With the back to school season in full swing, and the first day back quickly approaching, Milaca Public Schools held a breakfast for its new teachers to welcome them to the school district.
Sponsored by the First National Bank of Milaca, the breakfast was held at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
This year the district hired three new teachers, all of whom will be working with the middle and high schoolers starting on the first day back to school Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The Union-Times asked the new teachers to provide answers to six questions to help the community get to know them. The following are their responses in alphabetical order according to their last names.
Position: High school health and physical education instructor, grades 8-12
Family: Born into a dairy farming family, I am the youngest of seven children. My partner and I have two fat cats together.
Education: I graduated from Paynesville High School in 2013 and started at St. Cloud State University that fall. After seven straight years, I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in health and physical education and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in theater generalist and acting and directing. You are correct, I completed my education with three majors! I participated in cross country and choir during high school and theater productions in college.
Previous teaching experience: I have taught in the Sauk Rapids School District the past two years (2020-2021), I was a health and physical education substitute in the middle school and then taught distance learners at the end of the school year. Last year, I taught in a level four behavioral school located in Sartell and Sauk Rapids teaching health and physical education.
Why did you become a teacher: I became a teacher to make a difference in others lives just like my high school health teacher did for me. I also enjoy activities and participating in school sports.
Position: School counselor, grades 7-12
Hometown: New Sharon, Iowa
Family: My husband Cody, two dogs Knox and Kona, and my cat Kipp
Education: I went to William Penn University for my Bachelor’s degree and double majored in psychology and human services. This summer I obtained my Master’s degree at Capella University in school counseling.
Previous teaching experience: I have five years of teaching experience as an applied behavior analyst which has given me the opportunity to provide strategies to help future students benefit in a school setting. Working as a therapist has allowed me to interact with different levels of mental and physical disabilities and gain experience and knowledge in helping students be successful with communication, social skills, safety skills, and classroom support. During internship and practicum, I have adapted quickly to the role by helping students see their individual potential and growth in academics and mental health. I have provided guidance lessons to all age groups and worked in the REACH program which has allowed my guidance lessons to be used throughout Minnesota. I enjoy collaborating with college representatives, local businesses, and other educators to ensure all students are set up for success.
Why did you become a teacher: I have been touched by mental health complications within my family and that is what has encouraged me to work with students in guiding them in ways outside of the classroom. I want to facilitate growth and provide students with support by being aware of their academics and grades, but also who they are as individuals. I look forward to being a school counselor at Milaca Schools.
Position: Special education teacher in the high school
Family: Has been married for 27 years with seven children
Education: Graduated from Princeton High School and earned an undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University. I earned a graduate degree for special education from Western Governors University.
Previous teaching experience: I have been substitute teaching in Milaca for about five years. After working with all grades and in many subject areas, I decided to focus on special education for my graduate studies. I continued to work as a substitute teacher while completing a Masters program with WGU. This is my first assignment as a licensed teacher in special education.
Why did you become a teacher: My oldest child, now an adult, has required special education services from birth. Her learning needs ignited a passion to better understand the relationship between learning and teaching. Once I began substitute teaching, my favorite experiences have been watching the students succeed in the classroom. I am excited to have the opportunity to help all students build skills for lifelong learning beyond the classroom.