About Our Staff

Mrs. Gerdes

Picture of student support staff, Mrs. Gerdes.My name is Maggie Gerdes and I am one of the Prairie Elementary School Counselors. I received my bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in 2008 and my master’s from Buena Vista University in 2012. Before coming to Prairie Elementary I worked in a small school district by Des Moines as a PK-12 counselor for one year and then in the Sibley-Ocheyedan school district as a 7 -12 counselor for four years. 

My husband and I have two daughters- Olivia and Evalyn, we love to do things as a family like going to the park, zoo and for bike rides. I love being a school counselor and getting to know the students, I am here to teach classroom guidance lessons, do small group counseling and provide individual counseling on a variety of topics.

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Ms. Kester

Picture of student support staff, Ms. Kester.My name is Ms. Kester. Over the years, I have taught Elementary Education 2nd-6th grades in Garden City, Kansas and currently I am the School Psychologist here at Prairie.

I have an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Psychology and a Master’s of Science in Education in the area of School Psychology. I have also completed advanced graduate work in order to obtain licensure as a School Psychologist. I attended the University of Wisconsin: Lacrosse for both my undergraduate and graduate studies.

Some of my teaching experiences include three years teaching elementary education, grades 2nd-6th, in Garden City, Kansas; a very diverse community much like Worthington. Two years working as a school psychologist for the Special Education Cooperative in Windom. This is my 26th year working as a school psychologist for District 518. In Worthington I have worked primarily with Early Childhood and elementary aged children.

 I love to advocate for children and their families as they access all the services needed to assist their child with special needs to meet his/her potential.
 I have special interests in the areas of Attention Deficit Disorder, Attachment Disorder and Autism. I have sought additional training in those areas so that I am better able to serve the families and children of our community.

Although I was born and raised in Wisconsin, I have always been a Vikings and Twins fan!!

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Mrs. Knudson

Picture of student support staff, Mrs. Knudson.My name is Mrs. Knudson. I work at Prairie Elementary as a School Counselor. I started with the district in 2002, and happy to say I’m still here. The first 5 years I spent at the Middle school and the last 5, I have been here at Prairie. I went to the University of WI-Oshkosh for both my Bachelor’s of Social Work and my Master’s in Education-counseling.

I love my job and the time I spend with the students; they bring such energy and excitement. It’s interesting to see the world through their perspective. As a school counselor I meet with children individually, in small groups and also in the classroom. Topics in the classroom include, but are not limited to, feelings, empathy, careers, bullying, and tolerance and diversity. I help children in the areas of academics, career development, and personal/social development which help them develop a better understanding of themselves.

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Ms. Meyer

Picture of student support staff, Ms. Meyer.My name is Ms. Meyer. I am the school social worker at Prairie Elementary. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Minnesota State University, Mankato in December 2000. I successfully completed my Master of Science degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development with an emphasis in schools from South Dakota State University in May 2007. 

I am currently a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I started my position as a school social worker at Prairie Elementary in 2007. I find my job at Prairie Elementary to be very rewarding. I provide effective school social work services and maximize my community outreach for students and families. As a member of the educational team, I am able promote and support academic and social success for students in need of special education services by providing individual and small group counseling as well as be a support to families.

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