New faces can be seen throughout the halls this fall at Spring Grove Public Schools, from teachers to students. These new staff members are, from left, Erin Casper, Sharon Ellis, Lindsay Mackie, Amy Milbradt and Jen Solberg.
New faces can be seen throughout the halls this fall at Spring Grove Public Schools, from teachers to students. These new staff members are, from left, Erin Casper, Sharon Ellis, Lindsay Mackie, Amy Milbradt and Jen Solberg.

The 2012-13 school year is underway at Spring Grove Public Schools. The halls are bustling with activity as students see friends they may not have seen all summer and reacquaint themselves with the school routine.

Spring Grove Public School has a large number of new students beginning school this year. Along with the new students are new teachers and staff members.

New teachers this year at the school include Erin Casper, Amy Milbradt and Sharon Ellis. Other new faces on staff include Angie Berns, job-sharing the administrative assistant position in the office with Sue Engen.

Jennifer Solberg has changed positions and is now the Middle Ages Science teacher. Lindsay Mackie is returning as a para and high school Social Studies teacher after a deployment to Kuwait.

"I have really enjoyed the last four years working with the students in the Gifted and Talented classroom," commented Solberg.

"But I'm very excited to be moving into the Middle Ages as the Science teacher. I am looking forward to seeing the same kids every day and helping them get as excited about science as I am!"

"I am very excited to be a part of the Spring Grove community again," remarked Mackie. "I will be a para in the elementary and high school and I will be teaching seventh-grade Civics in the spring.

"After a yearlong deployment in Kuwait with the Minnesota Army National Guard, I am very excited to get to know students that I didn't know previously and become reacquainted with former students."

"I am super excited to be working in the school office," said Berns. "It will be a great fit with my kids as Bryce is beginning kindergarten, and Elle is in preschool. I have a lot to learn, but am looking forward to it!"

New and returning teachers alike spent last week busily preparing their classrooms and attending meetings as they planned for the start of another great year of learning.

Spring Grove Schools welcome the new teachers and staff and the returning staff, teachers and students and look ahead to a fun, creative, exciting year of education.

Meet the new teachers...

Erin Casper

Subject: G & T (Gifted & Talented) teacher

Hometown: Decorah, Iowa

Resides in: Spring Grove

Family: Engaged to Tyler Gjere

Degree: Elementary Education with Middle School Math and Science Endorsement from Luther College

Teaching background: A student teacher in Spring Grove in the middle school math and science classes and in a fifth grade class at Mabel-Canton this past spring.

During a J-term at college, she had a placement in a kindergarten classroom in La Crosse, Wis. She also worked in an after-school program at a Montessori School in Iowa City.

Hobbies/Pastimes: She enjoys training and showing horses. She has been showing horses in the POA breed for the past 13 years.

She also enjoys going for walks, listening to music, cooking with her fiancé and spending time with family and friends.

Thoughts about the upcoming school year: "I am very excited to begin my first teaching position here at Spring Grove Public Schools!

"Having spent time here this past semester, I quickly learned what a great learning environment this school is. I bring many different life experiences with me to my G&T position and I am eager to share them with my students, staff, parents, family and friends.

"I also look forward to working with and learning from all of the talented staff and students here at Spring Grove Public Schools."

Amy Milbradt

Subject: Kindergarten teacher

Hometown: Ogilvie, Minn.

Resides in: Spring Grove

Family: Husband - Michael and three children, Madison (6th grade), Brody (3rd grade) and Colby (1st grade)

Degree: B.S. Early Childhood Education: Birth - 3rd Grade from St. Cloud University

Teaching background: Two years at Little Lambs Preschool in Hinckley, Minn. and seven years in the Milaca School District teaching preschool, ECFE and also coordinating the Early Childhood Programs.

Hobbies/Pastimes: Most of her spare time is spent with her husband and children. She also enjoys arts and crafting. Most recently, she has been busy packing and moving to Spring Grove.

Thoughts about the upcoming school year: "As a family we are so excited to be here in Spring Grove. Everyone has been so welcoming and is really making the transition great.

"As for teaching, I am absolutely thrilled about teaching kindergarten and getting the chance to get to know this great group of kiddos!"

Sharon Ellis

Subject: 7th - 12th grade Special Ed teacher

Hometown: rural Harmony

Resides in: Family farm near Harmony - Scrabeck family homesteaded the farm in 1858

Family: a daughter with two children living with her on the family farm, a daughter with two children living in England, and a son with three children living in England.

Degree: undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with a minor in history and English from Winona State and a masters degree in Special Education K-12 from University of Minnesota

Teaching background: She spent 25 years teaching overseas in Japan, Germany, England and Macedonia. She returned to the states and then taught in Madison, Wis., Spring Valley and Mabel-Canton and the Root River Education Day Treatment program.

Hobbies/Pastimes: She enjoys reading, gardening, horses, theater, music, helping her grandchildren with homework, Doc's Blue Moose's coffee and ice cream and traveling.

Her late husband was from England, so she enjoys returning to visit family and staying in the cottage that she has there.

Thoughts about the upcoming school year: "I am so excited to be working in Spring Grove. I love Spring Grove and the school; it is a wonderful place to work with wonderful people. It is a great town with great parents and kids that I met last year when I filled in at school. I'm looking forward to working with them again."