held different positions in the Texas Society for Medical Services Specialists at the local and state levels.

Although administration was not her original plan, Goughnour has embraced her role as a hospital administrator and excelled in everything she has done. She has found a great use for her teaching skills, and the things she learned while at BYU have proven to be valuable in her career. She is now the president for her state association and, as such, has a new perspective on deciding what to do for the future.

“I guess my biggest advice is ‘What e’re thou art, act well thy part,’" said Goughnour. "I could have given up when I didn’t get a teaching job, but instead I decided to take life on and move forward.”

Writer: Collin Smith

Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562