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Mistrial declared in Cherrier trial

Hudson School District introduces new staff

Ryah Hofbauer1 / 32
Kevin Martinson2 / 32
Kathy Schmidbauer3 / 32
Marta Balusek4 / 32
Dustan Erickson5 / 32
Matthew Nordgren6 / 32
Alison Underwood7 / 32
Kady Bauschelt8 / 32
Neda Larsen9 / 32
Andrew Smith10 / 32
Robin Ekstrom11 / 32
Kathy Temple12 / 32
Kristen Cooan13 / 32
Jalane Gunderson14 / 32
Wade Kowalchyk15 / 32
Susan Bergquist16 / 32
Lindsay Sheehan17 / 32
Quincy Conrad18 / 32
Augusta Susa19 / 32
Nicholas Weiler20 / 32
Nicholas Filipiak21 / 32
Heather Ghodsian22 / 32
Sabrina Orth23 / 32
Saeng Yang24 / 32
Laurie Palm25 / 32
Leslie Bleskacek26 / 32
Courtney Wetherbee27 / 32
Chreyl Wetterlind28 / 32
Melissa Kowalchyk29 / 32
Marjorie May30 / 32
Kayla Hammen31 / 32
Donna Hryniewicki32 / 32

The Hudson School District will add 30-plus new staff members and teachers to its roster for the 2018-19 school year. To help you identify the new faces out and about in the community, the following are brief profiles of each new staff member who submitted their information.

Nicholas Filipiak

Position: Ninth grade physical science, HHS

Education: BS, UW-Madison biology-neuroscience; B.S., UW-Stout, science education

Previous experience: New Richmond High School (three years), Menomonie High School (2 years)

Family: Wife, Lindsey; children, Camden (4) Beckett (2)

Hometown: Hudson

Hobbies/interests: Athletics, outdoor recreation, and a good book

Ryah Hofbauer

Position: Sixth grade Science and Language Arts, HMS

Education: St. Cloud State, Bachelor of Science; St. Mary's University, Masters Teaching & Learning

Previous experience: Hastings Middle School, Hastings, Minnesota, six years; Hastings Elementary School, six years; Big Lake, Minn., three years

Family: Husband, Eugene Hofbauer; children: Nora (7), Cullen (4)

Hometown: Hudson

Neda Larsen

Position: Sixth grade Language Arts, HMS

Education: UW-River Falls, BS in elementary education, reading teacher certification

Previous experience: Most recent experience, five years at New Richmond Middle School; 11 years teaching experience.

Family: Husband, Bryant; children: Rayna (13), Lila (1), Ella (6)

Hometown): Rice Lake

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors, reading and gardening

Matthew Nordgren

Position: Special education teacher, HHS

Education: Undergrad, UW-Stevens Point, Bachelor's of Science Degree in History (2012). Current, working on my Master's Degree in Education through Saint Mary's University

Previous experience: Special Education Department, Medford Area Public School District, five years. I also coached three sports: Freshman football / varsity assistant, varsity boys assistant basketball coach, and seventh grade girls' softball coach.

Hometown: Medford

Hobbies/ interests: Coaching athletics, huge Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan, hanging out with friends and family.

Sabrina Orth

Position: K-5 special education teacher at RiverCrest Elementary

Education: Double major in Special Education & MCEA ( Middle Childhood - Early Adolescent)

Previous experience:This is my first position!

Family: Kevin Eberhard. husband

Hometown: Abbotsford

Hobbies/interests: Traveling, learning German (my husband is from Austria!), I just started training for a half marathon!

Andrew Smith

Position: Occupational therapist, Middle, High, North Hudson Elementary

Education: BA in English, UW-Madison; MS occupational therapy, UW-MIlwaukee

Previous experience: First as OT

Hometown: Plymouth, Wis.

