New staff members at HLWW Schools
By ANDREA VARGO
There are a lot of new faces in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school buildings this year.
The special education department leads with five new staff members, with others are in the areas of chemistry, algebra, English, social studies, elementary music, and preschool.
Julie Matheny is one of those teachers. She is a graduate of Brownton High School, and attended St. Cloud State University.
There, she had an opportunity to participate in a study-abroad program in England for six months.
In 1994, she graduated with an elementary education degree. She decided to substitute teach for a year, and that is when she became interested in special education.
This sent her back to St. Cloud to begin her master's degree in special education.
She taught at Lac qui Parle Valley High School in Madison, Minn. from 1996-98.
At that time, she decided to move closer to Hutchinson, where her fiance, Jared, was living, and pursue her teaching career in this area.
She and Jared will be getting married at the end of September.
In her free time, Matheny likes to cook, read non-fiction books, and spend time with her family, especially at their cabin in northern Minnesota.
She said she is looking forward to getting to know the staff and students at the HLWW High School.
Erin Valenta is a St. Cloud State University graduate with a bachelor of science degree in special education.
She lives in Delano with her husband, Tom, and their dog, Bo.
They enjoy many outdoor activities, such as fishing and canoeing.
Valenta is looking forward to a challenging first year at the HLWW High School, she said.
Kelly Sauer grew up in Pierz, Minn. and attended Healy High School.
She got undergraduate degrees in finance, economics, and English from St. Cloud University. She also holds a master's degree.
Sauer taught in St. Cloud and Pierz, before coming to HLWW.
She likes in-line skating, bikeing, reading, and running. Watching college hockey, especially the St. Cloud State Huskies, is one of her favorite things to do.
Michael Paul was born in Glencoe and attended high school in Boston, Mass.
He received a bachelor of science degree from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and taught high school in the New York City suburbs.
Paul now lives on what is left of the "old family farm" near Glencoe and is working on his masters degree in special education at St. Cloud State University.
When he is not in school, his time is spent raising four children, tending a five acre apple orchard, playing the guitar, working on old motorcycles, and reading about human intelligence.
Marlene Bresnahan lives with her husband, Steve, and two cats, Major and Minor.
Steve works at Catholic Charities.
They have two sons, Jason and Ryan. Jason attends Moorhead State College, and Ryan has his lawn landscaping business.
"We are a foster family for the Humane Society of Wright County. We enjoy traveling, browsing used bookstores, and boating," she said.
Marlene graduated St. Cloud State University in 1996, and worked for the Buffalo School District for the '96 - '97 and '97 - '98 school years.
Jolene Davidson is originally from Embarrass, Minn., where it is always cold, she said.
She lives in Annandale with her husband, Devin, and their dachshund, Emmette.
Davidson is a graduate of Bemidji State University, and has taught high school science in Le Sueur-Henderson, Buffalo, and Dassel-Cokato.
She has also been an in-home family counselor for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
This year she will teach life science and chemistry for the HLWW seventh grade.
She likes to read, watch Viking football, paint, and fish.
Sue Huhnerkoch will be found in the Winsted Elementary building, where she teaches preschool.
She said she had met almost all the children and their parents before school started, and "It looks like a great year."
Huhnerkoch enjoys working with the preschool age group for all the enthusiasm for learning they bring with them.
"I want this learning experience to be a positive one for the children, because I believe it sets the tone for the upcoming school years," she said.
She recently moved to the area from Redwood Falls. Her husband works in Plymouth, and they have two children, Tyler, 6, and Connor, 2.
"Our family appreciates the kindness people have shown us since we've moved here. We really enjoy the small town atmosphere," she said.
Huhnerkoch has taught fourth grade, kindergarten, and early childhood. She has substituted in all grades.
She especially enjoyed her experience as the Early Childhood Screening Coordinator and Early Childhood Assistant Coordinator for the Belview-Danube-Renville-Sacred Heart School District.
"I'm looking forward to a wonderful year working with the children, parents, and staff in Winsted," she said.
George Montgomery will teach world history for the 11th grade, civics for ninth grade, and geography for seventh grade.
He is also the assistant football coach, working with the offensive and defensive linemen.
He taught for three years on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, and two years in Del Norte, Colo.
Montgomery was raised in Watertown, Wisc., and he graduated from Crown College in 1992.
He and his wife Michelle have a son, Stephen, eight-months old.
Shirley Olson is now the Community Collaborative Facilitator/Chemical Health Coordinator for the Howard Lake, Waverly, and Winsted communities.
For 10 years, Olson was a YWCA executive director, committed to establishing youth, adult, and community programs.
The community collaborative was formed to coordinate and facilitate the requests and needs of the community.
Olson will serve as the contact person regarding services that are currently available to parents, children , and families in the communities.
Her goals are to listen to those needs and to implement and promote new and innovative programs that will help to enhance communication between home, school, church, and county law enforcement.
Olson and her husband live in Buffalo and enjoy family, grandchildren, gardening and traveling.
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