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New Richmond School District welcomes new staff

The New Richmond School District is welcoming a long list of new teachers and staff members for the 2014-15 school year.

The following is a list of the new hires and some biographical information about each:

Kristin Perkl

Age: 25

Family: John (fiance), Sherman (dog)

Position in the district: Speech Language Pathologist, Paperjack Elementary

Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science from UW-Eau Claire in Speech Pathology

Previous work experience: Birth-to-three and Early Childhood with the Robbinsdale School District (one year)

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Cooking, hiking and being active with my fiance and dog.

Emily Lucas

Age: 23

Family: Judy Lucas (mother), Mark Lucas (father), Ann Schaber (sister), Daniel Lucas (brother)

Position in the district: First-grade teacher, Hillside Elementary

Education: Undergraduate degree from UW-RF

Previous work experience: Preschool teacher with the Osseo Area School District, Minnesota

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Knitting, dance, singing, reading

Erik Poff

Age: 27

Family: Laurel (wife)

Position in the district: Family and Consumer Science Teacher, High School

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Science Education from UW-Stout

Previous work experience: Long term sub in FCE at DeLong Middle School, Eau Claire Area School District

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Camping, cooking, fishing, reading and spending time with my family.

Melissa Lemsky

Age: 41

Family: Tom (husband), Ryan (son), Peyton (daughter)

Position in the district: Special Education teacher, High School

Education: Bachelor of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation with a Concentration in Special Education from UW-Stout; Master of Science degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University

Previous work experience: Teacher at Amery School District (13 years), Off-Site-Tutor for New Richmond School District

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Reading, baking, taking care of my yard, spending time with family and friends.

Adam Strawn

Age: 32

Family: Tania (wife), children Landon (5), Lachlan (2), Laelynn (1)

Position in the district: Offsite EBD teacher

Education: Education degree from UW-Stout; currently pursuing certification and Masters from UW-Stout

Previous work experience: Multiple long-term substitute positions with the Somerset School District and New Richmond High School

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Spending time with family, hunting and fishing, coaching youth sports

Heather Harris

Age: 40

Family: Tim (husband), children Olivia (14), Tyler (11), Kayla (11)

Position in the district: Third-grade teacher, Paperjack Elementary

Education: Elementary Education (major), Early Childhood (minor) from UW-RF

Previous work experience: Experience with the Stillwater, Hudson, Baldwin-Woodville and New Richmond School Districts

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Spending time with family and friends, yoga, shopping, cheering for Minnesota Twins and Denver Broncos

Karen Storie

Age: 40

Family: Andrew Brinkman (significant other), children Madisyn (15), Kerrigan (13), Kellan (9), Brekkyn (8)

Position in the district: Early Childhood Special Education

Education: B.A. in Elementary Education (minor in Early Childhood) from UW-Superior; currently enrolled in Saint Mary’s University for Special Education Masters

Previous work experience: Family Forum Headstart in Superior (1998-2011), New Richmond 4K program (2011-2014)

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Reading, scrapbooking, spending time with family, traveling

McKenzie Kelly

Age: 23

Family: Beth and Kevin Kelly (parents); Morgan, Maddie and Mallory Kelly (sisters)

Position in the district: Fifth-grade teacher, Starr Elementary

Education: Majored in Special and Elementary Education at UW-Oshkosh

Previous work experience: First teaching position

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Spending time with my family, watching sports, running, cheering on my sisters in track and cross country.

Shelley Huber

Age: 34

Family: TJ (husband); children Chase (5) and Avery Joe (1)

Position in the district: Business Education teacher, High School

Education: Undergraduate degree in Business Administration from UW-RF; Graduate degree in Elementary Education from UW-RF; working toward Secondary Education certification

Previous work experience: Substitute teacher in New Richmond School District

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: I love watching sports, dancing, cooking and baking and spending time with my family and friends.

