Onamia new teachers

New teachers at Onamia Schools

Front: Megan Roske, Karen Maruska, Susan Thomas, Rebecca Aadeln, and Ellen Nieken. Back: Kim Colvin, Jessica Konrad, Daniel Paulson, and Jim Hendrickson. Not pictured: Brooke Jahnke.

The new teachers at Onamia Schools were asked the following questions to introduce themselves to the public:

1. What is your name and what do you teach?

2. What is your previous teaching background?

3. Where did you go to college? And what is your degree(s) in?

4. Where are your from originally?

5. Tell us about your family if you have one.

6. What are you looking forward to with the new job?

7. What are your hobbies/interests outside of teaching?

Kim Colvin

1. My name is Kimberly Colvin. I go by Kim, and I am teaching PreK- 6 media and technology integration.

2. Before this, I taught at Mora High School for 9th grade science, anatomy and physiology. I also worked at Milaca Elementary as a Title 1 teacher, art, technology, and as a paraprofessional in the media center for five years.

3. I went to the University of Minnesota for my BS in biology and then went to Bemidji State (online) to get my 5-12 life science teaching degree. I will be going back soon for my elementary license.

4. I grew up in East Bethel, Minn. and lived there until I moved up to Milaca about 10 years ago.

5. I have a wonderful supportive husband, a 10-month-old son named Bentley and a six-year-old chocolate lab named Mogely.

6. I am looking forward to helping the students find the perfect book to read and to use technology in a safe manner. I love to see students learning new things all the time.

7. I love to spend time with my family, being outside, reading, enjoying the lake, swimming, traveling, cooking, and helping my husband fix up houses.

Jim Henrickson

1. Jim Henrickson, Middle School ALC.

2. High school social studies and private school director.

3. University of South Florida and Secondary Social Science.

4. Born in Florida but raised in Aitkin and Mandan, N.D.

5. I have a 14-year-old daughter named Kaia and live with my girlfriend, Angie, and her three kids, Tommi, Creedon and Justus.

6. I look forward to meeting the students and people within the community.

7. I love to coach, hunt and fish.

Brooke Jahnke

1. Brooke Jahnke, 8th and 10th grade math.

2. I am a first year teacher, but I student taught in North St. Paul HS and loved it.

3. I graduated from Bethel University with a math degree and education license with a minor in psychology.

4. Princeton.

5. Not sure what to answer for this– I’m not married and don’t have kids! I’m patiently waiting to live somewhere where I can adopt a dog, or two or three.

6. Getting to know my students.

7. I love visual arts–I am trying to get into water color painting and quilting with recycled clothing. I also love music and enjoy going to concerts.

Jessica Konrad

1. Jessica Konrad; I teach 5th and 6th grade social studies.

2. I was a district substitute for North Branch, Cambridge, and Rush City, and my most recent position was a four-month long-term substitute position at Hinckley-Finlayson High School.

3. I graduated from St. Cloud State University with a teaching degree in 5-12th grade social studies.

4. North Branch, Minn.

5. I got married two years ago and live with my husband Kerry, cat Tootsie, and chocolate lab Nelli.

6. I’m looking forward to working in a small school district where I can make meaningful connections with more students and staff. This is my first year in my own classroom, and I’m excited for the challenges and opportunities this year will bring.

7. I like to archery hunt, fish, and coach volleyball. I love going to my family’s cabin and hanging out on the lake. I love watching the Office for the 15th time and am crazy about Harry Potter.

Karen Maruska

1. Karen Maruska, elementary special education.

2. Special education for the past 30 years within different areas of central and northern Minnesota.

3. Bachelor’s in elementary and special education from University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; master’s in special education from St. Cloud State University.

4. Born in Mora and moved a lot throughout my childhood but primarily lived in West Fargo, N.D., and graduated from Pelican Rapids High School.

5. Husband, Don, married for 29 years with three adult children, Andy, Zach, and Krista. We have one granddaughter, Reese, with another baby on the way. We live in Sartell.

6. I’m looking forward to the challenges of reaching students in unique ways, so they find success in academics as well as socially.

7. I love being with my family. We enjoy 4-wheeling, camping and being outdoors.

Ellen Nieken

1. Ellen Nieken, high school special education.

2. First Year teacher ... this is actually my 40th year with the district. I held a few other positions in the district, including the last as business manager.

3. St. Scholastica, business management/administration.

4. Born in Minneapolis, moved to Onamia for a while as child, then back to Minneapolis ... finally moved to Hillman in 1976.

5. I have been married to my husband Paul for 40 years; we have two sons, one “adopted” daughter; eight grandchildren and two great-grandkids. Two of our grandkids (ages 7 and 10) live with us; and also my older granddaughter and her fiancée (who rent our “mother-in-law” apartment, which in our case was a “father-in-law” apartment for 20-plus years) along with her two children, one of which is a newborn. So if you have been keeping count correctly, it would be eight all together. “One big happy family.”

6. Working with the students, helping them understand and hopefully enjoy learning (at least some of the time).

7. I really enjoy teaching Sunday School to the young children (after teaching adults for many years), bargain shopping in thrift stores, decorating, and my grandkids (which keep me busy much of the time).

Daniel Paulson

1. My name is Daniel Paulson, and I teach elementary art.

2. I student taught in Silver Bay and interned at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

3. I went to school at Lake Superior College in Duluth and finished my education degree at University Wisconsin Superior. I went to St. Clair public schools during K-12 years.

4. I lived in St. Clair until my family moved to my grandparents’ farm 7 miles away in Eagle Lake, Minn.

6. I am looking forward to meeting all of the students and working together to develop relevant, culturally appropriate curriculum that is inspiring to the students and staff.

Megan Roske

1. My name is Megan Roske, and I will be an elementary teacher.

2. I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I have worked at a daycare facility with toddlers and school age children. I have previously worked as a paraprofessional while going to school. I have been a substitute teacher in Milaca, Foley and Princeton. I worked at the Onamia School District last year as a paraprofessional.

3. I started going to college at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where I studied early childhood education. I then continued my education for a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Southwest State University.

4. I am originally from Milaca.

5. My parents are Mark and Wendy Prince. They were born and raised in Milaca. They own their own hunting and sporting goods store called Prince Gun Shop located on Hwy. 169. I have two sisters Marisa and Alison. I am now married to my husband Josh, and we have a three-month-old son Henry.

6. What I look forward to the most about my new job is to help the kids learn new things and become excited about learning.

7. Outside of teaching, I like to spend time with my family. I like to go hunting and fishing, camping and to crochet.

Susan Thomas

1. My name is Susan Thomas, and I’m teacher Pre-K through 12th grade music and choir.

2. Last year, I taught K-6 music and choir in Rush City, Minn.

3. I went to University of Wisconsin-River Falls for choral and general music education and for a minor in Spanish.

4. I grew up in New Richmond, Wis.

5. I live in Mora with my husband. I grew up with five siblings and have a lot of nieces and nephews.

6. I am excited to be working with such a wide range of grades.

7. Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, crafting and baking.

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