HJ-ED-DHJ

September 3, 2007

Dassel-Cokato welcomes new teachers, administrators and staff

The Dassel-Cokato School District has some new faces this year including new principals for the high school and at Dassel Elementary, a new middle school dean of students, and a new director at the Area Learning Center.

Brendan Rauer

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Industrial technology at the high school.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught for five years in Chaska.

What town do you reside in?

Cokato

Where did you attend college?

St. Cloud State University

What is your vision for your students?

To learn trades that can help them make and/or save money in the future. Some students may find careers in the areas I teach, while other may enjoy them or utilize them around the home.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Hunting, camping and music.

Melissa Rudebusch

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

I will be teaching seventh and eighth grade science at Dassel-Cokato Middle School.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught seventh and eighth grade science at Park Christian School in Moorhead, Minn.

What town do you reside in?

I live in Hutchinson.

Where did you attend college?

I attended college at Concordia College in Moorhead.

What is your vision for your students?

I want my students to see all of the real life connections that science has. There are so many things to learn about that are right in front of them.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and traveling.

Jen Meyer

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Special education at Cokato Elementary.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught in the area of special education for four years in Redwood Falls, as well as fifth grade math.

What town do you reside in?

I live in Annandale.

Where did you attend college?

University of Minnesota-Moorhead.

What is your vision for your students?

I want them to be caring and respectful members of society. I want them to be able to transfer what they learn to their everyday lives.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy volleyball, piano and mentoring programs for children.

Deveny Klammer

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Vocal and general music in the middle school.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I just graduated from North Dakota State University in May with a degree in vocal music and a minor in instrumental music education.

What town do you reside in?

I live in Cokato.

Where did you attend college?

North Dakota State University in Fargo.

What is your vision for your students?

I hope my students will come to appreciate music and continue to study after they have left my classroom.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy reading, singing, theater, knitting, and spending time with my friends and family.

Katy Snider

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

I will be teaching students who have developmental disabilities at Cokato Elementary.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

This is my first official year of teaching. I have worked more than 12 years in middle management at different organizations that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

What town do you reside in?

I’m a new member of the Litchfield community.

Where did you attend college?

St. Cloud State University

What is your vision for your students?

I want them to be as independent as possible and able to be active community members. I also want them to be able to make choices about their daily lives and future.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy reading, watching football (hopefully watching the Vikings in the playoffs), volleyball, exercising, and home improvement projects.

Stephanie Savoy

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Science at the Area Learning Center

What was your background in this area of teaching?

New teacher, but was a paraprofessional at Cokato Elementary for five years.

What town do you reside in?

Dassel for six years

Where did you attend college?

University of Texas–Austin with a bachelors degree in biology and the College of St. Scholastica for my teacher’s certification.

What is your vision for your students?

That they succeed in all they attempt and to do their best in every situation.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy gardening, fishing, and spending time with my family.

Kelly Johnson

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

I will be teaching family and consumer science and keyboarding at Dassel-Cokato Middle School.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I started teaching FACS in February 2007 at DCMS, but this will be my first full year here.

What town do you reside in?

I live in Winsted with my husband and daughter.

Where did you attend college?

I attended Minnestoa State University-Moorhead.

What is your vision for your students?

My vision for the students in FACS is to have a basic understanding of nutrition, healthy living, cooking, and sewing. In keyboarding, I have a vision for my students to be efficient at typing, and knowledgeable and proficient with Microsoft Word.

What are your hobbies/interests?

My hobbies and interests are watching sports, especially football, wrestling, volleyball, and track and field. I also like to scrapbook and take pictures.

Amanda Berg

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

DC High School ninth grade strength and conditioning and Dassel Elementary physical education.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

First year teacher.

What town do you reside in?

Cokato

Where did you attend college?

University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

What is your vision for your students?

To be self-motivated and good citizens.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Quilting, hunting, fishing and exercise.