Matthew Minowitz

Age: 24

Family: Barry (father); Beth (sister); Brian (brother)

Position in the district: Math teacher, High School

Education: B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota; working on obtaining Masters in Teaching from Hamline University

Previous work experience: Student teacher at Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul; Math Enrichment tutor for Minnesota MathCorps at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus in St. Paul

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Sports, basketball, football, board and card games, puzzles

Samantha Shipway

Age: 23

Position in the district: Eighth-grade Language Arts teacher, Middle School

Education: Secondary English Education from UW-Eau Claire

Previous work experience: Student teaching experience in Chippewa Falls (2013); Substitute taught in Chippewa Falls (2014)

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: In my free time, I enjoy reading, going on walks, spending time with friends and traveling. I am also a devoted sports fan and especially love watching Packer games and Badger basketball games.

Grace Whitmore

Age: 23

Family: Bob and Molly Whitmore (parents); Will (brother)

Position in the district: Fourth-grade teacher, Hillside Elementary

Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from UW-RF

Previous work experience: Taught a semester of first-grade in North St. Paul

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Volleyball, travel, being outdoors and hanging out with family and friends.

Tim Christensen

Age: 34

Family: Abby (wife); children Kendra (4), Henrik (2)

Position in the district: Physical Education teacher, Paperjack Elementary

Education: Masters in Education from Saint Mary’s University; B.A.s from the University of MN-Duluth

Previous work experience: I spent the past nine years teaching Phy. Ed. at Shakopee High School in Shakopee, Minn.

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: I love spending time on the water fishing or boating with my family. We also spend a lot of time camping and enjoying the outdoors.

Brittany Bell

Age: 23

Family: Renee (mother); Maurice (father); Jake (brother)

Position in the district: Second grade teacher, Hillside Elementary

Education: Graduated from UW-RF (2013) majoring in Elementary Education, minor in Language Arts

Previous work experience: Teacher at The Childrens Farm School in Stillwater; teacher at New Adventures Learning Center in Prescott

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Reading, jogging and hiking with my dog Sadie, cooking and DIY projects (vintage decor)

Derrek Pedersen

Age: 23

Family: Two younger brothers, one younger sister

Position in the district: Fourth grade teacher, Hillside Elementary

Education: St. Croix Central High School; UW-RF

Previous work experience: Fourth-grade teacher in Stillwater Public Schools

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My favorite hobby is running. I spend much of my spare time fishing, canoeing and playing other outdoor sports.

Molly O’Brien

Age: 29

Family: Tom and Kathy O’Brien (parents); one sister, brother-in-law, one niece, one nephew

Position in the district: Second grade teacher, Starr Elementary

Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from UW-RF and minor in Spanish

Previous work experience: I have taught third grade in Hudson for the past four years.

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: In my free time, I enjoy running, golfing, spending time at the cabin and cheering for the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.

Lindsie Freeborn

Age: 23

Family: Mark and Julie Freeborn (parents); siblings Kalie, Stacie and Brad

Position in the district: First grade teacher, Paperjack Elementary

Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from UW-RF, minor in Music and Psychology

Previous work experience: Taught one semester of fifth grade in Ellsworth

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Boating, singing, travel, fishing, being outdoors, hanging out with family and friends.

Kelsie Palm

Age: 23

Family: Ben (fiance); Don and Kay Palm (parents); siblings McKenna and Lauren

Position in the district: Kindergarten teacher, Hillside Elementary

Education: Bachelors degree from UW-RF in Elementary Education, minor in Early Childhood

Previous work experience: None

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Reading, kayaking, spending time with friends and family.

Dan McGuire

Age: 47

Family: Tammy (wife), children Shelbi (daughter) and Jake (son)

Position in the district: Starr Elementary Principal

Education: B.S. Mankato State; M.A. UW-La Crosse; Admin. St. Thomas/UW-RF

Previous work experience: 17 years as an elementary classroom teacher at Boyceville; seven years as elementary principal at Tomahawk.

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Fishing, hunting, camping, spending time with family.

Vanessa Crotteau

Age: 25

Position in the district: High School English teacher

Education: Graduated from Rice Lake High School; graduated from UW-Eau Claire.

Previous work experience: English teacher at Riverview Middle School in Barron.

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: I enjoy playing and spectating various sports, spending time with my family, being outside, baking and traveling.

Taylor Willert

Age: 23

Family: Teri Willert (mother); Scott Willert (father); and Mitchell Willert (brother)

Position in the district: High school social studies teacher

Education: 2013 graduate from UW-Stevens Point

Previous work experience: First year

Favorite hobbies/pastimes: Traveling, running and hockey

Compiled by Jordan Willi

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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