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Meet your Teacher: Q&A with Dickinson's new teachers

Elizabeth Kuelbs

At what school do you teach? – Prairie Rose Elementary
What do you teach? Kindergarten
Where are you from? Originally from Breckenridge, MN but have been teaching for the past 8 years in Casselton, ND.
Where did you graduate? VCSU and am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from there also.
How many years have you been teaching? This is my 9th year, all have been spent teaching Kindergarten.
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Each year I look forward to teaching my students how to read. Their prior knowledge coming into kinder compared to at the end of the year is incredible! The growth that each student makes academically is a small piece of what drives me to love my job each and every day.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want each student who steps into my classroom to know that they matter to me and to our class and school. Each child is incredibly special; we are all so different but we all can learn a tremendous amount from each other. Those connections we make throughout the year, I want them to remember them as the years go on.
Do you have any kids? One daughter in first grade and then a son who is 2 yrs old
Do you have any pets? Cooper is our Australian Shepherd whose job is to help sort our cattle.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I love spending time with my husband and family at home, grilling, swimming, and creating memories. I also enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee and a good book!

Sara Rhode

At what school do you teach? Dickinson High School
What do you teach? Health Science classes, Health Careers 1, Health Careers 2, Duel Credit Medical Terminology, and eventually Intro. to Emergency Responder and/or Sports Medicine.
Where are you from? I was born and raised in a small farm town north of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Where did you graduate? Green Bay.
How many years have you been teaching? This is my first year teaching. I transitioned to teaching from the health care industry as Registered Respiratory Therapist and Advanced EMT. I still hold both of these licenses and continue to utilize both.
What are you most looking forward to teaching? I love the interaction with the high school age kids. Hopefully I can inspire them or get them excited about a career somewhere in the medical field.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want my classes to be the classes the students remember once they're done with high school, whether it be from what they learned or how I was just as a person, hopefully they find some sort of inspiration.
Do you have any kids? My husband and I are expecting our first child in February!
Do you have any pets? We have two fur babies, corgis name Fynn & Huck. They love to travel everywhere with us!
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Outside the classroom I love spending time with my little furry family, working out with my ladies at BodyLift Fitness, attending events throughout Dickinson with friends and traveling with my husband, as well as having lazy days including naps and Netflix.

Delona Mitchell

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At what school do you teach? Lincoln Elementary School
What do you teach? Grade 5
Where are you from? Glendive, Mt
Where did you graduate? Grand Canyon University
How many years have you been teaching? 2 years
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I am driven by ideas that create a fun, energetic, and safe learning environment. I think it is important for the children to have fun and be hands on while they learn.
Do you have any kids? I have 2 sons, Grayson, 3 years old, and Kyler, 8 years old.
Do you have any pets? I have a 94 lb black lab named Shadow and a 12 lb Cava-bear named Noel.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I love riding my motorcycle, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, and anything else outdoors!

Sarah Crossingham

At what school do you teach? Dickinson Middle School
What do you teach? 6th Grade Health, 7th Grade World Geography, 8th Grade US History/ND Studies
Where are you from? Missoula, MT
Where did you graduate? Undergraduate Dickinson State University in Secondary Education Composite social science; Graduate student currently at NDSU in the Educational Leadership program.
How many years have you been teaching? 7 years
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want students to have fun and be able to apply practical skills in life. I want students to learn how to collaborate in a safe, caring environment.
Do you have any kids? 3 year old boy, Beckett, and 1 year girl, Harper
Do you have any pets? 1 cat, Darryl
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Play softball, garden, going to all the Dickinson parks with my family, and baking homemade bread.
Fun facts about me: In 2017, I won the Gilder Lehrman North Dakota History Teacher of the year. I served on the Social Studies State Standards Committee in the 2018-2019 school year.

