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The new kids on the block

By Staff | Sep 1, 2013

The new teachers at Blue Earth Area schools are pictured above. Front row, from left to right; Beth Kollasch, Sarah Anderson, Sara Petrowiak, Carissa Weiss, Hannah Martel and Elizabeth Stallman. Back row, left to right; Kelly Prunty, Keli Enser, Colby Swanson, Bjorn Olson and Courtney Luniewski.

The start of each school year brings many new faces into the hallways at Blue Earth Area schools.

This year the new faces in the hallway will include a new nurse and 11 new teachers.

Keli Enser

Keli Enser is one of the new teachers at BEA?Elementary School.

She will be joining the staff as the first grade teacher and has had some experience in the BEA?school system.

She was previously employed as the sixth-grade science teacher and was a long-term substitute at BEA.

Before that she was a substitute teacher in Albert Lea where she graduated from high school.

She was in the class of 2002 at Albert Lea and from there she received her associate degree from Riverland Community College and a bachelors degree from Crown College.

Enser and her husband, David, have four children: Gracie, 9; Ramsie, 6; Sophie, 5; and Edison, 4.

Sarah Anderson

BEA will also have a new face in the second grade classroom this year Sarah Anderson.

Her parents, Jeff and Linda Anderson, live in Rochester and she has two sisters, Jennifer and Melissa.

Anderson graduated from Winona State University in 2013. She student taught the first grade class in Kasson.

Hannah Martel

Winnebago Elementary third grade class welcomes Hannah Martel as its new teacher.

She graduated from Chaska High School in 2009 and attended Bethel University. There she majored in K-6 elementary education with a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). She graduated from Bethel in 2013.

Her job at the Winnebago Elementary will be her first year of teaching. Before that, she completed a residency teaching program part-time for a semester and full-time for a semester in a third grade classroom in Fridley.

Sara Petrowiak

Sara Petrowiak will also be teaching third grade at BEA this year. Her first year of teaching was at Martin County West in a sixth grade classroom.

She graduated from St. Cloud State University and student taught at Kimball Elementary in the fourth grade.

Her family lives in Fairmont and includes her parents, Brian and Susan Petrowiak and sisters Jessica and Megan Petrowiak.

Bjorn Olson

A graduate of BEAHS is returning as a teacher this year. Bjorn Olson will be the new seventh-grade U.S. history teacher.

He graduated from BEA?in 2009 and went to college at Bethel University. He graduated from college in 2013 with a double major in history and social studies education.

His teaching experience includes his time as a student teacher at Anoka High School.

His parents, Stephen and Amalia Olson, and siblings Amy, Aeli and Signe Olson, live in Blue Earth.

Elizabeth Stallman

Elizabeth Stallman will be teaching eighth grade English and seventh grade reading.

She is a graduate of BEAHS and received her bachelors degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She also spent six years in the United States Air Guard.

She spent her time as a student teacher at Fairmont High School.

Stallman is married to TJ?Stallman and they have an 18-month-old daughter, Parker.

Colby Swanson

The eighth-grade social studies teacher isn’t a stranger to BEA schools. Colby Swanson taught three years in the high school and will be returning this year.

He and his wife Shannon and their nine-month-old daughter, Ella, will be returning to the Blue Earth area.

He has six years of teaching experience; three at BEAHS and three at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Wis.

Swanson received his associate of arts at Bethany Lutheran College and then attended Concordia University in St. Paul for his bachelor of arts.

Carissa Weiss

The new eighth-grade math teacher also has a little experience with the BEA school system.

Carissa Weiss will be the new face in the math classrooms and she spent the 2013 spring semester student teaching at BEAHS.

She graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2013.

She is engaged to Robert Maday who farms near Granada and she has a 17-month-old son, Owen.

Elisabeth Kollasch

Elisabeth Kollasch will be joining the staff this year as an Elementary Special Education teacher.

This will be her first year teaching after graduating from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

Courtney Luniewski

Winnebago Elementary will also welcome a new special education teacher this fall.

Courtney Luniewski received a bachelor of arts degree from Buena Vista University in elementary education with a special education endorsement.

She attended Minnesota State University-Mankato for her masters degree in emotional/behavior disorders.

She taught math and special education at the Adolescent Treatment Center of Winnebago.

She and her husband, Tim, have four children ages 13, 6, 4 and 17 months.

Kelly Prunty

Kelly Prunty will be in the elementary and middle school special education department this fall. She started teaching in Blue Earth last January.

She grew up in Welcome and graduated from Martin County West in 2007.

Prunty attended St. Olaf College for her undergraduate degree and is currently working toward a masters degree in special education from St. Mary’s University.

Ann Crofton

Ann Crofton will be joining the BEA staff as the licensed school nurse.

She received her bachelors degree at Gustavus Adolphus College and masters degree at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

She was a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester for nine years before coming to work at BEA schools.

She is married to Josh and they have a four-month-old daughter, Rose.