Presenter Bios

Andrea Absey is currently a fourth grade teacher for South Washington County Schools. She has been teaching since 1992. Her teaching experiences range from grades K-6, and include the states of MN, ND, CA, and AZ. She has a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning, with a focus on AD/HD students in the regular education classroom. Her passion is “hooking” kids into becoming “life-long learners” and does this with using love and laughter. Her teaching style is equally concrete-sequential and abstract-random, she says she needs to be overly organized so that she can be flexible for her students. She believes in practicing what she preaches so be ready to move and discuss!

Heath Anderson is currently teaching English Learners at Pine Bend Elementary School and at Inver Grove Heights Middle School. He has 18 years of teaching experience in the United States and three years of experience teaching in Taipei, Taiwan. He has worked with students of all proficiency levels, pre-k through high school. Heath is licensed in k-12 ESL and in 7-12 English Language Arts. Further education includes a MAEd in curriculum and instruction with a research focus on Universal Design for Learning and Differentiation. He is excited about helping students and teachers add to their current understandings.

Doneva Batty is a 6th English Language Teacher in Bloomington MN as well as the Lead for the Middle School EL Department. She has taught EL students of each grade K-12. She has also co-taught in the content areas of Language Arts, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies at both the elementary and middle school level. Her experience includes being a SIOP trainer within a two-year training program for elementary, conducting staff-development sessions on EL strategies and best practice, and co-teaching with many content teachers for the last 10 years. Doneva has recently presented on co-teaching with her co-presenters at conferences in Minnesota and Iowa.

Rick Bell is an Assistant Principal, former Elementary Teacher and former Technology Integration Specialist at New Prague Area Schools. He is passionate about technology integration and is always searching for ways to enhance student learning with technology. Rick has a total of 12 years of classroom experience in 4th and 5th grades. He is married to Heidi and lives in New Prague with his three children Aidan (10), Sophia (7) and Ava (5). Rick loves spending time with his wife and children, as well as playing baseball and golf, fishing and going for walks. He also coaches high school baseball and youth football.

Pat Bethke is a former Early Childhood Instructor from Lakeville Public Schools Small Wonders program. She has a MAEd in Instructional Leadership with research focused on Social and Emotional learning. Pat is a Certified Advanced Nurtured Heart Approach® trainer. She presents seminars and workshops in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul and regional area, and was a featured speaker at the NH Global Summit. Several of her classroom experiences are illustrated in Howard Glasser’s book, Notching Up the Nurtured Heart Approach: The New Inner Wealth Initiative for Educators. To learn more about the NHA and how it is being used in education, visit Pat’s website @ www.interconnections.us.com

Brianna Buck is a Digital Learning Coach for the Shakopee Public Schools. She has previously worked as an Elementary Technology Specialist, Middle School Teacher and Digital Learning Specialist. In Shakopee, she assists her teachers and students with their district-wide personalized learning program. She has a passion for staff development, creating with iPads and presenting to others. As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Brianna enjoys sharing her love of technology with others and seeing the excitement of teachers and students when they have a great idea!

Erin Griffin Boyle is a 6th grade science teacher in Bloomington MN. She has taught either high school or middle school science for 11 years. Her EL experience includes TEAM UP in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, being a SIOP trainer and co-teaching with an EL teacher for the last 5 years. She is very passionate about co-teaching having seen the benefits first hand. Erin has been presenting the benefits and how-to’s of co-teaching with her co-presenters at conferences in Minnesota and Iowa.

Renee Carlson has worked in the field of education for over 17 years. She currently serves as the Associate Principal at Turtle Lake Elementary, which is part of the Mounds View School District. Previously, Renee worked for the South St. Paul Public Schools as an Evaluation Coordinator, Interim Administrator and Elementary Assistant Principal. Prior to going into administration, she was a first and fourth grade teacher at Parkview Elementary in District 196. Renee is passionate about providing strategy-driven professional development that empowers her learners. In addition to presenting at SORLA, Renee offers customized staff development on effectively working and collaborating with parents for Minnesota School Districts.

Kenn Carlson, R.N., is retired from his long career in psychiatry at Hennepin County Medical Center. Kenn leads the addiction recovery ministry at All God’s Children Church in South Minneapolis and coordinates the pet loss support program at Golden Valley Humane Society.

