Elementary Staff


DOUG ANDERSON — Elementary — RtI Intervention Specialist 

Doug Anderson is our full-time elementary Intervention Specialist, providing one-on-one and small group instruction in the areas of Reading and Math for grades K-6th. This is a Title I/RTI position.

2015-07-29_17-31-40_632Says Doug: “I have a variety of experiences in education that started with 2+ years of Biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. From there I finished my student teaching and Elementary Education requirements for my BS degree at Crown College. I went directly from Crown to Winona State with my newly wedded wife to complete my Masters in Elementary Ed. and Curriculum Development.

My wife Karen is also an educator and we have three fantastic, talented children : Annika, a Sophomore at Northwestern, Emilie, a Senior at Watertown/Mayer and Freshman at Crown College as well as Elijah, an 8th grader at Watertown. We all, as a family, love to travel as we have driven through much of North America, Canada and the West Coast of Mexico. We also are a singing/musical family! I look forward to working another year at New Country School and getting to know staff, students and families even better this year!”

danderson@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071


ANNIE BECK — Upper Elementary — River Otters Advisory

Hi! I am Annie Beck, and I have the pleasure of teaching the 4th and 5th grade River Otters this year! This is my 10th year teaching. I have taught at a private school in California, a public school in North Dakota, and an American school in Marrakech, Morocco. All of these were wonderful experiences that helped me to grow as a person and as an educator. I love helping to instill a sense of excitement and love of learning in kids! I think this is best done through hands on experiences and projects, and that is what brought me to Minnesota. I am getting my Masters in Experiential Education at MSU. That program is where I heard about MNCS, and I am so excited to be here! When I am not teaching, I love to be outdoors! I love kayaking, hiking, hockey and downhill skiing. I also love reading and playing board games!

abeck@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071


LAURA BOELTER — Elementary — Paraprofessional

lboelter@newcountryschool.com


1206831KIERSTEN DAHL-SHETKA — Elementary Art/Music/Wellness — Eagles Advisory

Kiersten is the Arts-Music-Wellness Specialist Advisor for Kindergarten through 6th grade. When students enter her classroom, students will be greeted by a joyful sign that reads, “Welcome to the Happiest Creativity Room on the Planet!”

Kiersten has been teaching art in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade at Holy Cross Catholic School in Webster, Minnesota for eight years. She received a double major from Gustavus Adolphus College in Art and Biology, with a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Dakota (sculpture and painting).  In May of 2014, she completed a two-year Arts Education Degree in Art K-12th grade from Gustavus Adolphus College. Besides being a teacher and artist, Kiersten is also a forgiveness facilitator and has been taking classes and facilitating this modality for 13 years through the Midwest Institute for Unconditional Love and Forgiveness in Minneapolis, Minn. and at Heart Park Studio, in Webster, Minn.

Her philosophy on education is to get to know the students and families, and see how each student learns. She likes to create exciting lessons that engage the students to learn more about the world, themselves and others by using art materials/concepts and creativity as a vehicle through the Minnesota Visual Arts Standards. Kiersten looks forward to adding music and movement to the lesson times. She has been teaching art and learning about the human spirit of creativity for over 30 years. The most joyful part of her days are when she is collaborating with the students and watching them grow in their understanding of what it is to be a precious and unique person and collaborator. Creating, exploring and learning with the students, in the Happiest Creativity Room on the Planet, is where you will find her.

Kiersten and her husband Stanley Shetka have two teenaged-boys Cairo and Sagan.

kdahlshetka@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071


885177AARON GRIMM — Upper Elementary — Bats Advisory

Aaron is in his third year at MNCS Elementary, co-teaching in the Intermediate 4th-5th-6th-grade classroom. Previously, Aaron worked at MNCS Secondary for five years, and at EdVisions Off Campus (online) for three years, as a High School Advisor. He has been able to travel many places in the U.S. and overseas to Japan evangelizing about MNCS’ powerful project based learning model. Aaron is currently a Teacher Powered Ambassador for Teacher Led Schools, a national movement empowering teachers to have more voice in their work.

You can engage Aaron by chatting about technology, music, gardening, education policy & politics in general. Aaron has made the Henderson area his home (originally from Mankato) and enjoys the close knit small town atmosphere that is still close to the Twin Cities. He has two sons, Cain and Broden.

(507) 868-0071  ext.108


NANCY HAAS — Elementary — Paraprofessional

nhaas@newcountryschool.com


2016-08-18 08.08.07 (1)KELSIE HALVORSEN — Lower Elementary — Mosquitos Advisory

Hello, I am Kelsie Halvorsen, the first and second grade teacher here at MNCS. Here is a little about myself.

I grew up in Orange County, California and moved to the small town of Henderson, Minnesota when I was 10. I attended LeSueur/Henderson High School and I graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in December 2014 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. I was brought up in a family of educators. I am the fourth generation, on both sides of the family, to be in education. I grew up helping my mom set up and organize her classroom, as well as volunteered in her room all through High School. Now I get my own classroom and my own students to teach. Some of my hobbies include playing with my cats Hattie and Little Fat, painting, cooking, crafts, reading, watching Disney movies, and being with my friends and family.

khalvorsen@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071  ext.103


TRISH HISCOCK-AUSTIN — Elementary — Front Desk / Admin

frontdesk@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071  ext.0


CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON — Elem & Secondary — Behavioral Interventionist

cjohnson@newcountryschool.com


6039817TERRY KROEHLER — Lower Elementary — Raccoons Advisory

Parents can check out Mrs. Kroehler’s classroom website at:  http://mrskroehler.weebly.com/

Hi!  I’m Terry Kroehler.  This is my 2nd year teaching at MNCS and I am so excited to have the opportunity to teach here! This year I am teaching Kindergarten and 1st Grade.

