Brandon and Brent Katzing, both 25, have done almost everything together, from running track at Smith-Cotton High School and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, to studying physical education at UCM and sharing a love of helping others. Their close bond makes sense — they’re twins.
Brandon and Brent have both taught special education in the Sedalia School District 200, Parkview Elementary and Horace Mann Elementary, respectively, and helped coach the S-C track team together. They also formed their own summer track club for kids ages 5 to 18 through AAU a few years ago, with many of their athletes qualifying for the junior Olympics.
While Brent is continuing his career in education, for the first time Brandon has chosen to do something different. Just a few weeks ago, he received a call he’d been waiting for — he was accepted into the Missouri State Highway Patrol academy and he reports to Jefferson City on Jan. 4 for the six-month training process.
“It was cool because the one that recruited me, Belardo, he was the one who gave me the call, and I thought that was pretty cool, the way the Highway Patrol did that,” Brandon said. “He asked me if I wanted to accept the offer and I said, ‘well yes I do.’
“I’m looking forward to it just because it’s a new learning aspect for me. I’m going to learn a whole lot of new things I’ve never been taught before and that’s going to be the cool part. The physical training is going to be tough, I’m still going to enjoy it probably.”
Brandon has been working at the Pettis County Jail for six months as a way to help him with his goal of working in law enforcement.
“I basically just started that job to get my foot into law enforcement,” he said. “I was given that opportunity so I was thankful for it. I went to school at UCM, got a P.E. degree and I started out being a teacher and then I decided I wanted something more.
“A couple years ago I met a trooper here in town, Daren Belardo, he’s been my recruiter for two years now and he basically sold the idea of law enforcement to me. I’ve wanted to do it ever since,” Brandon said. “It was tough for me at first to decide if I wanted to do it because I just got out of college and I went to school to be a teacher, then I decided I wanted to make a change and go into law enforcement.”
Brandon has been working for months to get to this point, and Brent said Brandon is “deserving” of the academy opportunity.
“He’s been working his tail off, he’s been at the gym working out, getting stronger,” Brent said. “Things you need to be a good police officer, doing workouts, at the jail getting his foot in, getting an opportunity to make himself better for the position he’s about to go into. Proud brother. Proud twin.”
Brent is in his second year as a special education teacher at Horace Mann Elementary, and he also coaches sprints and high jump for S-C track. He has his own goals for his career.
“I want to stick with special ed for awhile, I think I respond well with those kinds of kids,” he said. “A goal of mine is to be an elementary principal, one of these days. … I want to learn a lot about the school system and how it works. I’ve seen a bunch of the principals growing up and they’ve been good role models, people look up to them.
“I feel like I can be that kind of person so I want to be in that position. I like to help others,” he added, as Brandon gave him a fist bump.
“We serve the Lord by serving others, that’s the way we’ve done things. That’s the way we are,” Brandon added. “We’re really good at serving others, helping people out and putting others before ourselves.”
Jan. 4 will mark the first time the brothers will be living in different cities with different jobs, although Brandon said he hopes to make it back to Pettis County one day so he can be closer to family and continue coaching track in Sedalia.
“That’s one of my goals is to come back and work and serve this town. It’s going to be tough for sure. It’s like having a best friend all the time that’s close by,” Brandon said of leaving Sedalia and Brent.
“It’s going to be different because we’re used to talking to each other, being by each other, having each other right there for most of our lives,” Brent said. “He’ll be a phone call away, but it won’t be the same.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.