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Ellsworth district introduces 23 new staff

Ellsworth School District staffers attended a workshop Thursday, Aug. 20. (From left, front): Kristin Nyquist, Jessica Kuske, Wayne Bondeson, Laurie Neeley, Angie Nelson, Anna Badman, Rosie Ricci, Melissa Murphy, Linda Warner, Jenna Kvalheim and Lynn Loesch; (back row) Carolyn Moore, Tyler LaRose, Karen Nimmo, Carrie Lindstrom, Katie Fuchs, Laura Swancutt, Becky Lane, Geoffrey Wagner, Shane Magee, Erica Gammie, Melinda Daus and Rhonda Klink. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

While most of them will do the teaching, 23 new Ellsworth School District staffers were put in a position of learning at a workshop Thursday in preparation for the coming school year.

The event was also an opportunity for them to be asked by the Herald about their backgrounds and positions via a newspaper survey. Their responses follow

Anna Badman

Amery native Badman will teach middle school Spanish in Ellsworth and high school Spanish in Spring Valley.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish studies from the University of Minnesota and got a K-12 Spanish teaching license from Bethel University. She was a substitute teacher in Amery schools and a student teacher at Somerset Middle/High School.

Teaching is the profession of another of her family members, her mother, Laura, who’s a music teacher in Amery. Her father, Dennis, works for Xcel Energy, her brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Mickie, are travelling physical therapists, and another brother, Andrew, is a registered nurse in Milwaukee.

Badman’s hobbies and interests are the lake life, dancing, watching sports, travelling and hanging out with friends and family.

Wayne Bondeson

Originally from Newport, Minn., Bondeson will be the night custodian at Ellsworth High School. He previously was a janitor at Spring Valley High School and a maintenance mechanic for St. Paul Public Housing.

He attended Century College in a truck driving program for two-and-a-half years and a small engine repair program for five years.

Bondeson and wife Tammy have two children, Isaiah and Soom. He enjoys camping, fishing, travelling, gardening, small mechanics, Bible study and history.

Melinda Daus

Special education teacher at the middle school is the assignment for Daus, whose hometown is River Falls.

She attended UW-River Falls for a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders and UW-Oshkosh for a master’s degree in special education.

Daus taught in the Ellsworth School District at the high school from fall of 2005 to spring of 2011, and at the middle school from fall of 2011 to spring of 2013. She just returned from an overseas teaching experience in Qatar, where she taught for two years in an academy for children with special needs.

“I’m excited to be back in the Ellsworth district!” she said.

Backpacking and travel are among Daus’ hobbies and interests, as well as hiking, kayaking, camping, gardening and reading.

Katelyn Fuchs

With Hager City as her hometown, Fuchs becomes an Ellsworth High School English teacher.

She taught for two years in Elmwood and student taught in River Falls, both at the high school there and Meyer Middle School. She attended UW-Eau Claire, studying comprehensive secondary English education.

Fuchs graduated from Ellsworth, as did her three younger siblings, Josh, Kirsten and Jake. Her parents are Scott and Kathy Fuchs.

She loves reading, movies and music, she said.

“I’m also very active with my church, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,” she said.

Erica Gammie

Middle and high school cognitive disability teacher is the position to be occupied by St. Germain native Gammie.

She studied special education at UW-Stevens Point. She student taught at Rhinelander High School and James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander.

“I have family and friends living throughout the entire U.S. and many living abroad,” she said.

Travelling, attending cultural events, gardening, canoeing and camping are among her hobbies and interests.

Rhonda Klink

River Falls native Klink is a business education teacher for both the high school and middle school.

Besides student teaching at Somerset High School and at Menomonie’s middle school, she also did two LTS assignments for the same position here. She attended both UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout in Menomonie.

Klink has a 10-year-old son at Rocky Branch Elementary School in River Falls, four cats (“BW,” “Oliver,” “Pumpkin” and “Lil’ P”) and one bunny (“Chocolate”).

Her interests include hiking, walking, watching movies, spending time with kids in and out of school and hanging out at home or a family member’s home.

Jessica Kuske

Technology education at both the middle and high schools will be the position for Kuske, whose hometown is Menomonie.

She attended UW-Stout, and student taught at Hudson Middle School and Menomonie High School.

Kuske and husband Daniel have a daughter, Belle. She enjoys gardening, camping, spending time with family, using technologies within her subject area (woodworking, welding, etc.) and reading.

Jenna Kvalheim

A school counselor at the elementary level in Beaver Dam for three-and-a-half years, Kvalheim will now be the school counselor at Ellsworth’s middle and high schools.

From Hager City, she got a bachelor’s degree from UW-Stout in retail merchandising and management, and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in school counseling.

She’s married with a 4-year-old daughter, Claire, and a 2-year-old son, Jack.

Kvalheim is fond of tennis, reading, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.

Becky Lane

Lane is the new secretary at the high school.

Originally from North St. Paul, Minn., she has been a stay-at-home mom for the past seven years. She and husband Pete have two daughters, Isabelle, age 7, and Evie, 6.

She attended Augsburg College for youth and family ministry, and psychology.

Lane likes spending time with her family, baking and cooking, hunting and fishing and bonfires in the fall.

Tyler LaRose

A native of Bennett, 25 miles south of Superior, LaRose is the high school Spanish teacher.

He attended UW-Superior for English and Spanish secondary education, and substitute taught in Superior. He’s a jazz musician, playing bass, plus is interested in travelling and exploring, and playing volleyball and golf.

Carrie Lindstrom

Diamond Bluff native Lindstrom will be a teacher’s aide at both the high school and Hillcrest Elementary.

She’s been a teacher’s aide at Heart, Hands and Mind, Inc., for 4K in Prescott and at various day cares.

