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New Richmond school district, St. Mary's welcomes new staff

The New Richmond School District will add 18 new staff members and teachers to its roster for the 2016-17 school year.

St. Mary Catholic School will also add three new staff members this school year.

To help you identify the new faces out and about in the community, the following are brief profiles and photographs of each of the new New Richmond and St. Mary staff members.

New Richmond School District

Paige Gurtner

Age: 23

Family: mom and dad (Marilyn and Duane Gurtner)

Position: seventh grade literature teacher

Education: bachelor's degree in English education (UW-River Falls)

Previous work experience: English teacher for alternative diploma program (Unity School), long term Title I teacher, substitute teacher (Unity, Siren, SCF), student teaching (eighth grade - SCF & The Netherlands - Bilingual School)

Hobbies: Hiking, fishing, camping, reading, exercising, spending time with family, friends and pets.

Becky Baures

Age: Almost 50

Family: four children, three grandchildren, one dog

Position: Cross Categorical Special Education at Hillside Elementary

Education: BA Art Education - Viterbo University, La Crosse; MEPF - UW-La Crosse; EMT - Western Technical College; 10 Sped Program - EduCATE Wis, New Richmond.

Previous experience: Elementary art teacher - Westby School District (three years), Tomah Area School District (21 years), Learning Disabilities Teacher - Tomah School District (one year)

Hobbies: Drawing, walking/hiking, reading, cooking traveling, camping, snowshoeing and spending time with my children and grandchildren.

Kelsy Johnson

Age: 22

Family: parents: Murray and Heidi Johnson, and a twin sister, Kayla Johnson

Position: high school social studies - ninth grade modern world history

Education: UW-River Falls: Broad Field Social Studies, graduated May 2017

Previous experience: First teaching job. Interim director/curator of the Polk County Museum. Student taught at New Richmond Middle School, sixth grade.

Hobbies: I love to play tennis and am an avid gardener. I enjoy doing anything outdoors.

Maria Hall

Age: 31

Family: Married to Nicholas Hall; two children: Mae (2.5 years old), Rhett (5 months)

Position: Sixth grade science

Education: Elementary Education with math minor from UW-River Falls

Previous experience: Antigo Middle School, Elcho School District, Stanley-Boyd Middle School

Hobbies: Going for walks with my family. Owning Deck the Halls - DIY Studio: a place where we host events for guests to come create their own wood sign from scratch. I also enjoy running, creating crafts and exploring with my kids.

Ben Magee

Age: 27

Family: Wife: Kelsie Magee—second grade teacher at Starr

Position: High school social studies teacher - U.S. History

Education: Prescott High School, bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire - History and minor in Economics.

Previous experience: long term sub in Princeton, Minn. for U.S. government and economics; four years at Ellsworth, seventh grade geography and civics.

Hobbies: Traveling, trout fishing, bow hunting, watching the Badgers and Packers, and spending time with friends and family.

Alissa Tuinstra

Age: 34

Family: Husband: Matt Tuinstra; kids: Hunter, Ryker, and Adah

Position: Second grade teacher

Education: Bachelor of science in education from the University of North Dakota

Previous experience: two years teaching fourth grade in the Hudson School District; nine years teaching fifth grade in the School District of New Berlin.

Hobbies: Watching sports, working out, gardening, and relaxing at the lake.

Kyle Krueger

Age: 33

Position: alternative learning center teacher, seventh grade football coach, boy's C-team basketball coach

Education: Bachelor's in social sciences and history education from Winona State

Previous experience: Seven years teaching social studies in Aldine ISD in Houston, Texas.

Hobbies: golf, crossfit, audiobooks/podcasts, spending time with my nephews, meditation and the outdoors.

Mackenzie Shriver

Age: 24

Family: Mom and dad, three sisters—two older and one younger

Position: Second grade teacher at Paperjack Elementary

Education: Double majored in early childhood education and early childhood special education at the UW-Stout.

Previous experience: taught kindergarten in Honduras for one year.

Hobbies: I love to travel, being outside, boating and doing water sports. I love to spend time with my family and friends and also enjoy working out.

Shelby Weiske

Age: 22

Family: Mike and Lisa Weiske of New Richmond/Baldwin

Position: Cross-categorical special education teacher at Paperjack Elementary School

Education: Baldwin-Woodville High School, Class of 2013; Bachelor of Science, Special Education, UW-Stout, Class of 2017

Previous experience: This will be my first experience as a full-time special education teacher! My certification for licensure did allow me to student-teach in a variety of school districts such as Hudson, Baldwin-Woodville, Altoona, and Sojourner Truth Academy.

Hobbies: Serving as the St. Croix County Livestock Committee Swine Chair for the St. Croix County Fair and I am also the St. Croix County Fairest of the Fair Coordinator. My other hobbies include softball, hunting, reading and spending time with my family.