Jackie Christensenteaches K-12 EL for Spencer Schools in Spencer, IA. She teaches all grade levels, oversees the curriculum, and co-teaches 9th grade physical science. Jackie previously taught 6th grade EL at Valley View Middle School in Bloomington, MN, where she co-taught 6th grade science and implemented many modifications and supports for other curriculum. She is passionate about co-teaching and has enjoyed sharing its importance with teachers throughout Minnesota and Iowa. Jackie obtained a Master’s in Education through the Second Languages and Cultures program at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Stephanie Clark has over 30 years of classroom experience in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale school district from which she has recently retired. She has taught in the elementary classroom, as well as, gifted and talented youth through the district’s SAIL program and facilitating Young Scholars groups. She has a Master’s Degree in gifted and talented education and a Doctorate in Critical Pedagogy. Stephanie has facilitated many district continuing education classes through AFT’s ER&D (Educational Research and Dissemination) program. She has also presented at local, state and national conventions. Stephanie has a passion for social justice work and searching out practical strategies to support all learners.

Gary Eustice is a licensed psychologist with 40 yrs. experience working with trauma survivors. Gary has also been an adjunct professor of psychology for Bemidji State University for the past 20 yrs. He has crisscrossed the state passionately passing on the message of Trauma Informed Care. He is Socratic in his teaching approach with a great propensity to follow his Irish heritage and use stories to bring his lessons home.

Amy Faust Fraser is currently a Professional Development Outreach Specialist at WIDA. She has 19 years of experience in a wide variety of teaching and learning environments including elementary classroom teacher, ESL teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, Literacy Coach and RtI Coordinator. She holds a master’s degree in reading and language arts in addition to a reading specialist license and CLAD (Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development) Credential. Always an advocate for all learners, her passion is to accelerate literacy and academic language growth in all students.

Beth Flottmeier is a media director in the Bloomington School District. In addition to her media degree, Beth also has earned a reading specialist license and an Educational Specialist degree with administration licensure. She enjoys working with students and teachers to inspire their love of reading and learning. In her spare time she enjoys playing with her two children, reading, gardening and spending time with extended family.

Rachel Gens is the Lead Elementary Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for Bloomington Public Schools and is an adjunct instructor in the K-12 Reading Licensure program at Hamline University. She also has experience teaching Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and Title I literacy/math interventions and has served as a K-5 literacy coordinator. Rachel is passionate about teaching emergent and developing readers, literacy assessment and intervention, and literacy leadership.

Kathy Gerber taught in District 199, Inver Grove Heights for 39 years. Over the years she taught grades 3, 4, and 5. Kathy was one of the first two teachers for Atheneum, a full time gifted magnet program, and spent the final seven years as a teacher in this program. Because of her love of math, she attended Project GAP at the College of St. Catherine, was a participant in the SciMathMN Academy, a two week residence training, was trained by the state in math standards, and became a Best Practice (Quality Teaching Network) teacher/trainer in mathematics for the state of MN. Kathy is a recipient of the TIES Use of Technology in Education Award as well as the WEM Foundation Outstanding Educator Award for Ethics in Education. Her goal has always been to find the best techniques and strategies to help students be able to understand and enjoy math (and all other subjects) so that the students can be successful.

Kristina Goetze is currently a middle school EL teacher in the Osseo Area Schools District. She has taught EL students from kindergarten up through high school. She also has her Masters of Arts in Literacy Education. With her EL and reading licenses, she encourages and challenges her students to expand their knowledge through literacy and language.

Jean Grech is a retired elementary teacher with 40 years experience in grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. She spent the last 16 years of her career delving into brain research which led her to interest in movement and its impact on students’ learning and performance. While studying to become a Brain Gym® instructor, she became interested in neurodevelopmental movement after studying with Svetlana Masgutova. She has had training in the S.M.A.R.T. program, Ready Bodies - Learning Minds by Athena Oden, Rhythmic Movement by Harald Blomberg, and Bal-A-Vis-X by Bill Hubbert. As she has continued to study, she has learned about the critical role movement plays in the developmental stages of infants and preschool children. She looks forward to sharing what she as learned and to providing insights into challenges many of today’s children experience in school.

