homepage logo

New teachers abound in Faribault County school districts

By Staff | Aug 26, 2018

Blue Earth Area’s new faculty members include, left to right, third grade teacher Mikayla Gormley, fifth grade teacher Beraiah Peterson, language arts teacher Heather Hernandez, and fifth grade teacher Jacob Brower. Welcome to BEA.

With a brand new school year just around the corner, there will be four new teachers coming to Blue Earth Area Schools this fall.

Jacob Brower

At Blue Earth Area Schools, Jacob Brower was hired as a new fifth grade teacher. Prior to coming to BEA, Brower taught special education for two years at Southern Plains Educational Cooperative.

A South Dakota native, Brower is a 2015 graduate of Northern State University, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. He is the husband of Blue Earth Area Middle School English teacher, Hannah Brower. The couple has two dogs and two cats.

Beraiah Peterson

Not only will United South Central be receiving three new teachers, they will also be welcoming a new school nurse. Included in the photo above are, from left to right, school nurse Taryn Eilertson, art teacher Megan Levine, Spanish teacher Bridgette Holl, and music teacher Bjorn Hagen as they are welcomed.

Like Brower, Beraiah Peterson will also be teaching fifth grade students at Blue Earth Area Schools this fall. This past May, she graduated from Winona State University.

Peterson gained valuable experience as a student teacher at Trimont Elementary School, located in Martin County. She received additional experience helping out at Winona Area Schools, as well.

Originally from Trimont, Peterson has three sisters and one brother.

Heather Hernandez

Heather Hernandez, a Blue Earth native and graduate of BEA High School, will be teaching sixth grade language arts. Hernandez graduated from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, in 2007.

There, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. In 2011, Hernandez completed her associate of arts degree in early childhood education at Rasmussen College, in Mankato. Last year, Hernandez had the opportunity to serve as a long-term third grade substitute teacher for her hometown school district.

Along with Adam, her husband of 11 years, the couple has two children. Tiffany, who is 11 years old, is entering the sixth grade, while Conrad is entering kindergarten this fall.

Mikayla Gormley

Meanwhile, Mikayla Gormley, a Wells native, will be handling third grade teaching duties at Blue Earth Elementary School. In 2017, Gormley graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a degree in elementary education and a certificate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Prior to coming to Blue Earth Area Schools, Gormley served as a student teacher at Franklin Elementary, in Mankato. She also had experience as a long-term substitute teacher at Franklin, as well as United South Central.

She is the middle child of three sisters, Brianna and Myah, and is the daughter of Mike and Kim Gormley.United South Central is welcoming three new teachers to their district. Those teachers include Mrs. Bridgette Holl, Mr. Bjorn Hagen, and Mrs. Megan Levine.

Bridgette Holl

Mrs. Holl will be teaching Spanish at USC. She had a speech communication degree in secondary education from University of Minnesota Morris, a educational technology and media generalist degree from St. Cloud State University, and a traffic safety and drivers education degree from SCSC.

She has a multitude of teaching experience from multiple schools including Norman G. West School in Halstad, Minnewaska Area Schools in Bleuwood, Ada Public Schools in Ada, and Pelican Rapids Public Schools in Pelican Rapids, where she recently moved from.

She joins her husband CJ Holl in Wells as he takes on the position of city administrator for Wells. The Holls have two girls Lily, who will be joining USC as a ninth grader, and Daisy, who will be a USC sixth grader.

Bjorn Hagen

Mr. Hagen will be helping USC fill its halls and auditoriums with music as the new 5-12 band director, as well as the kindergarten music teacher.

He received his bachelor of music degree in instrumental music for music education from Concordia College in Moorehead. He has recently been student teaching in Sheyenne High School for ninth through 12th graders.

Megan Levine

Mrs. Levine is joining USC as the new high school art teacher. She is actually a former USC?graduate and is returning to the school district she loves. Levine received her degree from Winona State.

Her teaching experience shows us she taught elementary art in Owatonna for one year and continued her passion for elementary art in Mankato for two more years. She and her husband live right outside of Easton. They are expecting their first child at the end of September.

USC is also receiving a new nurse on their staff for the student population. Taryn Eilertson earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree from South Dakota State in Brookings. She first worked in the critical care unit at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Carrol, Iowa, then moved back to the area and worked at United Hospital District in Blue Earth for the past five years. She and her husband, Mike, have a four-year-old daughter, Lindyn, and a two-year-old son named Cullen.