Jon Nelson

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Director of the ALC.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught 14 years at Highview Alternative Program in Robbinsdale and one year as dean of students at Annandale Middle School (last year.)

What town do you reside in?

Howard Lake

Where did you attend college?

B. S. from St. Cloud State University; Masters in Eduction from U of M; Administration Licensure from St. Mary’s University of MN.

What is your vision for your students?

To see them succeed and become happy, healthy contributing members of society.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Family is my main focus. I love to travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Tom Spudic

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

High school art

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I have been making pottery for almost 15 years and have had a pottery business for 10 years.

What town do you reside in?

Cokato

Where did you attend college?

Indiana University Northwest and Calumet College of St. Joseph.

What is your vision for your students?

My goal is for each student to come into my classroom and be an active participant in their learning. I want each student to experience success and have positive interactions between their peers and with me. Basically, I want to them to work to learn and enjoy that process.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Fishing, hunting, creating art, and spending time with my family.

Kristi Mackenthun

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Special education at the middle school

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I was special education and Title I para with the Hutchinson Public Schools for three years.

What town do you reside in?

Dassel

Where did you attend college?

Minnesota State University, Mankato. B.A. in mass communications; licensure program/graduate work in special ed.

What is your vision for your students?

I want to give my students the tools they need to be successful in both the school setting and the outside world.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Scrapbooking, reading, spending time with my husband, Shaun and our three-month-old son, Dylan.

Rob Nudell

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Dassel Elementary principal

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught in A2 for two years and five years in Forest Lake. I have been an elementary principal for nine years, the past six years in Buffalo.

What town do you reside in?

Buffalo

Where did you attend college?

Moorhead State University – undergrad; Bemidji State Univesity – masters; St. Cloud State University – administration.

What is your vision for your students?

I want all students to achieve their high potential and have a love of learning. After meeting the Dassel elementary staff, I am ever more excited to get the year started. I’ll be working with a great team!

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy reading, traveling, playing and officiating sports and spending time at the lake cabin with my family.

Lee Nelson

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Second grade, Cokato Elementary

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I taught Osseo District 10 years and substitute taught at Cokato Elementary.

What town do you reside in?

Howard Lake

Where did you attend college?

St. Cloud State

What is your vision for your students?

I want to excite my students into becoming lifelong learners and help them to have a challenging and interesting second grade year.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Traveling and spending time with my husband and two boys. I’m also into books, movies and gardening.

Karen Ness

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Family and consumer science (home economics) at the high school, grades nine - 12

What was your background in this area of teaching?

Taught at Prior Lake, MN for three years. Most recently, at Annandale Middle School and high school for the past three years.

What town do you reside in?

Dassel

Where did you attend college?

U of M, Twin Cities

What is your vision for your students?

Prepare students to build skills for a healthy life in areas of foods, nutrition and wellness, families, consumerism and future careers.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Outdoor activities, reading, music, travel, spending time with family and friends.

Valerie Impola

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Spanish at high school, math at ALC.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

Studied abroad, in Chile. This is my first teaching job.

What town do you reside in?

Annandale

Where did you attend college?

St. Cloud State University

What is your vision for your students?

Experience new cultures through language and gain confidence in problem solving.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Scrapbooking, hiking, swimming and Sudoku.

Lindsay Popelka

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Fifth grade, middle school

What was your background in this area of teaching?

First year teaching after graduating in May.

What town do you reside in?

Glencoe

Where did you attend college?

University of Wisc., Eau Claire

What is your vision for your students?

That every student will learn to set goals and take the steps to achieve them both in the classroom and in the community.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Camping, scrapbooking and spending time with family and friends.

Mike Metcalf

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Social studies at DC ALC

What was your background in this area of teaching?

BA in social studies education with a history emphasis. Previously taught in ACGC’s ALP (2006-2007)

What town do you reside in?

St. Cloud

Where did you attend college?

Maryville State University (N.D.) and St. Cloud State University.

What is your vision for your students?