Patti Greene is Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools’ K-5 Elementary Curriculum Specialist. Her classroom experience includes kindergarten, second, fourth, and fifth grades. She serves as chair on Hamline’s Summer Literacy Institute Committee, and is an adjunct instructor for Hamline, offering literacy courses both on and off campus. Patti provides professional development in literacy practices in the metro area.

Bob Hazen has 27 years experience in teaching secondary math, both at Mounds View High School (1999-2015) and in St. Paul Public Schools (1988-1999).
    Bob is also the founder and director of SAI: the Summer Algebra Institute for Kids (www.AlgebraForKids.com). Established in 1995, SAI is a week-long, half-day math enrichment program that uses algebra to get young students turned on to math. More than 3,500 students of varying academic abilities - as young as third grade - have learned substantive, memorable algebra in SAI. Students come largely from the Twin Cities but also from as far away as Arizona, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Alaska, and Georgia. SAI is held mostly in the Twin Cities (Lakeville, Roseville, Bloomington) and in Michigan.
    In 1993, Bob also spent a year as lead teacher of an elementary math pilot project in which algebra, calculus, music, and manipulatives were used to teach first grade math to two classes of regular first grade students in a traditional school setting. End-of-year test scores showed the students were at grade level - but the tests didn’t’ show that most of the first graders had figured out basic multiplication and also knew how to perform algebraic factoring of quadratic expressions. Sadly, the pilot project closed after one year.
    In addition, Bob has served on adjunct faculty at Augsburg College (teaching elementary math methods to pre-service teachers), at Bethel University, and at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. He also has done math education staff development training for elementary teachers in both public and private elementary schools. He specializes in training K-6 teachers how to deepen elementary math to better prepare students for the eventual Algebra-1 course they will take down the mathematical road. His focus is on using broad, practical, kid-tested, teacher-friendly principles that reveal the unity of math across grades and across topics. He has had frequent invitations to speak at regional NCTM conferences and state MCTM conferences.

Trainer, speaker, conference facilitator…Dr. Jody Janati has an Ed.D. degree in Organizational Leadership, and a M.A. degree in Speech Communication. She currently teaches in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. She offers a variety of public and professional workshops on conflict reduction tactics and effective communication skills throughout the year. During her academic career she has held a number of administrative positions in higher education, taught for the MN state prison system and worked for various colleges throughout Minnesota. She is also the author of five books.

Jason Just is a science teacher in Lakeville Area Public Schools. He is interested in using technology to improve student learning across many disciplines and implements numerous pieces of device independent technology. Jason enjoys teaching young people to solve challenging problems while sharing STEM resources with colleagues across social and digital media. Jason is a Google Certified Innovator and received a number of awards and grants associated with teaching and learning. He teaches courses in chemistry, physics and technology. Follow @verticalcrush on Twitter.

Elida Kane is currently the Learning and Teaching Coordinator for Lakeville Public Schools and has been working in education for 12 years. She has taught grades 3 through 6 in both urban and suburban settings. Ms. Kane has her Master’s Degree from Hamline University, her PK-12 Administrative License from the University of Minnesota, and is currently an adjunct professor for Hamline University in the Master's of Arts in Education program. She is passionate standards based learning and teaching, and ensuring high levels of learning for all students.

Barbara and Stefan Kavan While in eighth grade, Stefan Kavan had a goal on his individual education plan (IEP) addressing self-advocacy. Stefan put a short power point slide presentation together and delivered his message in front of 120 of his peers in the media center at his school. Shortly after that, Stefan and Barb began presenting as a mother-son tag-team. So began, "Educating Trainman," a story on autism and how it impacts us on a daily basis. We have presented to parent groups, general and special education service providers, and school administrators. Our message is one of hope and promise!The message and story resulted in our coauthored book called, TRAINMAN. Stefan's personal elementary experiences, published by the Autism Asperger's Publishing Company, focuses on acceptance and developing friendships through special interests. In 2010, the New England Book Festival awarded the book with Honorable Mention in the children’s book category. In 2012 the book received the Teachers’ Choice Award in the Children’s Book Category. Stefan is currently living in Minnetonka. Barb is retired from her position as Special Education Coordinator in Prior Lake MN. More information can be found at www.trainmanandmom.com.