Kati Stodolka

Age: 24

Family: Dad - Dan; Mom - Barb; brother - Mike (junior chemistry major at St. Thomas)

Position: high school English teacher

Education: Graduated from UW-RF in December 2016

Previous experience: Long term substitute at NRHS as an English teacher for the second semester (January-June)

Hobbies: played softball in high school and college; coaching softball; singing in the Bloomington Chorale; performing in an ensemble for community theatre (Mary Poppins), reading, and writing.

Amanda Lietz

Age: 28

Family: Husband Kurt Lietz and son Jonah

Position: part time agriculture teacher

Education: BS from the UW-River Falls

Previous experience: Two years teaching at Suring Schools; two years teaching at Oconto Falls High School; currently working part time on family's dairy farm - Haase Dairy.

Hobbies: gardening, watching football, managing my flock of sheep.

Hyrum Barker

Age: 31

Family: Wife, Cassandra with our first child due Oct. 31. We are expecting a boy.

Position: Orchestra teacher grades 6-12

Education: Two years Snow College, four years Utah State University. Bachelor's of Music Education

Previous experience: Seven years teaching beginning orchestra grades 4-6: four years in Utah, three years in Wyoming.

Hobbies: Playing pickleball with my wife; writing and arranging music; performing cello and piano music; playing board games; spending time outside and playing sports.

Ashley Steiner

Age: 30

Family: Husband Matt, two children - Wesley (son, 6), Cecelia (daughter, 3)

Position: High school English teacher, high school play director

Education: Bachelor's degree from UW-River Falls - broad area English secondary education; masters degree in reading education from UW-River Falls.

Previous experience: taught at Ellsworth Middle School, seventh grade reading and directed school plays.

Hobbies: Spending time with family, traveling, going to plays, reading, spending time outside - especially hiking, running and kayaking.

Aleksis Kincaid

Age: 28

Family: Allison (wife)

Position: District response-to-intervention coordinator/school psychologist

Education: Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M.A. in School Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth

Previous experience: School Psychology Intern/Behavior Interventionist at Mahtomedi Public Schools, Mahtomedi; Curriculum/Assessment Reviewer at Department of Human Services - Parent Aware, Minneapolis; Research Assistant for Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs), a preschool literacy assessment, Minneapolis; Research Assistant for the National Center on Educational Outcomes, a disability policy research center, Minneapolis; TrueNorth AmeriCorps - Interventionist and Volunteer Coordinator, Duluth Public Schools, Duluth

Hobbies: Cycling, kayaking, running, reading, camping, and visiting with family and friends.

Lauren Rominski

Age: 25

Family: Matt Rominski, father; Teri Skramstad, mother; brothers: Brian, Jack, Ben, David, Jacob; sister: Clare

Position: physical education

Education: UW-Eau Claire (MCEA; general sciences minor)

Previous experience: Tiger Pack (2015-2016); substitute teaching in NR (2016-2017)

Hobbies: Traveling, reading mystery novels, watching movies, cheering for the Vikings, and playing tennis.

David Kocik

Age: 22

Position: high school English teacher

Education: UW-Eau Claire: BA English teaching

Previous experience: camp counselor at Shell Lake Arts Center, program assistant at Bridge for Community Life.

Hobbies: Rooting for the Packers, Badgers and Brewers; playing video games; playing tennis, listening to podcasts, reading, cooking, traveling, all things Harry Potter.

Dale Boruch

Age: 39

Position: Sixth grade special education teacher

Education: Under grad: UW-Stevens Point, major physical education, minor health education; graduate: Capella University, Masters: Leadership in Education; UW-Superior: special education licensure program

Previous experience: K-12 physical education in the Butternut School District for 11 years; high school special education in the Unity School District for one year.

Hobbies: Golf, running, biking, X-C skiing, camping

Janine Smetana

Family: I have three children and one grandchild

Position: Middle school teacher

Education: Graduated from UW-River Falls

Previous experience: I spent two years at Assumption Catholic School in Durand, and one year at St. Mary in New Richmond.

Hobbies: In my spare time, I enjoy creating pottery, taking photographs and reading.

St. Mary Catholic School

Jennifer Struss

Family: husband Herb, daughter Samantha, son Herbie

Position: teacher - ELA/Lit. sixth-eighth grade

Education: M.S. - elementary education, UW-River Falls

Previous experience: Substitute teacher

Hobbies: reading, scrapbooking and swimming

Andy Bernstrom

Age: 39

Family: Daughter, Amelia Grace; dogs, Ringo and Lilly

Position: Third grade teacher

Education: B.A. Augsburg College - Theater Arts; M.A. College of St. Catherine - Elementary Education

Previous experience: I have been teaching for the past seven years for a variety of school and districts.

Hobbies: Martial arts, movie watching and sailing

Lisa Valentine

Family: Husband Nick, childre: David, 12; Amelia, 11.

Position: Fourth-eighth grade math - St. Mary School

Education: B.S. St. Catherine, M.A. St. Mary's University

Previous experience: North Branch, Luke, Denver, Col., Minneapolis

Hobbies: Travel, scrapbooking, sewing, gardening

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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