Kevin Martinson

Position: 11th, 12th EBD

Education : UW-Oshkosh, English Education, Creative Writing Minor, Cross Categorical - EBD Focus license program

Previous experience: Three years English education, Lincoln Hills School, Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Hometown: Appleton

Hobbies/interests Reading, video games, traveling, continued education, exercise

Dustan Erickson

Position: 10-12 Social Studies (Holocaust), HHS

Education: UW-Stevens Point, History & Broadfield Social Science

Previous experience: Medford High School, one year

Hometown: Wausau

Hobbies/ interests: Hockey, power skating coach, rock climbing, training for marathon, golf, scuba diving

Kristen Cooan

Position: Fourth grade, E.P. Rock

Education: UWRF, Bachelor of Science — Geography, Psychology; Masters - College of St. Scholastica — Masters in education

Previous experience: Six years at Achieve Language Academy in St. Paul, fifth grade.

Family: Husband, Josh Cooan; children: Grace (4), Turner (3)

Hometown: Merrill

Hobbies/interests: Running, reading, spending time with friends and family

Jenna Weiland

Position: Third grade teacher at Willow River Elementary

Education: Masters in curriculum and instruction from St. Catherine University

Previous experience: New Richmond School District, five years; St. Paul City School, four years

Family: Husband, Chad Weiland; children: Ellery (6), Gemma (4), Brekk (7 months old)

Hometown: Elk River, Minnesota

Hobbies/interests Boating on the St.Croix, going for walks, being outside

Heather Ghodsian

Position: Kindergarten, River Crest Elementary

Education : UW-Platteville, BA—elementary education & early childhood

Previous teaching experience: Sun Prairie Area School District, six years

Family: Spourse, Arash Ghodsian; children: Parmida (7), Nima (4)

Hometown: Menasha, Wis.

Hobbies/ interests: Reading, exercising, cooking

Missy Kowalchyk

Position: Hudson Middle School, 6-8, reading specialist / interventionist

Education: BS Psychology — UW-Stevens Point, MS Elementary Education — UW River Falls, Reading 316 Saint Mary's University, in progress reading 317 — UW-Stout

Previous teaching experience: 18 years at Ellsworth Community Schools

Family: Spouse: Wade Kowalchyk; children: Kennedy (23), Christina (19), Hannah (18), Hailey (14)

Hometown: Hager City

Hobbies/interests: Music, reading, gardening, and spending time with family.

Quincy Conrad

Position: Speech-language pathologist, HMS

Education: UW-River Falls, Master of Science in communicative sciences and disorders

Previous experience: Chisago Lakes, Minnesota, two years.

Family: Husband, Jeff Conrad; children: Trevor (14), Preston (13), Dylan (11)

Hometown: Wayzata, Minn.

Hobbies/ interests: Reading, puzzles

Gusty Susa

Position: Speech-language Pathologist, HHS

Education: UW-Madison, Masters degree in Communicative Disorders

Previous experience: Chisago Public Schools (four years), Phoenix, Ariz. (Cartwright School District, three years)

Family: Spouse: Jon Susa; children: Maya (15), Mel (12), Mark (10), Mason (4)

Hometown: Hartford, Wis.

Hobbies/interests: Photography

Wade Kowalchyk

Position: Sixth grade science, HMS

Education: BA., Concordia University, St.Paul; MS, Michigan Tech University; teaching certification, UWRF

Previous experience: Zumbrota - Mazeppa High School, seven years; Ellsworth High School, six years

Family: Wife, Melissa Kowalchyk; children: Kennedy (23), Christina (19), Hannah (18), Hailey (14)

Hometown: Ellsworth

Hobbies/interests: Gardening, fishing, winemaking, spending time with family

Marta Balusek

Position: Sixth grade science, HMS

Education: University of Texas, Bachelor of Science in applied learning and development - minor in biology, national board certified; teacher in Early Adolescence Science.

Previous teaching experience: Chisholm Trail Middle School, Round Rock, Texas, six years in seventh and eighth grade science; Osceola Intermediate School, two years in reading support; Osceola Middle School, five years in sixth grade science

Family: Children: Ripley Balusek, seventh grade; Ender Balusek, fourth grade

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Hobbies/interests: I love reading science fiction and fantasy books, playing with my chihuahua Maximus, spending time with my two awesome kids, and "geeking out" every summer at Comic-Con.