Pam Keul has taught elementary and high school Special Education, published Turtle River Press with two partners and is a certified yoga instructor and caregiver. She has a special interest in self-care for mental, emotional and physical health, which includes fun!

Tom Keul M.D., After ten years as Director of Behavioral and Mental Health at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Tom has recently returned to work at Hennepin County Medical Center where he began his career in psychiatry.

Jennifer Kula has been a School Social Worker for 30+ years, and is presently the Lead Social Worker for District 622. The work she is presently doing around Trauma Informed Care has been the most meaningful of her career. Collective research around Adverse Childhood Experiences and future health/mental health outcomes is astoundingly clear, and educators are tasked with responding to their students through a trauma informed lens. Jennifer and her team are proud to be assisting teachers and support staff in better understanding their students, and giving them practical tools and tips they can take back to their classrooms.

Jennifer Kula has been a School Social Worker for 30+ years, and is presently the Lead Social Worker for District 622. The work she is presently doing around Trauma Informed Care has been the most meaningful of her career. Collective research around Adverse Childhood Experiences and future health/mental health outcomes is astoundingly clear, and educators are tasked with responding to their students through a trauma informed lens. Jennifer and her team are proud to be assisting teachers and support staff in better understanding their students, and giving them practical tools and tips they can take back to their classrooms.

Andy Larson is a 3rd grade teacher in Hastings Public Schools. He has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning with a focus on reading instruction for young boys. He has been working for the past 3 years to integrate iPad technology into his classroom, despite having a limited number of devices. He works as an adjunct instructor for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and he has presented at TIES iPadPalooza. He believes that student engagement is the key to student success, and he works hard to get all of his students on board each day.

Erica Lumley has worked with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of community mental health settings from crisis work with victims of sexual and domestic violence, to youth development, and children’s mental health case management in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. In the next few months, Erica will obtain her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is currently completing practicum at Northwest Passage, an assessment and residential treatment center for children and adolescents in Frederic, Wisconsin. Throughout Erica’s career, historical and multigenerational trauma have been themes in her work, and this has been the focus of her master’s thesis. She is committed to understanding the story of each child within their familial and larger systemic context in an effort to achieve authentic collaboration and progress.

Jennifer Malecha is the media director at Valley View Elementary in Bloomington. She has previously worked as a middle school reading specialist and curriculum coordinator for Bloomington Public Schools. She earned her master’s degree and reading specialist license from the University of Minnesota. Books of all kinds are her passion and you will never find her anywhere without one. Check out what she is currently reading by following her on Twitter: @mrsmalechareads.

Julie McDonell is the Literacy Coordinator at Valley View Elementary in Bloomington. She has also taught 3rd grade and done reading interventions with students K-5. Julie has a Master's Degree from Saint Mary's University and a K-12 Reading License from Hamline University. She has presented at SORLA for several years. Julie is passionate about working with struggling readers, and helping them gain strategies and confidence to become good readers. She also enjoys supporting teachers with reading instruction in their classrooms.

Rachel McLaughlin teaches 2nd and 3rd graders in the Atheneum Gifted Magnet Program in Inver Grove Heights. Prior to moving to Minnesota, she taught 5th grade at the American School Foundation in Monterrey, Mexico for three years. She enjoys trying out new strategies and ideas in the classroom, and strives to make learning relevant and engaging for students.

Joe Melde has been teaching 3rd grade at Salem Hills Elementary in Inver Grove Heights for 20 years. He is a 2011 Ties Exceptional Teacher award winner. Joe enjoys finding ways to redefine how a classroom works with technology. Joe has a specific interest in using iPads in the classroom. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and watching and playing sports.

Jennifer Miley: I have been a middle school counselor in the North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale school district for seventeen years. Prior to that I was an elementary teacher. My passion is working individually with students, teaching them skills that will help them over their lifetime. Over a year ago, we were challenged to implement trauma-informed practices into our schools. As a result of the learning I've done around kids who've experienced trauma, my work with kids will never be the same. I will never look at the behaviors of kids through the same lens. We'd love to be able to share this workshop with you so that you have the necessary tools to work with the ever-growing numbers of kids who've experienced trauma in their lives.

