New faces in the Glenwood City School District

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – There are seven new faces in the Glenwood City School District this year including one in the Elementary and six in the High School/Middle School.

High School/Middle School

Regina Holter comes to the Glenwood City school from Saint Bridget Parish in River Falls where she taught pre-k and fourth grade in the elementary and then language arts, reading and Spanish in the middle school.

Gina is from the River Falls area and that is where she also attended college at the University. She first earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Psychology and then in 2008 she got her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.

It was after that that she began teaching at St. Bridget’s and has been there for the past six years.

She and husband Mike as well as their three children, Natalie, Kathryn and Frank live in Hammond and the kids attend St. Croix Central High School.

The family is looking to move to the Boyceville area, which is where they like to fish and hunt, which is what brought Gina to the area.

In Glenwood City, she is now an English, Language and Arts (ELA) teacher for the seventh and eighth grade.

Sean VanderWaal is taking on his first teaching job as the new Agriculture teacher for the High School/Middle School.

Sean is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education.

His strengths are in landscape, horticulture and wildlife conservation. One of his goals is to increase enrollment in both the agriculture class itself as well as in FFA.

Sean shared that he plans to bring new ideas to the classroom and provide a focus on hobby farming and fruit farming.

He was raised in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and went to Keil High School. He currently resides in River Falls with his fiance, Deanna.

His hobbies are hunting and fishing. He currently is a producer for two companies that create videos of whitetail and turkey hunts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

New to the Middle School is Alyssa Mitchell; Special Education teacher. She will be helping students with reading and math as well as teaching a writing class and a math class of her own.

Alyssa grew up in Onalaska, Wisconsin and went to Luther High School. She then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education/Cross Categorical.

She and her husband Paul live in Menomonie. Together they enjoy biking, hiking and camping all across the state.

Ron Cipriano is also a new Special Education teacher to the district.

He started his education career after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Journalism minor while living in northern Michigan.

He then taught for ten years as a teacher’s aide in the Upper Peninsula before moving to Wisconsin.

The move was prompted after his wife took a Principal job at the Spring Valley School District.

Ron spent six years at home with his five children before going back to teaching in 2010. It was then that he started in Boyceville as the Technology Paraprofessional.

He also coached baseball and basketball and spent time tutoring students and working on the school newsletter.

Ron spent four years there before he applied for the position at Glenwood City. Ron is currently in the process of earning his Special Education certification.

Ashley Thorgerson is also in the High School. She took a position as an intern, but will also be acting as teacher for Carrie Hentz until she returns.

Ashley is from Bloomer, Wisconsin and currently resides there. She is a 2013 graduate from UW-Stout with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Business Education.

Prior to Stout, she earned an Associate Degree in Accounting from WITC in Rice Lake.

Ashley shared that she is very excited to be in the district and she is looking forward to helping with DECA.

Lastly new to the High School is David Weikel, the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher and FCCLA advisor.

David grew up in Perkasie, Pennsylvania and attended Pennridge High School.

Following graduation he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Science Education from Indiana University in Pennsylvania.

After college, he spent time teaching fifth through eighth grade FACS in Jamestown, New York. He then came to Wisconsin and worked as a substitute for three years in Door County.

After those three years, David stepped away from teaching and moved to this side of the state where he spent almost two years working for Pierce County Meats in Ellsworth.

Since that time he has gotten back into the classroom and has been substituting for a few districts in the area while working at Nilssen’s in Baldwin.

David shared that his goal this school year is to figure out what classes the students would like to have added to the program so their needs and interests can be met.

“At this time I also hope to expand both the child development and foods program with the anticipation that these classes would better prepare students to work in either field,” David explained.

Aside from being a teacher, David is also a husband and a father to two girls. In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing, reading, cooking and playing disc golf.

Elementary School

Jena Carey is the one newbie in the Elementary with the role as 4K/Title 1 teacher.

She comes to the District from Baldwin-Woodville where she taught Kindergarten for a year.

Jena is a Baldwin native, having graduated high school from there in 2004. After graduation she earned an Associate Degree from Northwestern.

Then she went to UW-Stout where she majored in Early Childhood/Special Education. After graduating, she worked at a district in Eau Claire as a 4K, Early Childhood/Special Education and Head Start teacher.

Jena is currently enrolled in classes so she can complete her Reading Certificate, which will allow her to do Title 1 work three days a week.

When she is not in the classroom, Jena is with her daughter Madison. Together they like to create fun art projects and do gardening, etc.