Stacey Hogberg
Stacey Hogberg
Stacey Hogberg wants to be the new English tech in a clash of Romeo and Juliet.

"I hope to do a lot of activities with technology, such as short films modernizing a play or a story, some presentations involving online tools such as Glogster or Prezi," said Kingsland's new ninth, 11th and 12th grade English instructor, outlining the activities in which she'd like to engage her students. "Also, I plan to have the two ninth grade classes compete against each other in an ongoing series of activities to resemble the clash of the two families in 'Romeo and Juliet' during the course of the 'Romeo and Juliet' unit."

This will be Hogberg's fourth year teaching. She graduated from Central Elkader High School in 2006 and from Central College in 2010, both in Iowa. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in English from Southern New Hampshire University which she hopes to complete by next August. She wants to teach some CIS (College in the Schools) classes in the future.

Before coming to Kingsland, Hogberg taught ninth through 12th grade English at Janesville Consolidated School District in Janesville, Iowa, for two years, and was a part-time seventh and eighth grade teacher in Chatfield, sharing her love of literature with the students.

"I chose to become a teacher because a passion of mine is helping others," she said. "As a teacher, I can help students achieve their goals, whether it be pursuing college, the military, or work right after high school. Writing, reading, and communication skills are essential to any job a student has in the future.

"I initially wanted to be a special education teacher because I had a lot of experience working one-on-one with kids throughout high school and college since I was a mentor and writing tutor. However, I took an AP English class in high school and grew to love writing. In college, I was a writing tutor and taught a few English classes while some professors were absent and soon realized that teaching English was for me."

She chose to come to Kingsland for two reasons, the first being the skid. "I was sick of driving the icy and snowy county roads 1 and 2 in the winter to Chatfield. Now, I can walk two blocks to work," she joked. "No, that was not the main reason, but it certainly is a benefit to teach in the same community where I live. A couple of reasons factored into my decision - I was teaching part time at Chatfield and Kingsland had a full-time position available. Also, my husband teaches at the school, so we would be in the same school district. Finally, I would have an opportunity to teach college-level classes at Kingsland once I complete my master's degree, and it is something I've always wanted to do."

Hogberg will be the new National Honor Society advisor as well as a new member of the staff.

"I'm looking forward to working with the teachers. I've known most of them prior to this school year, and they have been very kind and helpful," she said. "Kingsland has a new curriculum for English this year which meets the Common Core and Minnesota Academic Standards. I am excited to teach using the new curriculum because it weaves literature, writing, speaking, language, and media literacy together in an interesting and relevant way. I think students will enjoy the audio features that accompany many readings, as well as History Channel video links that give background on a story or article." Hogberg realizes that she has some goals toward which to aspire as she prepares for the school year. She anticipates that her days will be challenging but rewarding as students trying to get used to a new English teacher.

The previous teacher, Karen Cleveland, had been teaching for 41 years and "left an amazing legacy," she pointed out. "I was at Kingsland's graduation last year, and the seniors stood up on their chairs and yelled, 'O Captain! My Captain!' like in the movie the 'Dead Poets Society,' as a salute to her. It was awesome. I will not replace Mrs. Cleveland, because no one can, but I hope one day I can be as effective in teaching English as she was. I hope to be a role model and one who prepares students for their careers outside of high school.

"I think the most important thing for students to learn while in school is to realize that success in life does not happen by chance or by putting in the minimal amount of effort. Success comes through hard work, learning to communicate with others, and by being a respectful and responsible citizen."

Hogberg lives two blocks from the school in Spring Valley with her husband, Josh, who teaches kindergarten through third grade music and seventh, eighth and ninth through 12th grade band at Kingsland. In her spare time, she likes to take walks on the recreational trail in town, watch and attend many Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins games, read, and cheer on the Knights.