Matthew Goettle

At what school do you teach? Dickinson High School
What do you teach? Choir
Where are you from? Kenmare, ND
Where did you graduate? Minot State University in 2002, MA at Minot State University in 2016,
How many years have you been teaching? 17; I taught 2 years in North Shore School District (Makoti and Ryder, ND) as a K-12 music, band and choir teacher, then taught 15 years in Scobey, MT as a grades 5-12 band and 7-12 choir teacher.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want to instill a love for music in my students. I want them to perform with passion and pride - to feel goosebumps when they sing together and to want to repeat that feeling. I want them to learn a good work ethic, to work at something until they meet their goals, to strive for excellence.
Do you have any kids? My wife, Jennifer, and I have 7 kids - Abigail (15), Elizabeth (14), Lincoln (11), Caleb (8), Evelyn (5), Katrina (2), and David (3 months).
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I enjoy golfing, playing or singing music with friends, playing cards (games), fishing

Isiah Binstock

At what school do you teach? Jefferson Elementary
What do you teach? Physical Education
Where are you from? Dickinson, ND
Where did you graduate? Dickinson State University
How many years have you been teaching? 1 year
What are you most looking forward to teaching? I am looking forward to teaching a unit on parachute
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want students to build a passion for being physically active now and for the rest of their lives
Do you have any kids? No kids
Do you have any pets? I have 1 dog named Masson and 1 cat named Joey
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Outside of the classroom I enjoy playing a variety of sports and going out to the family farm

Sara Slaughter

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At what school do you teach? Heart River
What do you teach? 5th grade
Where are you from? Medina, ND
Where did you graduate? Valley City State University
How many years have you been teaching? This will be my 2nd year
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Science
What ideas drive you as a teacher? To have a positive influence for each student in my class
Do you have any kids? No
Do you have any pets? I have one dog named Murphy
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I love to ride horse and spend time with my family

Abigail Oase

At what school do you teach?I teach at Dickinson High School.
What do you teach? I teach Band, Music Theory & Aural Skills, Music Appreciation.
Where are you from? I am from Grand Forks, ND.
Where did you graduate? I graduated from Dickinson State University.
How many years have you been teaching? I am in my 9th year as a Music Educator (8 years at Killdeer).
What are you most looking forward to teaching? I am most looking forward to teaching DHS students how to Parade march for the DSU Homecoming and Bismarck Band Night parades.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? It’s about more than music. We are learning lifelong musicianship as well as life skills. We can connect with others through music and we are a band family.
Do you have any kids? My students are my kids.
Do you have any pets? My husband Matt and I have been married for 3 years and we have 2 dogs named Chewie & Lily.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Outside of teaching I enjoy spending time with family and friends at my family’s cabin in Minnesota, cooking, and reading.

Halley Shippy

At what school do you teach? Dickinson Middle School
What do you teach? Middle School Band and Choir
Where are you from? Colome, SD
Where did you graduate? Black Hills State University in Spearfish SD
How many years have you been teaching? This is my 1st Year
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want kids to learn how to understand music not just from a position of reading and playing but why music is important in our lives and how it can impact us.
Do you have any kids? No kids.
Do you have any pets? No pets.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I love to cook and bake while watching TV or a movie.

Kacie Evans

At what school do you teach? Dickinson Middle School
What do you teach? Lifelong Literacy & 7th Honors English
Where are you from? Kansas
Where did you graduate? Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University
How many years have you been teaching? 17
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Working with middle school students…they are my favorite age. I love teaching adolescent literature.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want students to know they are loved.
Do you have any kids? 12 year old daughter, 10 year old son, and a 3 year old son
Do you have any pets? I have two dogs named Kozmo & Annabelle and two cats named Sassy and George.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Watch Kansas State football and my children’s activities and travel with my family

Brooke Bren

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At what school do you teach? Prairie Rose Elementary
What do you teach? Special Education
Where are you from? Circle, MT
Where did you graduate? Black Hills State University
How many years have you been teaching? 3
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Individualized Programs
What ideas drive you as a teacher? Ensuring the students have a safe and loving environment to learn in
Do you have any kids? No
Do you have any pets? Yes. Two dogs, Bella and Rowdy. One cat, Jewel.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? Spend time with my fiance and our families!