Dr. Charlene Myklebust, Psy.D., is an educational leadership consultant with Professional Education Pal, LLC. She has taught regular and special education classes, has served as a public school administrator, and oversaw correctional, mental and chemical health services in schools. Char co-authored the Minnesota Department of Education teacher training series, "Early Warning Signs of Children's Mental Health Disorders." She was recognized for "Outstanding Service" by the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH) and received the "Educator of the Year” award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-MN). Char provides Statewide coordination as a private contractor for a Department of Human Services program called “The Minnesota Model of School-based Diversion for Students with Co-occurring Disorders.”

Kelly Peterson is a licensed school psychologist. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from St. Cloud State University and her Master's and Post Master's degrees in Education and School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Kelly’s professional focus has consistently centered upon improving the lives of children and adolescents. She spent several years working in the school environment with children in early childhood to high school. Her professional activities have encompassed work as an evaluator and diagnostician, behavioral consultant and individual and group counselor. Currently, Kelly is working as a regional speaker on children’s mental health and behavior intervention and as adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. She also keeps busy with her three children Julia (8), Myles (6) and Reid (4) and working as a yoga instructor.

Jodi Prchal has a passion and love for all things STEM! She has taught 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th Grade, is the New Prague District Science Fair Coordinator for the elementary, middle and high schools and is the director of the New Prague Camp Invention program. She incorporates hands on learning in her classroom, especially in the area of science and engineering and enjoys incorporating reading lessons and books into the lessons as well. She utilizes the outdoors for lessons as well. Her children have been involved in 4H, robotics, Supermileage Car Challenge, Science Fair and the Rube Goldberg Challenge. She and her children created a new STEM club in New Prague called the New Prague Newtonian Club.

Laura Ramsborg is a 7th grade reading teacher at Valley View Middle School in Bloomington. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Hamline University, and holds a K-12 reading license and a 5-12 Communication Arts & Literature license. Laura has presented at the TIES Technology Conference and Hamline Summer Literacy Institute, as well as taught literacy courses at St. Catherine University. She has a passion for developing life-long readers and spreading Book Love, as well as reading voraciously and baking decadent treats. Follow her on Twitter @MsRamsborgReads.

Stevie Ray has been a nationally recognized speaker and trainer for over 25 years, helping Fortune 500 companies and small organizations alike improve communication skills, teamwork, innovative thinking, leadership, and customer service. He has been a professional entertainer since his first comedy show at the age of nine. He is the Executive Director of Stevie Ray’s Improv Company in Minneapolis, a company that has provided training and entertainment since 1989. Stevie is a professional member of the National Speakers Association. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist for the Business Journal Newspapers and is the author of nine books. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and step-daughter. He learned his quick-thinking skills trying to win debates with them. It has yet to work.

Jes Rosenberg is a national yoga educator, a catalyst in the wellness community, and committed to helping students live an inspired life through MNDFUL Happier Hours. She makes it her mission to ‘Breathe, Stretch, Play. Make NAMASTE a part of every day!’ Jes comes from a strong lineage of amazing mentors, has been teaching yoga for over 16 years, and is a 500 E-RYT, YACEP, 200/500 RYS certified instructor in a multitude of disciplines [even Chair Yoga for the office!]. A Wanderlust teacher and festival-goer, she is a teacher’s teacher, and has been practicing yoga since a teenager. Her passion for mindfulness, meditation, and movement has allowed her to cultivate a uniquely blended teaching style to find awareness and alignment on and off the yoga mat. Jes has a ‘Live to Learn’ sunny, soulful, bohemian vibe. She is an artist, a voracious reader, and loves to take walks around the lakes with friends. Her guilty pleasure is to rock-out singing 80’s Rock & Roll in the car. She finds teaching inspirational and is motivated by the Dalai Lama XIV quote, “As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all Beings.”Jes’s talents have been recognized in numerous print publications including Star&Tribune, Mpls St. Paul Magazine, and Yoga Journal. Download her award winning 'Super Stretch Yoga' kids yoga app, Chair Yoga iBook, and yoga programs to make NAMASTE a part of every day.

