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Eleven new teachers join staff at Dassel-Cokato Schools
Sept. 5, 2016

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – Eleven new teachers have joined the staff at Dassel-Cokato Schools – Douglas Asquith, Kayla Blommer, Nathan Clark, Arturo Cruz, Anna Hertzog, Kate McConkey, Tenille Nelson, Eric Pokornowski, Linda Sederstrom, Katie Teesdale, and Melissa Weckwerth.

Douglas Asquith

Douglas Asquith is from St. Augusta.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Media and technology specialist at Dassel Elementary.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

During my professional career, I have taught fourth through sixth grade as a classroom teacher, as well as kindergarten through fourth grade technology classes this past school year.

What is your vision for your students?

My goal is to make the learning process authentic and engaging for the students of the DC School District through the use of print, digital media, and other technology.

Kayla Blommer

Kayla Blommer is from Willmar.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Eighth grade English language arts and global studies.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I taught eighth grade English at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud for three years, and seventh grade ELA last year at Rocori Middle School.

What is your vision for your students?

My vision is to create an environment of respect. I have high expectations, and hope my students become the best version of themselves.

I am so excited to become a part of the Dassel-Cokato family.

Nathan Clark

Nathan Clark is from Montrose.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Social studies at the high school.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

From 2011 to 2016, I taught social studies at the high school in Mankato.

What is your vision for your students?

My aim is for students to realize their full potential and to help them work on meeting and exceeding this goal.

Arutro Cruz

Arturo Cruz is from Loretto.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Art at DC Middle School.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I began teaching middle school in 2004 in Omaha, NE. After moving to Minnesota in 2008, I taught middle school at Roseville High School, Ubah Medical Academy Charter High School in Hopkins, then high school and middle school in Litchfield.

What is your vision for your students?

I want to develop and foster the students’ creativity and curiosity to create works of art that capture the beauty and power of the world around them, right before them, and expecially within them.

Anna Hertzog

Anna Hertzog is from Silver Lake.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Third grade at Cokato Elementary.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I taught for three years at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, and one year at New Discoveries in Hutchinson teaching grades one through three.

What is your vision for your students?

My vision is to perpetuate a lifelong love of learning and enthusiasm for knowledge.

Kate McConkey

Kate McConkey is from Dassel.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Sixth grade science and English language arts.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I have had the pleasure of working as a sixth grade mathematics teacher at Woodbury Middle School, as well as a long-term first grade substitute teacher at Schumann Elementary in Orono.

What is your vision for your students?

My vision for my students is for them to find confidence in their academics, and instill within them the belief that they can reach their highest potential in life. I’m excited to create a safe and collaborative environment that teaches that with a strong work ethic and positive attitude, anything is possible.

Tenille Nelson

Tenille Nelson is from St. Louis Park.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

School counselor at DC High School.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

Previously, I worked for two years at Minnesota State University-Mankato in a federally-funded program called Educational Talent Search. As an educational advisor, I assisted low-income and/or first-generatin college-bound students on career and college readiness, academic planning, and post-secondary options.

What is your vision for your students?

I believe, through education, support, and guidance, all students have the ability to be successful when they are given the right tools and opportunities to learn and grow as individuals.

Eric Pokornowski

Eric Pokornowski is from Winsted.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Physical education at Cokato Elementary.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2007. I have had a variety of teaching jobs, including teaching in Watertown-Mayer, Pequot Lakes, Hutchinson, Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Chisholm, and Dassel.

What is your vision for your students?

It is my vision that students are active and healthy for a lifetime. To get there, we will play a variety of games and do many different activities. Healthy eating will be taught, as habits that are formed in childhood are often carried over to adulthood.

Linda Sederstrom

Linda Sederstrom is from Cokato.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Fifth through eighth grade keyboarding and family and consumer sciences.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I am a “community expert,” with a food industry background. In addition, I have sewn since I was 6 years old, and I am an avid quilter and designer.

What is your vision for your students?

To inspire, challenge, and expand their scope of capabilities.

Katie Teesdale

Katie Teesdale is from Hutchinson.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

Ceramics/art.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

Bachelor of fine arts degree with honors from University of Iowa in ceramics. Joining the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA (the premier community ceramics organization in the country). Currently an artist in residence at the Clay Coyote in Hutchinson.

What is your vision for your students?

I want students to learn to create art using their own voice, while pushing them to their next level.

Melissa Weckwerth

Melissa Weckwerth is from Dassel.

What subject/grade will you be teaching?

I will be teaching eighth grade science.

What is your background in this area of teaching?

I taught seventh and eighth grade in Kingsport, TN; sixth and seventh grade at Hutchinson Middle School; and ninth through 12th grade at Hutchinson High School. I have also worked as a special education para-professional at Dassel Elementary.

What is your vision for your students?

I would like to help students find what interests them, allowing them to learn to the best of their ability while making it fun for them, and help them become lifelong learners.

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