It is my vision that students who enter my classroom leave with the ability to create their own success throughout their lives.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Being at the lake, reading, movies, sports, and spending time with my wife, Andrea, and my daughter, Maya.

Todd Goudy

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

Math at the high school

What was your background in this area of teaching?

First year teaching.

What town do you reside in?

Delano

Where did you attend college?

Gustavus Adolphus

What is your vision for your students?

That they grow both academically and as a person.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Basketball, football, tennis, fishing and hiking.

Brian Franklin

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

I will be the new dean of students at the middle school.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

I have been teaching sixth grade math, science and social studies for the past 12 years in GSL. I also developed programs to incorporate the Glencoe Police Dept. into our schools to read to students in our elementary schools.

What town do you reside in?

My wife, daughter, and I currently live in Glencoe, but our house is on the market.

Where did you attend college?

I attended college at UND, Grand Forks, but transferred and graduated from U of M, Morris. I also obtained my masters in education at St. Mark’s University.

What is your vision for your students?

My goal is help students learn more about choices they make and to teach accountability for their actions.

What are your hobbies/interests?

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 18-month-old daughter. I also work another part-time job that allows me to work with many area law enforcement agencies.

Dean Jennissen

What and where will you be teaching at Dassel-Cokato?

I will be the principal at Dassel-Cokato High School and the Dassel-Cokato Alternative Learning Center.

What was your background in this area of teaching?

For the past six years I have been the principal at Annandale Middle School. Previously I taught for six years at Dassel and Cokato elementary schools. I was dean of students at Dassel-Cokato Middle School for one year. My first teaching job was in Osakis, MN where I taught grades four through six for three years. I have also coached football, wrestling and baseball in grades seven through 12 for many years.

What town do you reside in?

I currently reside in Annandale. Our family is seeking to move to the D-C area as soon as possible.

Where did you attend college?

I received my associates degree from Willmar Community College (Ridgewater). I completed bachelors, masters and sixth year degrees from St. Cloud State.

What is your vision for your students?

I have several comments regarding the vision I have for the Dassel-Cokato High School and ALC:

Our school will be safe and respectful. We will accomplish this by building relationships with our students. I want to know each student’s name and something about them before they graduate. They each have a story to tell, thoughts and ideas to share. It is our job as educators to listen and then tap into the amazing abilities our student bring to our classrooms each day.

I want to create a culture that celebrates success, but maintains a feeling of never quite being satisfied – a feeling that what we do well can be improved.

We want our students to attend school every day; therefore we will provide an engaging, supportive environment.

We want every student to graduate. When I meet with our incoming freshman I will emphasize the need for them to graduate and help our staff ensure that their classmates graduate. Truancy and dropping out will not be options.

We will strive to provide academic and co-curricular activities that will meet the individual needs of each student. Our goal as a school will be to prepare each student for life beyond high school, and hopefully for all students we will equip them with tools to choose a path that will lead to post-secondary education whether it be a college or vocational education.

I will strive to see that literacy is central to our learning strategies. Reading about, writing about and discussing class content needs to be our primary mode of instruction coupled with hands-on experience which help us apply what we have learned.

I will encourage participation by our students in the wide-array of activities our school provides. I will encourage students to be engaged in learning through participation in not only what is assigned, but also in the rich discussions that take place in our classrooms. I want our students to be able to think critically. When they leave high school, hopefully they have developed this skill to the point that they are able to make informed decisions on a daily basis.

Communication with students, parents, families and the community will be emphasized. Parent Portal, our website, follow-up surveys, newsletters and one-on-one relationships will help us communicate effectively to meet the needs of our customers.

A final thought, although I am sure to have many more … We need to meet our school’s mission of “preparing students for success in a global society.” Excellent students, outstanding families and extraordinary educators will make this happen.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Spending time with my wife, Lisa, and daughters, Briann and Colee. I enjoy watching their activities. I also enjoy reading, writing, listening to music, camping, jogging, coaching and helping with church activities.


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