Jalane Gundersen

Position: 9-12, HHS, culinary arts & food science (family consumer science education)

Education: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Bachelor's Degrees Family Social Science; Master's Degree: Family & Consumer Science Education: 5-12

Previous experience: Woodbury and Mounds View Schools

Cheryl Wetterlind

Position: 11th & 12th grade, teaching Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fiction at HHS

Education: I graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a secondary English education major & Japanese minor.

Previous experience: This is my first official position. The last year, I substituted at Clear Lake, Wisconsin and also various areas in Minnesota.

Family: Fiance: Mason Militano

Hometown: Yokosuka, Japan and Farmington, Minn.

Hobbies/interests: Love to garden, play various games and read.

Leslie Bleskachek

Position: School to Career Coordinator

Education: UW-Madison, Spanish and Radio/TV/Film; MA in org leadership, Bethel University; Doctorate in Ed from St. Mary's University of Minnesota

Previous experience: Nine years in UW system at UWRF; 10 years in WICS, 3.5 years in Minnesota State System at a two-year college. Taught Spanish and business in addition to admin roles.

Family: Spouse: Gary Bleskachek (HHS grad)

Hometown: Shorewood, Wis.

Hobbies/interests: ACTE member (ACTEonline.org), enjoy travel, hiking, cooking, canoeing.

Susie Merritt

Position: Kindergarten, EP Rock

Education: Bachelor's degree in early childhood-middle childhood elementary education from UW-LaCrosse; Master's in Education with certification in gifted & talented education from UW-Stevens Point.

Previous experience: Three years teaching Kindergarten in the Monona Grove School District

Family: Engaged to Eli Sankey

Hometown: Menomonie

Hobbies/interests: Running, traveling, baking and cooking, reading, spending time with family and friends

Kady Bauschelt

Position: Sixth grade physical education and health at HMS

Education: UW-River Falls, Education Degree; UW-LaCrosse, Health Minor

Previous experience: Four years in Milwaukee Public Schools, nine years at Brown Deer High School, one year (last year) at Cottage Grove Middle School

Family: Husband, Andy; children: Ty (11), Frankie Anne (9), Tauli (6)

Hometown: River Falls

Hobbies/ interests: Track and field, swimming, running, golfing, bowling, time with family and friends!

Donna Hryniewicki

Teaching position: Band, seventh grade and co-director of eight and 6-8 band lessons, HMS

Education: St. Norbert College, Business and Music (BBA); University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MM flute performance (Masters); University of Minnesota, Twin Cities DMA (Doctorate

St. Mary's University - ED license flute performance minor music theory

Previous experience: North Branch Public Schools (2013-2018); various colleges (Adjust assignments)

Hometown: Greendale

Hobbies/interests: Running, tennis, weight lifting, hiking, practicing flute and piano, travelling, rescuing homeless animals, volunteering

Alison Underwood

Position: Reading teacher, E.P. Rock

Education: B.S. UW-Eau Claire, Special Education, specific learning disabilities; Masters in Education, UW-La Crosse

Previous experience:One year, Eleva-Strum School District; six years, Mt. Horeb Area School District; four years, Minnetonka School District; six years, Hudson, substitute and education assistant

Family: Husband, Chad; twins, Abigail (11), Griffin (11)

Hometown: Eau Claire

Hobbies/interests: Hiking, biking, reading, family time

Laurie Palm

Position: RiverCrest, gifted and talented teacher

Education: Augustana College, Sioux Falls. Major: BA Elementary Education; St Mary's University, Minneapolis, M.A. in Education.

Previous experience: San Clemente, Calif., two years; Vail, Colo., four years; Bloomington, Minn., one year; Hudson School District, sub, three years

Family: Spouse: Jeremy Palm; children: Blake (13), Eric (9), Brianna (7)

Hometown: Bellevue, Neb.

Hobbies/ interests: Travel, time with family

Ashlei Hansel

Position: Ninth grade special education, EBD, HHS

Education: UW-Whitewater, Bachelor of Science in Education: Broadfield social studies; Cardinal Stritch University, Masters of Science: Educational Leadership

Previous experience: Greenfield High School, 1.5 years; Karcher Middle School, Burlington, Wis., seven years

Family: Husband, Nick; children: Clay (7), Karley (5)

Hometown: Hartford, Wis.