She has a son, Austin Hines, age 20, and loves spending time with family and friends, as well as reading.

Lynn Loesch

An aide in early childhood position at Lindgren goes to Loesch, whose hometown is Ellsworth.

She attended UW-River Falls, obtaining a bachelor of science degree in elementary education with an early childhood minor. For 15 years, she operated an in-home daycare and preschool.

Loesch and husband Joe have two sons, Tyler Thomas, age 20, and Nicholas Loesch, 10.

Her interests are camping, running, reading and family.

Shane Magee

Magee, whose hometown is Hudson, is coming here to teach third grade at Hillcrest Elementary.

He went to UW-River Falls to study early childhood education. He was a substitute teacher in the Hudson and River Falls school districts. Last year, he was an educational assistant at Houlton Elementary in the Hudson School District.

He and wife Laura have a newborn child, Finnigan, and a dog, “Fiona.”

Magee counts fishing, hunting, camping, backpacking and travelling as favorite activities.

Carolyn Moore

The teacher’s aide for the Panther Kids Club, Moore is from Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

She went to the Community College of Aurora, Colo., for an associate degree in early childhood education. While in Colorado, she gained day care experience.

Moore and her husband, Todd, have sons Liam, age 13, and Aidan, 11, both of whom attend Ellsworth Middle School.

She enjoys baking and camping.

Melissa Murphy

A general education aide at Hillcrest Elementary is the new duty for Murphy.

From Ellsworth, she’s been a stay-at-home mom for nine years, a day care provider for five years and a nanny for four years.

Her family includes daughter Mackenzie, age 18; son Aiden, 9; daughter Preslie, 5; and daughter Mia, 3.

Murphy’s free time is spent camping and reading, as well as being on family land on the Rush River and most of it is with her children.

Laurie A. Neeley

Neeley is a computer/network technician from Osceola.

She went to Minnesota State College. She was a cosmetologist for 13 years and worked at Bremer Bank as a field systems engineer.

Neeley’s sons are Paul, age 14, and Lance, 10.

She finds hiking, biking, running, gardening, genealogy, camping, canoeing and kayaking to be her top interests.

Angie Nelson

Nelson will be a second grade aide at Hillcrest Elementary.

An Ellsworth native, she’s substituted as an aide for the local school district for two years in the past. Last year, she was a long-term substitute at Hillcrest in special education and the second grade.

Nelson and husband Luke have three children: Reese, age 12 and in sixth grade at EMS; Rowan, who’s 6-years-old; and Regan, 5.

She works part-time at the Shady Grove and coaches U12 softball.

Karen Nimmo

With a hometown of Durand, Nimmo will be an English and language arts teacher at the middle school for one-third of the time and at the high school for the other two-thirds.

Her college studies were at Grand Canyon University, where she got a bachelor of science degree in secondary education, with an emphasis in English. She was a paraprofessional in the special education department at Durand Junior/Senior High School and has student taught at Mondovi High School.

Nimmo has two children, Logan and Emily. She likes performing in a musical duo (“Skipping Stones”), song-writing, hiking, fishing, canoeing, yoga and gardening.

Kristin Nyquist

St. Paul native Nyquist will be a counselor district-wide.

She went to UW-River Falls for counseling and was a counselor at Hudson High School, as well as a long-term substitute at River Falls High School.

Nyquist and husband Eric have sons Cameron and Peter, and a daughter, Madeline.

She’s interested in biking, cooking, sewing, kayaking and music, plus the family’s dogs, a Bernese Mountain dog, “Daisy,” and a mini Dachshund, “Dutch.”

Rosie Ricci

From Roberts, Ricci is a math teacher at the high school.

She went to college at UW-Eau Claire for math education and coaching. She student taught at Eau Claire North and Delong Middle School, and was a long-term sub at Chippewa Falls Middle School.

Her parents are Bob and Margie. She has three older brothers, one niece and one nephew.

Among Ricci’s hobbies and interests are scrapbooking, volleyball, fitness and anything outdoors, such as snowmobiling, fishing and four-wheeling.

Laura Swancutt

Plum City native Swancutt is the Panther Kids Club and elementary education aide at Prairie View Elementary.

She went to the University of Iowa, gaining a bachelor of science degree in mathematics. She has been a substitute teacher.

Swancutt described her husband Tony as “my rock,” plus a 29-year soldier in the Army National Guard and Reserves, as well as a full-time worker at the correctional facility in Red Wing. Son Brendan, age 18, graduated from high school this year and daughter Kelsey, 16, is a junior at Ellsworth High School.

She strives to keep up with her daughter, four horses, five cats and one crazy dog who hates to be left alone.

Geoffrey Wagner

Wagner explains his hometown of Zumbrota, Minn., is via Chicago Heights, Ill.

He’ll be in special education at Prairie View. He attended UW-River Falls for elementary education and Concordia College in St. Paul for a master’s degree in special education.

At Pine Island, Minn., he taught general education, while at Hillcrest, he student taught.

He and wife Jody have four daughters: Lydia, age 20; Isabella, 17; Sofia, 15; and Lola, 11.

“I enjoy road biking and restoring vintage road bikes,” Wagner said. “I’m very involved with my daughters’ athletic careers, which include volleyball, hockey, wrestling, softball and track. My oldest daughter plays hockey at UW-River Falls.”

Linda Warner

Her hometown is Shakopee, Minn., and Warner is a speech therapist in the Ellsworth district.

She attended River Falls, getting a master of science degree in speech and language pathology. She did her student teaching at Ellsworth in early childhood and worked in LTC.

She and husband William have a daughter, Ingrid, age 11 months.

In her spare time, Warner likes to cook, hike and read.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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