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New staff excited to start school year at Somerset

Talia Warner1 / 9
Shannon Gilkerson2 / 9
Alicia Olander3 / 9
Brent Kaczmarski4 / 9
Joshua Wells5 / 9
Kate Fearing6 / 9
Trent Probst 7 / 9
Cody Waalen8 / 9
Will Rossmiller9 / 9

The Somerset School District will add 10 new staff members and teachers to its roster for the 2018-19 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 Somerset School District staff members who submitted their information.

Cody Waalen

Age: 25

Family: Father, Tim Waalen; mother, Traci Waalen; sister: Hayley Waalen

Position: High school social studies teacher

Education: Bachelor's Degree from UW-River Falls

Previous work experience: Long-term substitute teacher at Somerset High School in spring 2018

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, volunteering, coaching soccer and cheering on various sports teams.

Joshua Wells

Age: 23

Position: Science Teacher

Education: University of Wisconsin Stout

Hobbies: My favorite activities include football, basketball and baseball. I am also an outdoors man that enjoys fishing, hunting and camping.

Trent Probst

Age: 30

Position: Assistant principal/athletic director at the high school

Education: Master's Degree (Educational Leadership), Cardinal Stritch. Undergraduate degree (Physical Education, Health Education, Adaptive Physical Education), UW-Whitewater

Previous work experience: Johnson Creek, four years (physical education/assistant AD); Somerset, two years (physical education, TOSA); Prescott, one year (Elementary Assistant Principal)

Hobbies: Being active, running, hunting, sporting events, grilling, spending time with my family and dog.

Alicia Olander

Age: 23

Family: My mom is a fifth grade teacher in the Columbus School District and my dad is a retired police officer. I have one sibling, Megan, who is beginning her third year of pharmacy school at the University of Minnesota - Duluth.

Position: Third and fourth grade learning disabilities teacher

Education: I went to elementary, middle, and high school in Sun Prairie, Wis. I then completed my undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire from 2013-2018.

Previous work experience: In the past, I have worked at both the Eau Claire Alehouse and the Olive Garden in Eau Claire as a server and bartender.

Hobbies: In my free time I enjoy anything that involves being outside. I truly love going on bike rides in the community as well as camping and hiking.

Kate Fearing

Age: 22

Position: World language instructor

Education: Saint Cloud State University

Hobbies: Running, traveling the world, playing soccer, waterskiing

Will Rossmiller

Age: 26

Position: English teacher

Education: Bachelors of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, the outdoors and watching baseball whenever possible.

Geoffrey Carter

Age: 22

Family: I am the youngest of six brothers, several of which have children of their own.

Position: High school English teacher for 9th, 11th and 12th grade.

Education: I am a recent graduate with a comprehensive English Education Major from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Previous work experience: This will be my first job as a teacher.

Hobbies: Hobbies of mine include writing, reading, biking, running, exercising, and watching movies.

Talia Warner

Age: 22

Family: I was born and raised in Mahtomedi, Minn., by my parents who have been married for 25 years. I am the "baby" of my family and have two older sisters, who I love spending time with. I also have an awesome brother-in-law and an adorable baby niece, Evelina.

Position: Health and adaptive PE instructor

Education: Growing up, I attended school in the Mahtomedi School District. I then attended the University of St. Thomas where I majored in Health and Physical Education and minored in Special Education.

Previous work experience: I have experience coaching youth hockey and high school girls lacrosse

Hobbies: During my free time I enjoy watching sports, being active, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

Shannon Gilkerson

Age: 34

Family: Married to my husband Tom Gilkerson. Together we have two children. Avery is 8 and in third grade this year, and Harvey is 1 year old.

Position: High school special education teacher

Education: Bachelors degree in early childhood education

Previous work experience: I was a family child care provider for four years in Somerset. During this time I was working towards my bachelors degree to become a teacher. In the final years of my schooling I decided it was important to get out into the school district to gain some hands on experience. This led me to becoming a special education paraprofessional for two school years which was a wonderful experience. My past experiences have led me down this path to becoming a special ed teacher this year.

Hobbies: As an individual, I enjoy shopping, decorating my house and exercising. Most of all, I love being with my family. As a family we enjoy being outside, going for walks, bike rides, camping, music, games and everything else.

Brent Kaczmarski

Age: 30

Family: I have a 2-year old daughter and a lovely wife of five years.

Position: Special education teacher

Education: Graduated from UW-EC in 2011

Previous work experience: I have taught the past six years at River Falls High School.

Hobbies: Hunting and hanging with my daughter.

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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