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Five new teachers at BEA, USC, ready for school

By Staff | Sep 6, 2020

The four new teachers at United South Central Schools are shown above, practicing proper social distancing in the USC Gym. Left to right are David Rysdam, Mike Gorski, Marissa Southwick and Ryan Koopman. They are ready for the start of school.

The page on the calendar has turned to September and that means the start of a new year for area schools.

Both Blue Earth Area and United South Central School Districts will have their first day of school on Sept. 8.

Students in grades 8-12 at BEA will have their first day on Sept. 8 but in a hybrid scenario while kids in grades K-7 will begin Sept. 10 with in-person learning.

USC will open the doors to their 7-12 graders on Sept. 8 and their K-6 students on Sept. 10.

BEA welcomes one new teacher, Samantha Landsteiner, to their staff this year. USC has added four new teachers. They are Mike Gorski, Ryan Koopman, David Rysdam and Marissa Southwick.

Samantha Landsteiner, a 2007 graduate of BEA, is the new second grade teacher at the BEA Elementary School this year.

Samantha Landsteiner

A 2007 graduate of BEA, Landsteiner returns to the district to teach second grade.

Following her high school graduation she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2015.

Prior to accepting the position at BEA, Landsteiner taught for four years in the Maple River School District, three years as a third grade teacher and one year teaching in the second grade.

Landsteiner lives on a farm south of Mapleton with her husband Ted and their son, Vincent, who just had his first birthday on Aug. 22.

In her spare time Landsteiner says she enjoys life on the farm and spending time outside.

Mike Gorski

Gorski comes to USC with a diverse teaching background and will be teaching seventh and eighth grade English at USC.

He received his first degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in political science and a minor in philosophy.

He took his education and many English classes from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

He has taught in Minneapolis at a Hmong charter school. Gorski also taught in Clara City and overseas in China for two years.

Gorski has an 18-year old daughter who just graduated from high school in Minneapolis and will remain in the city. Most of Gorski’s family lives in the Twin Cities.

Ryan Koopman

You will find Koopman teaching social studies when the school year begins at USC.

Koopman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Sioux Falls in 2010. In 2017 he attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Southwest Minnesota State Marshall.

Koopman also has a minor in coaching and has coached football and baseball at Minneota High School.

His teaching experience includes Worthington and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School where he also coached football and wrestling.

Koopman has family in Fulda, Worthington and Astoria, Illinois.

David Rysdam

Rysdam comes to USC after teaching four years at Luverne.

He will be teaching government, economics, human geography and college political science to 11th and 12th graders at USC.

Rysdam received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bemidji State University and his master’s degree in political science from Southern New Hampshire University.

Rysdam and his wife Jennifer have five children. They are Ainsley, Peyton, Jackson, Analise and Harrison.

Marissa Southwick

Southwick begins the 2020 school year as a sixth grade teacher at USC.

She graduated high school from Janesville/Waldorf/Pemberton and then attended college at Minnesota State Mankato. She graduated from MSU in 2020.

Her teaching experience includes South Elementary in St. Peter where she taught kindergarten. She also has taught fourth grade at Waseca Intermediate School and third grade at Hoover in North Mankato, where she became a long-term sub in the same class where she did her student teaching.

In addition to her father, Mike, and her mother, Kari, Southwick has three sisters. They are Miranda, Kara and Kortney.