This is the second installment of ISD 518 new teacher introductions. The first grouping was published Aug. 18.

Ashley Ahlers

5th Grade Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Hills-Beaver Creek

Where did you earn your teaching degree? M.A. in Teaching, Elementary Education from Western Governors University

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What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I’m excited to build a classroom culture that celebrates the diversity in our school. I’m also looking forward to joining a great team of teachers.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: On the weekends I love to go on walks and have movie nights with my husband and daughter. My other hobbies include rollerblading and drawing.

Beatriz “Betty” Bautista

Special Education Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Edcouch-Elsa High School, Elsa, Texas

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? What excites me the most about Worthington school district is its diversity and staff's genuine dedication to the success of students. In this school year, I look forward to successfully integrating myself to the middle school team so I can better serve my students.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: In my free time I like reading, exercising, travelling, cooking, but spending time with my family is what I love the most.

Rhonda Bonnstetter

Secondary Math Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Cottonwood

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Southwest Minnesota State University; Ed.S.& Ed.D. at University of South Dakota.

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I love helping students learn that they can do math! I have worked with the staff at the high school in the past and look forward to working with them again — they are a great group of people!

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I enjoy spending time with my family, including 12 grandchildren. I also like to read, sew, garden, crochet, and travel with friends and family.

Andrea Duarte-Alonso

Communications Art Teacher at the Learning Center

Where did you attend high school? Worthington Senior High School (9th, 11th, 12th), John R. Mott High School (10th grade)

Where did you earn your teaching degree? St. Catherine University (BA in Political Science, Double Minors in English & Women's Studies)

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? Other than being excited to teach in my alma mater, I'm excited to teach at an incredibly diverse district and work alongisde caring educators. I'm looking forward to getting to meet my students and getting to teach my favorite school subject for the very first time.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I like to spend my free time in the outdoors with family, my boyfried and dog. I enjoy going to locally-owned bookstores and coffee shops, watching Youtube videos or TikTok, and writing.

Maitland Dykstra

1st Grade Teacher

Where did you attend high school? George-Little Rock HS

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Southwest Minnesota State University

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I’m excited to meet my group of first graders and watch them learn and grow. I am looking forward to working with all the other teachers and staff. I am also looking forward to having my own classroom and start my career.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: In the summertime, I manage the George Pool, lifeguard, and teach swimming lessons. During the winter, I enjoy riding snowmobile.

Sara Hartquist

Special Education Assessment Team Teacher

Where did you attend high school? New London-Spicer

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Concordia College-Moorhead and then University of Wisconsin-Stout

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? Looking forward to meeting students and being a part of the school community.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I love to read, travel and cheer on my three boys at their activities.

Kelly Henkels

Art Teacher at the Learning Center

Where did you attend high school? Worthington High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Minnesota State University

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? The diversity and getting to know the students.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I enjoy anything artistic, sports, hiking, camping, reading and hanging out with my kids.

Kody Honius

Physical Education Teacher at Prairie Elementary

Where did you attend high school? Worthington High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Minnesota State University, Mankato

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? Working in the Worthington community, building relationships and networking with new people.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: In my free time I like to go work out at the gym and coach the youth in different sports. Some hobbies I have are playing sports (soccer and hockey) and also I like to longboard. In the summer I like to spend time on my family’s pontoon on the lake and enjoy some time with friends and family.

Stephanie Jacobsma

School Counselor

Where did you attend high school? Adrian

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Buena Vista University (Master's of Education in School Counseling)

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I am excited to work with the team of counselors there and to use my counseling skills. I look forward to meeting the students and to the diversity within the district.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I enjoy spending time with my husband and sons at the lake in the summer, and family cookouts. I enjoy going to new places, home improvement projects, and I also enjoy running and yoga.

Christy Menke

Middle School Art Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Southeast Polk High School, Runnells, IA

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Morningside College BA in Studio Art; Southwest Minnesota State University (currently enrolled for teacher’s license)

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? Even though I have worked in the district for over two years, this year will feel like year one! It will come with anticipation of the first day of school, new students, new challenges and new opportunities to make a difference. Knowing I have a great support team behind me is important. I look forward to working with the MS team as we take on the new year!

Hobbies and interests outside of school: My free time is mostly dedicated to being a part-time taxi for my two active daughters. When I am not wearing the taxi hat, I enjoy teaching classes at the YMCA, reading a well-written book, crafting and sitting down to a good movie with my husband.

Jade Nguyen

ELL Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Worthington High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? I got my Bachelor's degree at Winona State University in 2019 in Global Studies with a focus on international business. I am now going back to get my master’s degree at St. Cloud State University for teaching English as a Second Language.

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? This is my first year as a teacher so I am excited to meet everyone and make an impact for my students.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I spend my free time with my family and with my dog, Pancake. I also like to craft and cook!

Jessica Read

Special Education Teacher

Where did you attend high school? Rockford, Minnesota

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Southwest Minnesota State University for Elementary Education, Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to meeting my students and getting to know them! I enjoy working in the Special Education classroom with students with amazing hidden talents.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I enjoy going for hikes in parks with my dogs, reading a good book in the hammock, and spending time with friends and family.

Samantha Schmokel

Special education teacher at the high school

Where did you attend high school? Prior Lake High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Minnesota State University-Mankato

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? I am excited to meet the staff and work with the students this year.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: I enjoy spending time with my golden doodle, Brooks. I also enjoy exploring new cities and baking.

Evan Stoesz

Middle School Counselor

Where did you attend high school? Eagan High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Minnesota State University, Mankato

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? This year I am most looking forward to working at the middle school. This period in a person's life can be challenging with the many transitions that they face, but it is incredibly rewarding to be a support during this time. I am also excited to be part of the Worthington community because everyone I’ve met has been kind and supportive.

Hobbies and interests outside of school: Board games with my family, video games, walking my dog.

Mike Thompson

Band Director

Where did you attend high school? Saint Clair High School

Where did you earn your teaching degree? Minnesota State University, Mankato

What about ISD 518 most excites you; what are you most looking forward to? The students are what excite me the most. I have had the incredible chance to meet with and work with the students already while transitioning into my role here, and they have all been incredible to work with! I am most excited about getting back to normal and performing music in schools, parades, and at sporting events!

Hobbies and interests outside of school: In my free time I like to cook, perform with various ensembles, and spend time with friends and family.