I grew up in Southern California.  I graduated from college and earned my teaching license from Azusa Pacific University.   I also did some graduate work at California State Univ., Sacramento.  I taught for 2 years in California, teaching 1st and 3rd grades.  Then I moved to Colorado and taught 4th grade for 4 years.  While in Colorado I met my wonderful husband, Keven.  We had 2 children in Colorado, Zach and Ally.  Then we moved to Henderson, MN and I had twin boys, Ben and Tim.  I took a break from teaching for 12 years to raise my family.  I resumed my teaching in MN in 2005 and taught at a charter school in Green Isle for 10 years.  I taught 1st – 3rd grades for 2 years and Kindergarten for 8 years.

My son, Zach, graduated from MNCS in 2011 graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in December 2015.   Ally graduated from MNCS in 2012 and graduated from the University of Sioux Falls with a Nursing Degree in May 2016.  Ben and Tim graduated from MNCS in 2016.  Ben is an Aerospace Engineering major at Missouri University of Science and Technology and Tim is a Civil Engineering major at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

tkroehler@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071  ext.102


KYLIE KUHLMAN — Elem & Secondary — School Social Worker

Kylie Kuhlman is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and will be serving both MNCS schools this year.  She earned an undergraduate degree in English and Kylie_Kuhlman[1] (2)Women’s Studies with a concentration in American Racial and Multicultural Studies from St. Olaf College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Augsburg College.  Previously she has worked as a School Social Worker both in a large suburban district and at a small public charter school, and as a child and family therapist.

Kylie’s primary role as School Social Worker at MNCS is working with students needing extra support to succeed at school.  This includes providing: individual and group counseling and mental health services, social skills groups, positive behavior support, classroom support, consultation to advisors and parents, referrals for students and families seeking to access outside resources, and assessments for special education services.  Kylie will be at MNCS Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

kkulhman@newcountryschool.com

(507) 248-3353  ext.229


9034584JOAN (NEISEN) SKELLY — Elem & Secondary — Education & Events Coordinator

Joan works as the Education and Events Coordinator at both locations of MNCS. She grew up in Shakopee, Minn. and is the youngest of 13 children, all of which have names that start with “J.” Both of her parents worked full time and also raised and sold produce, lawn care and snow removal for the city and church.

“There were always extra kids and a lot of action at our house at all times,” said Joan. “We were taught to work hard but have fun doing it.”

Joan, who went to Hennepin Technical College for sales/marketing and communications, said she likes to talk a lot.

She met her husband, Mark, on a blind date and married him a year later. The couple and their son Matthew moved to Mark’s family farm in Henderson, Minn. in 2002. “I feel like I adapted well to the country life,” she said. After her son was born, Joan took a break from her career for several years and worked part-time. “When I decided to go back to work full-time, I was lucky enough to work from home,” said Joan. “I often wondered what children do in the summer when their parents work full time, so I started ‘No More Bummer of a Summer’ where I take children 10 years and older on educational field trips for the three months of summer they are off school. We went to the zoo, the theater, to working in the woods building forts. We planted gardens and used the produce in our everyday meals. That’s what brought me to work in the educational field, and so I explored MNCS.”

Joan said it was a win/win situation when MNCS staff decided to create the Education and Event Coordinator position to fit her experience. In her role, Joan works for both the elementary and high school planning their Experience Fridays, special events like prom, retirements and many fundraisers. She also leads many Experience Fridays including cooking for low income families, visiting and assisting nursing homes, and coordinating all-school events like Feed My Starving Children.

“I am so lucky to be a part of the MNCS team doing what I love — party planning!”

You can check out Joan’s website at http://nomorebummerofasummer.webs.com/ or like her on Facebook.

jskelly@newcountryschool.com
(507) 248-3353, ext.222


KAREN SWENSON — Elementary — Paraprofessional

karenswenson@newcountryschool.com


KATHLEEN SWENSON — Elem & Secondary — Health Services Coordinator

kathleenswenson@newcountryschool.com
(507) 248-3353  ext.224


44415SARA WESTPHAL — Elem & Secondary — Special Education Advisor

Says Sara: “This is my third year teaching at MNCS. I will still be the special education advisor at both the elementary and the high school. I am so happy and glad to be a part of MNCS. I am still living in Le Sueur MN. My daughter is 1 year old now and is getting so big. I am also fostering my 2 nieces. One is 11 and one is 16. I love spending time with my family.

Teaching is my passion. I have always dreamed to be a teacher and my dream has finally come true. When I am not teaching I love to be outside, play with my daughter, watch softball, fish, hang out with my family, play card games and board game, shop and watch movies.

I can’t wait to see what this year brings for me at MNCS as the year is about to start.”

swestphal@newcountryschool.com
(507) 868-0071  ext.107