Hobbies/ interests: Reading, boating, spending time with family

Susan Bergquist

Position: School Psychology intern, Hudson Prairie & Willow River Elementary

Education: UW-River Falls (working on School Psych Ed. Specialist degree), undergrad at Gustavus

Previous experience: High school social studies teacher for about 10 years

Family: Husband, John; kids ages 14 and 16

Hometown: Hopkins, Minn.

Hobbies/interests: Violin, dog, travel

Courtney Wetherbee

Position: Hudson Middle School, CID program

Education: UW-Eau Claire, Bachelor's in Special Education and Elementary Education; University of St. Thomas, Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Previous experience: Prescott Middle School, seven years

Family: Husband, Jason; children: Calvin (8) and Daphne (1)

Hometown: New Brighton, Minn.

Hobbies/interests: Reading, hiking, kayaking

Kathy Schmidbauer

Position: English as a Second Language, HMS, HHS and Hudson Prairie Elementary

Education: Bachelor of Science, UW-River Falls, elementary education 1-8, English as a Second Language

Previous teaching experience: Barron Areas School District, eight years; Prescott School District, three years; Rice Lake School District, three years

Family: Children, Sarah (24), Rachel (22)

Hometown: River Falls

Hobbies/interests: Outdoor activities, bicycling, running, hiking, golf, triathlons / 5KS, kayaking, canoeing, traveling the U.S., Canada and abroad.

Kayla Hammen

Position: Third grade, EP Rock

Education: Iowa State University, Elementary Education; Morningside College, Masters & Arts in Teaching: Reading Specialist

Previous experience: Studebaker Elementary, Des Moines, Iowa, five years

Family: Fiancé, Tyler Boyd

Hometown: Fonda, Iowa

Hobbies/interests: Photography, rollerblading, reading and traveling

Robin Ekstrom

Position: Teacher of the visually impaired

Education: TVI licensure from Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wis. B.S. from Minnesota State University, Mankato

Previous t experience: Most recent, Osceola, nine years as a fulltime special education vision teacher; eight years as a substitute in Osceola. Before that six years at Red Sandstone Elementary in Vail, Colo.

Family: Drew Ekstrom, husband 28 years; daughters Kailey (23), Shaina (21) and Regan (18); son Luke (18, twins)

Hometown: Winsted, Minn.

Hobbies/interests: Family time football, water sports and golf

Lindsay Sheehan

Position: 10th grade English and American Literature at Hudson High School

Education: St. Norbert college, De Pere, major(s) English Education and Education

Previous experience: I completed my student teaching at Aldo Leopold Community School in Green Bay and Green Bay East High School, and I am excited to start my journey as a first-year teacher with the Hudson School District!

Family: Parents: Dan and Jill Sheehan; siblings: Cassidy, Tommy, Chris, ages 19, 15, 12

Hometown: Colgate, Wis.

Hobbies/interests: I love reading, writing, and exploring local businesses. I look forward to any time spent with family and friends, and I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and being outdoors.

Saeng Yang

Position: ELL, EP Rock

Education: UW-La Crosse, ELL and Social Studies

Previous experience: St. Paul Public Schools , two years

Hometown: La Crosse

Hobbies/interests: Reading, enjoy being outdoors and spend time with family.

Kathy Temple

Position: Special education, HHS

Education: Illinois State University, BA, special education; Walden University, Masters in reading and writing

Family: Spouse: Trey Temple; children: Lauren (13), Dylan (9)

Hometown: Joliet, Ill.

Marjorie May

Position: Spanish, HHS

Education: UW Madison, BA; University of Utah, MA

Previous experience: Milwaukee Public Schools, 2015-2018; University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008-2011; Menomonie High School, 2006-2007; Blair-Taylor High School, 2000-02

Hometown: Colfax High School graduate

Hobbies/interests: Running, hiking, reading, singing

Nick Weiler

Position: HMS physical education and health, grades 6 and 8; seventh grade football coach.

Education: B.A. from Concordia University, St. Paul

Previous experience: Brighton, Colo., for five years; Mounds View, Minn., for four years.

Family: Wife, Lindsey Weiler; children: Jack (2), Aubrey (3 months)

Hometown: Wausau

Hobbies/interests: Crossfit and being with family

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048
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