Young Caroline’s travels continued as her family moved from Hondo, Texas, to Dover, Kansas, then settled into Seguin, Texas by the time she was in second grade.
Wernli has fond memories of her childhood growing up on farms and spending quality time with her family. She adored the stories her father would tell her about his time growing up and attending a Wild West Show and seeing performances by Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. Her love for history was further cultivated by her love of reading. “Some evenings I would curl up on my bed and read a book from the school library or read one of the National Geographic magazines my teacher let me check out and take home to read. I can remember reading about the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Redwood forest in California, and I dreamed of someday seeing those sites.”
After graduating from high school, Wernli attended Southwest Texas State College and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in teaching. It was in college that she met and married her husband, Ron Wernli. She and Ron would visit all the places she grew up reading about.
During an impressive career in education, Wernli spent over 40 years working in public schools then as a professor at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Wernli first worked as a teacher in Taylor ISD and Northside ISD. In Northside, she also served as a counselor and assistant principal, then joined the Human Resources department as Director of Elementary Education Personnel, and later Director of Secondary Education Personnel.
In 1993, she earned her doctorate in education from Texas A&M University. She also left Northside to become the Director of Human Resources at Comal ISD and then East Central ISD. She would retire from public education in 2000.
Wernli has stayed dedicated to Northside as a member of the Northside School Museum Association. She served as president for five years and continues to be an active member.
She and her husband enjoy spending time with their daughter Roxanne, and grandsons Barrett and Reeve.