Colette Ryan has been an occupational therapist in Inver Grove Heights Schools for 30 years. Prior to this she worked in a Birth to 4 program for 6 years. She has her Masters in Developmental Disabilities and an Autism Certificate….and lots of experience with behavior and self- regulation. She works with preschoolers through 5th grade; working with special educators, regular education teachers, paraprofessionals, parents and daycare providers. Teamwork, problem solving, collaboration and being creative are very important as we look at the whole child.

Julane Severson began her teaching career in a small farming community (forty years ago) which required her to wear many hats. She was "baptized" into teaching as a home economics teacher with seven preps a day. One year, she even taught two classes during the same hour! As a "baptism bonus" the principal got down on his hands and knees and begged her to teach art! She succeeded by calling on her creative energy. This creativity followed her throughout her teaching career as a language arts/English teacher at Inver Grove Heights Middle School. Her DRESS UP writing method instilled confidence in her students and success as writers.
Her colleagues recognized her creative approach by selecting her twice as a representative for "Teacher of the Year" In retirement, she continues to develop/direct the children's programming events for the St. Paul Farmers' Market.

Tom Spalla is a Physical Education Specialist on the K-8 level and teaches at Western Dubuque Schools near Dubuque, Iowa. He has been teaching for 38 years and has presented over a hundred workshops in movement in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, and California. He has his masters in Physical Education from the University of Northern Iowa and his undergraduate degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He was the Middle School Teacher of the Year for the State of Iowa in 2001 and the Honor award winner in 2003. He presents his workshops during the summer. You can find out more information on his Website at www.tomworkshop.com. Tom has been facilitating professional development in his district for the past two years regarding the book "Teach Like a Champion" by Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Pirate by Steve Burgess and the Essential 55 by Ron Clark.

Karen Sperl is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked in that capacity and as the Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator in the Inver Grove Heights Community Schools district for 35 years. She has her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and she has a wealth of experience working with preschool-age children. Children with special needs and typically developing children flocked to the carpet area with excitement when Karen brought her puppet friend, Monty, into the classroom. Karen believes in working with Early Childhood General Education and Early Childhood Special Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, other Speech-Language Pathologists, and Parents to maximize learning opportunities for children through language and literacy. She is creative in designing engaging lessons, using a variety of materials, which supplement and enhance any curriculum being used in the classroom. Karen retired in 2016, but she is continuing her work in the development of Early Literacy, Language, Letter Lessons.

Kevin Strauss is an award-winning Author and Professional Storyteller. He tells stories that make people smile, make them laugh, and make them think. Kevin holds an M.S. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. He is the author of six books, including Tales with Tails: Storytelling the Wonders of the Natural World (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), Story Solutions: Using Tales to Build Character and Teach Bully Prevention, Drug Prevention, and Conflict Resolution (Libraries Unlimited, 2011), and the children’s book Pecos Bill Invents the Ten-Gallon Hat (Pelican Publishing 2012). Kevin performs at schools, libraries, and Child Care Centers across the Midwest. To learn more about his programs visit www.NatureStory.com. To see him tell stories online, visit www.StoryLibrary.org.

Natalie Weatherman is currently finishing her first year as digital learning coach for Shakopee Public Schools. Prior to that, Natalie was a middle school media specialist and has her Master’s Degree in Library Media Education. For the first 6 years of her teaching career, she taught German in New Prague, MN. She is patient, approachable, and loves working alongside classroom teachers to build their skills and confidence to implement technology into their classrooms. In her 12 years of teaching, she has deepened her love for learning and finding creative ways to connect students, content, and technology.

Anne Wenisch spent the first twelve years of her career as a fifth and sixth grade classroom teacher. For the last twelve years, she has been a Reading Specialist in the South Washington County School District. Her role entails that of literacy coach, Reading Recovery to teacher to first grade students, and literacy staff developer to numerous teachers across her district as well as in other Minnesota school districts. In 2013, she was awarded the Education All Star award in her district, an award voted on by peers and given as a result of dedication to her work. The award meant a great deal to Anne who believes she is simply lucky to work in a field that allows her to make a difference in so many lives.



SORLA Sponsoring Districts:
Bloomington, Eagan, Savage, Farmington, Hastings, Lakeville, New Prague, Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan, and Shakopee.

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