Community Connections: Profile of former Times intern Torrie Gaffney

Mike Christopherson
Torrie and David Gaffney on their wedding day

What year did you work in the Crookston Times newsroom?

I worked in the Crookston Times newsroom (then the Crookston Daily Times) during the summers of 2012 and 2013.

What was your favorite part of your experience at the Times?

My favorite part of working at the Times was connecting with the community of Crookston. I’m not originally from Crookston, and what might seem like just another potluck or just another Night to Unite was a new experience and adventure to me.

What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself and/or the biggest life lesson that you took with you when you left the Times?

Go for it-- And don’t worry about what other people think. One of my jobs at the Times was writing stories and taking photographs. I would often find myself having to kneel in front of an audience to get the perfect shot, or having to approach an important person with a well-worded, sometimes provocative question. Learning to just “go for it” without worrying about the thoughts of others was something I had to learn for the sake of the job, and it has helped me immensely in my adult life.

What have you been doing since? Give us an update on where you’re at, what you’re doing, who you’re with, etc.

After graduating from Crookston High School in 2014, I went to the University of Wisconsin- Superior and double majored in Secondary English Education and Secondary Spanish Education. I graduated in 2018 and received my first job as a K-12 Spanish teacher in Luck, WI, where I am currently finishing my third year. While in college, I met my now husband, David, on eHarmony of all places! We got married in August 2019 in Superior and are already coming up on our second anniversary…!

Torrie and David Gaffney enjoy some iconic Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies.

What are you passionate about these days?

I have really dug into my faith and discovered what it means to be a Christian. David and I attend a wonderful church in the Twin Cities and serve there almost every weekend. I’m also really passionate about finishing my Masters Degree in Educational Instruction (I graduate in the spring!). I’m sure I’m passionate about other things, too, but graduate school has kind of consumed my life for the past two years…

You married at a relatively young age and you seem to be loving married life. Was it a no-brainer? Do you highly recommend your decision to others?

I absolutely love married life. It was a no-brainer for me, and I firmly believe that it was because I found the right person. I am not afraid to tell my friends and even my students to choose the opposite path because they have not found the right person-- I believe that and they believe that. When you know, you know-- And then, why wait?

Tell us how the pandemic impacted you/continues to impact you…

The pandemic was really the catalyst that ignited my faith, as I think it did for many people. I suddenly had a lot more time to dig into God’s word, pray, and, of course, worry. David and I were spared from any real hardship during the pandemic and both remained healthy. I finished up the 2019-2020 school year virtually and he continued to go into work as a front line corrections officer for the state of Minnesota. The 2020-2021 school year began face-to-face, yet went 100% virtual for the months of November through January. This impacted how I collected data for my master’s thesis. All in all, the pandemic has allowed us the opportunity to realign our priorities and, above all, put God first.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love to take mini road trips around MN/ WI, go hiking, and explore my own backyard. We live in a beautiful area! I also continue to sing and search for theatre opportunities.

Look in your life’s crystal ball: Where do you think/hope you’ll be 10 years from now, and what do you think/hope you’ll be doing?

Where will I be at 35 years old…? Well, I hope to be raising a child or two with David. I also hope to continue to be teaching, either Spanish or English, in WI or MN. I hope to be able to continue to connect with friends, visit family, travel, and give praise to the one who makes it all possible.