Jolene Dornack is a new first grade teacher in Chatfield this year.
Jolene Dornack is a new first grade teacher in Chatfield this year.
Jolene Dornack has her chips in Chatfield and is investing in first grade.

"I'm invested in this community. My children go to school here and I've seen the amazing education they have been provided. I wanted to be a part of that," said Dornack, Chatfield Elementary School's new first grade teacher.

The 1993 Chatfield High School alum attended Winona State University to do her undergraduate work and obtain her master's degree, graduating in 1998.

She commented, "I've always wanted to be a teacher. I have also taught kindergarten - I taught for 14 years in Rochester Public Schools."

Now that she's working in her hometown, she's got plenty about which to be excited. "I'm most excited about collaborating with the staff and growing as a professional educator, being a reflective educator and coming up with activities to meet the needs of all my students, getting to know the students and teaching them to strive to be the best they can be, both in the classroom and in the community," Dornack said. "I myself get very excited about learning, and I wanted to share that excitement with my students."

She feels that it's most important that students learn how to problem solve and work together with their peers to embrace their educational experience and become lifelong learners.

Dornack foresees challenges and rewards in her work at Chatfield Elementary, including coming up with instructional strategies that will fit the needs of all her students. "I'm most excited about all the smiles you receive from first grade students filled with an excitement to learn," she added.

Dornack also hopes to offer her students a few classroom celebrations based off their growth and positive behavior through the year. "I hope that when the students look back at their first grade experience, they say that school was fun, challenging, and they built lasting friendships with both me and their peers," she said.

Dornack resides in Chatfield with her family. "I've been married to Chris for the past 10 years. We have three children: Katelyn, 9, Jack, 7, and Flynn, 2. I enjoy running, biking, spending time with my family, reading and play dates."