When Lisa Teachman was a junior at Campus High School in Haysville, she sent a letter to all three TV stations in town asking for an internship. She still has a copy of the letter she received from Dave Freeman, who retired in May at KSN after 24 years.
That began her six-year internship at KSN, “probably the longest internship in history,” she said.
Now, more than 20 years later, Teachman is returning to KSN, where she started her career, as the station’s chief meteorologist.
Teachman remembers Freeman taking time after his evening newscast to let her rehearse her own newscast and giving her pointers about where to stand and how to hold her body. Back then, one of her main responsibilities was updating this new thing called “the web.”
And when it was time to go to college, Freeman told her about a dual program she could do at Wichita State and Mississippi State to earn a degree in communications and meteorology. If she had questions on the correspondence work from Mississippi State, she said, the four KSN meteorologists, her “four older brothers,” would help her out.
Teachman’s first job in West Virginia was at a TV station where Freeman used to work, so she has been following in his footsteps for a long time. But she will be the first woman to serve as chief meteorologist in the Wichita area.
“I think it’s definitely going to set a very good example, especially for young girls who might be interested in science, engineering or mathematics related fields,” she said.
She has worked with more men than women over the years, she said, but at KSN she will be on a team with two other women. While she was in Kansas City at ABC and then CBS, she served as the primary storm chaser and was on the ground for the Oaklawn tornado in 2012 and in Joplin, Mo., after the EF-5 tornado struck in 2011.
Helping out with tornadoes has been a part of her life for a long time: Her dad still serves as a volunteer who helps relay information to storm chasers in Sedgwick County.
“I’ve witnessed many devastating severe weather events throughout my life and was inspired to pursue a meteorology career in this industry as broadcasters play a critical role in times of emergency, both as witness to breaking developments and as rallying points for the communities they serve,” Teachman said in a statement.
Although she’s been following Freeman for a long time, she has a different retirement plan: Right now she has three dogs and, when retirement comes, “If I could adopt every stray in the world I would,” she said. “That’s my retirement plan, live out in the country and just adopt strays.”