Kelly Brown

At what school do you teach? Heart River Elementary
What do you teach? 2nd grade
Where are you from? Colorado
Where did you graduate? University of Northern Colorado
How many years have you been teaching? This is the start of my 19th year teaching 2nd grade. I taught 2nd grade in the same school in Colorado for 18 years.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? One of the many things that motivate me as a teacher is that children need a place to learn where they feel safe to take chances. I love seeing their smiling faces first thing in the morning, coming into school, eager to learn.
Do you have any kids? I've been married for 26 years to my college sweetheart. Our son attends Bard College in New York.
Do you have any pets? a black lab named Stella
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I enjoy mountain biking, backpack camping, hiking with dog and cooking.

Greta Schweitzer

At what school do you teach? Prairie Rose
What do you teach? 1 st Grade
Where are you from? Fargo, ND
Where did you graduate? Valley City State University-Masters in Teaching with Technology
How many years have you been teaching? This is my 12 th year teaching.
What are you most looking forward to teaching? I am most looking forward to seeing my students become better readers!
What ideas drive you as a teacher? It is important to me that my students feel safe and cared about. I look at our classroom as our school family and when we can trust and feel comfortable with each other we are able to learn anything!
Do you have any kids? no
Do you have any pets? Yes, 1 Yellow Lab named Abbey
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I am excited to be getting married this October here in Dickinson. My fiancé, Luke Schweitzer, and I enjoy spending time with family and setting up our new home.

Sandra Rambousek

At what school do you teach? Prairie Rose Elementary
What do you teach? Grade 5
Where are you from? Dickinson via Seattle-Tacoma
Where did you graduate? Drake University, Des Moines IA
How many years have you been teaching? 11
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Students! I'm really looking to get to know my students as people. My favorite subjects, however, are math and science. I love living the 7 Habits and am excited to make those a part of our day, too.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? I want students to be comfortable in my room, not just physically, but emotionally. I want to be a positive role model and help kids through their struggles, whether those are academic or otherwise.
Do you have any kids? I have 3 girls: Dacia 18, Keira 13, and Medora 9
Do you have any pets? I have 2 cats, Molly and Mila
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? I mostly "mom" in my spare time. I enjoy following my girls and encouraging them in their individual interests.

Dylan Steffen

At what school do you teach? : Dickinson Middle School
What do you teach? : Exploring Solutions (STEM)
Where are you from?: I am originally from Yankton, South Dakota. I spent the last 5 years in Hays, Kansas for college.
Where did you graduate?: Fort Hays State University for both my bachelor's and master's in Biology.
How many years have you been teaching?: I taught at Fort Hays State for two and a half years as a graduate teaching assistant. I taught several biology labs for freshman and sophomore students.
What are you most looking forward to teaching?: I am looking forward to teaching students the scientific method and having them apply the process to topics in which they are interested.
What ideas drive you as a teacher? The primary idea that drives me as a teacher is that the scientific method is not only a framework for performing scientific experiments. It is a framework that drives all learning and exploring regardless of the topic. The scientific method helps integrate all school curriculum (math, science, language, and history) for students to have a more cohesive understanding of how the natural world works.
Do you have any kids?: No Kids
Do you have any pets?: We have a 10-month old collie-heeler mix named Willow.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the classroom? My wife and I have a large board game collection, and we play games with each other every night and with larger groups on weekends. We are also both scientists (biologist and paleontologist), so we spend a lot of time outside. I am also a huge baseball fan (specifically a fan of the Minnesota Twins), so I am always watching baseball on TV or cheering on the Badlands Bigsticks!

Felicia Hasaleu

At what school do you teach? Dickinson Middle School
What do you teach? 8th Grade STEM
Where are you from? Bottineau, ND
Where did you graduate? NDSU and University of Mary
How many years have you been teaching? 5
What are you most looking forward to teaching? Students
What ideas drive you as a teacher? Building strong foundations of knowledge and skill to build upon in the future

Related Topics: EDUCATIONDICKINSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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