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Five new teachers start at Colfax schools this fall

NEW COLFAX TEACHERS — Five new teachers will begin their duties in Colfax when school starts this fall. From left: Tiffany Schaffner (Colfax High School agriculture teacher); Heather Niesen (Colfax Elementary special education in early childhood); Emily Mattson (Colfax High School English); and Megan Pawlak (Colfax Middle School sixth grade English and Language Arts). Not pictured is Kassandra Behymer (seventh grade math and science). —photo by LeAnn R. Ralph

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  Five new teachers will be on duty in the Colfax school district when school starts September 4.

The new teachers include Kassandra Behymer (seventh grade math and science); Emily Mattson (Colfax High School English); Heather Niesen (Colfax Elementary special education in early childhood); Megan Pawlak (Colfax Middle School sixth grade English and Language Arts); and Tiffany Schaffner (Colfax High School agriculture teacher).

The Colfax school district also has employed two new bus drivers: Kim McEldowney and Edward Stuart.

Behymer

Kassandra Behymer will be teaching seventh grade math and science.

Behymer graduated from UW-Eau Claire in December of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a minor in mathematics. She served as a substitute teacher in the Colfax school district this past spring.

During the fall of 2017, Behymer was a student teacher at Chippewa Falls Middle School and taught sixth grade math. She also was a student teacher at Colfax Elementary last fall and taught fifth grade math.

Since September of 2014, Behymer has worked as a p.m. shift supervisor at Sodexo in Eau Claire and had managed a team of 25 to 35 employees on each shift. She also has trained employees or a variety of positions within food service.

Behymer originally is from Watertown

Mattson

Emily Mattson will be teaching English at Colfax High School.

Mattson earned a Bachelor of English Education degree in May from UW-Eau Claire.

She was a student teacher at Colfax High School from January until March of this year.

Mattson has been a preschool lead teacher and library teacher at Camp Kingdom Kids, Christ Community Church, in Rochester, Minnesota, during the summers of 2016 and 2017.

She also was a student instructor at Two To Tango Ballroom Dance from February of 2017 to May of 2018.

Niesen

Heather Niesen will be teaching special education in early childhood.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 1996 and completed the teacher certification program at UW-Stout in 2018. Her certifications include Wisconsin Pre-K to third grade elementary and early childhood special education.

Niesen served as a special education teacher for the Eau Claire Area School District from August of 2016 to June of 2018.

She served as a Head Start/ four-year-old kindergarten teacher from August of 2014 to June of 2016 at Western Dairyland EOC, Inc. in Eau Claire and was a four-year-old kindergarten teacher from August of 2008 to July of 2014 at Genesis Child Development Center in the Eau Claire school district.

Pawlak

Megan Pawlak will be teaching sixth grade English and Language Arts at Colfax Middle School.

Pawlak earned a Bachelor of Science degree in December of 2017. She majored in middle childhood through early adolescent education with a minor in general science.

She served as a long-term substitute teacher in junior kindergarten at Colfax Elementary from February  until May this year.

Pawlak completed her student teaching at South Middle School in Eau Claire in sixth grade from November of 2017 to January of 2018,, and she completed her student teaching at Colfax Elementary in fifth grade from August of 2017 to November of 2017.

She also served as a cross country coaching assistant for Colfax middle school and high school from August of 2017 to October of 2017.

Pawlak served as a lead 3-K teacher at Days Gone By, Early Learning in Eau Claire from October of 2016 to August of 2017, and she was a program assistant at the community learning center at Longfellow Elementary in Eau Claire from August of 2014 to May of 2017.

Schaffner

Tiffany Schaffner will be teaching agriculture education at Colfax High School.

Schaffner earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education from UW-River Falls in the spring of 2011.

From August of 2011 until this year, she served as the agriculture instructor at Rosholt where she taught animal science, plant science, exploratory wildlife and a rotating course between meat science and trees as well as elective courses in veterinary science and agribusiness. She advised 55 FFA students as well.

During the summers of 2009 and 2010, Schaffner worked at the United States Department of Agriculture — Agricultural Research Service in Marshfield.

She served as a volunteer for the Portage County Farm Technology Days from December of 2011 until December of 2014 and was a member of the executive board and served as the youth director.

Schaffner’s professional involvement also includes the Portage County Market Animal Council; Wisconsin Farm Bureau; Sigma Alpha Alumni treasurer; Rosholt Basketball Event supervisor; Central Wisconsin Autism Support; Wisconsin FFA Agriscience Fair judge; Rosholt Community Garden director; Rosholt FFA Alumni; Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators; Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Education curriculum chair; Rosholt After Hours program; and the Rosholt Agricultural Advisory Council.

She was the Outstanding Young Member for Section 7 in the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators and was the Outstanding Educator for Section 7. 

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