About Our Teachers

Ms. Arens

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Ms. Arens. Hello! My name is Morgan Arens. I grew up in Redfield, SD. In 2014, I graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, SD with a degree in Elementary Education. I began teaching first grade at Prairie Elementary in 2014. For me, teaching is such a rewarding career, especially when I see my students excited about their learning and achievements. In my free time, I like to cook, shop, spend time with friends, and travel back to South Dakota to see my family. 

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Mrs. Bahl

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Ms. Nelson.Hello! My name is Mrs. Bahl. I began teaching at Prairie in 2016. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2015. After graduating I spent a year as a substitute teacher in the Mankato Area Public Schools. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, doing crafts, traveling, and cheering on the Minnesota Vikings. I am so excited to be working in first grade this year!! I love teaching and watching students grow with their learning throughout the school year and all of the accomplishments they can make!

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Ms. Bender

Hello! My name is Ashlyn Bender. I grew up in Highland, California. In 2017, I graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Previously before teaching 1st grade, I taught preschool for a year. I love having the opportunity to watch students grow and learn to the best of their ability! An interesting fact about me is I played college softball at SDSU as a starting pitcher.

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Mrs. Ebbers

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Ebbers.My name is Mrs. Ebbers. I grew up in Wilmont, Minnesota and graduated from Worthington Schools. I received my Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree from Southwest Minnesota State University. In 1993 I began my teaching in Brewster and taught there for ten years. I began teaching in Worthington in 2003. I have taught first grade my entire career. I love to work with children who are learning to read. It is so fun to share this adventure with my students.

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Mrs. Escalante

Hello! My name is Kesia Dominguez Escalante, I was born and raised in Texas. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M International University in 2014. I taught in Texas for two years. My family and I moved to Minnesota in the summer of 2018 and I was lucky to join the Prairie Elementary 1st grade team. I like to spend my spare time with my family and exploring all the neighboring cities.

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Ms. Glade

Ms. Hibbing

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Ms. Hibbing.Hello! My name is Heather Hibbing. I grew up in St. Clair, MN. I graduated from South Dakota State University with my degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I received by Elementary Education certification from Dakota State University. I taught fourth grade and kindergarten in the Mankato Area Public School District for three years before joining the Prairie Elementary team to teach first grade in 2016. I am passionate about helping each child reach their highest potential so they can be productive, lifelong learners.

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Mrs. Jans

 Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Jans.My name is Mrs. Jans and I am a first grade teacher at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from Northwestern College in Roseville, with a degree in Elementary Education and a Kindergarten licensure. I taught for three years in other districts before I began teaching in Worthington. I began teaching Kindergarten in Worthington in 1991 and first grade in 2013. I taught at Central Elementary until it closed and then moved out to our new building, Prairie Elementary. What I enjoy most about teaching is helping the children learn, figuring out their learning style and helping them to grasp the information in a way that makes sense to them. I also love that moment when they “get it” and their face lights up. When I am not teaching, I love being with my family. We live on a farm and our boys attend cattle shows. We spend a lot of time working with the show cattle and getting them ready for shows.

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Mrs. Nelson

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Nelson.I am a first grade teacher at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from SMSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2015. Previous to taking the position as a first grade teacher, I was a para with the district for 4 years in 3rd and 4th grade. I have two boys. One thing that I love to do is read.

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Mrs. Skog

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Skog. Hello, I am Mrs. Skog. I received my education with a BA from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA and an Early Childhood Coursework and Endorsement from Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA.

I have experience teaching Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, technology and reading. I began teaching Kindergarten in Worthington in 1999 and have taught in 1st grade since 2009.

There has never been a day that I didn’t want to go to work, because I am so fortunate to have a job that I love. I love challenging my students, while showing them how fun and interesting school can be. My students know that in our classroom we will always do our best and we always want to be proud of everything we do. My hope for all my students is that they leave my classroom with a love for school and learning and a desire to always to do their best in all aspects of their lives.

When I’m not doing school work or spending time with my family, I enjoy playing the piano and attending concerts of all kinds.

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Mrs. Spartz

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Spartz.My name is Mrs. Spartz, I have taught in the Worthington district since 2006. By attending Southwest Minnesota State University I earned my Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Early Childhood Special Education degrees. I have subbed, taught Early Childhood Special Education and at this time, I am teaching first grade. My favorite part about teaching is when students learn, because they know it’s for their benefit and not for their teachers. My favorite pastime is spending time with my family at home.

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Mrs. Teerink

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Teerink.Hello! My name is Mrs. Teerink. I began teaching at Prairie Elementary School in 2011. I received my Elementary Education degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN in 2001. I enjoyed being a substitute teacher in the Marshall area, but wanted to have my career begin where I grew up, Worthington, MN. I worked as a paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary School prior to beginning my teaching career. I love working with kids and watching them grow as learners. It is so fun to see their eyes light up when learning something new. I hope to instill a love of learning in my students while I share my own love of learning with them. I was born and raised in Worthington and am happy to raise my family in my hometown.

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Mrs. Winter

Picture of 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Winter.Hello! I’m Emily Winter. I have been teaching first grade at Prairie Elementary since 2012. I graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2006 with a degree in elementary education. I taught 2nd and 3rd grade near Houston, TX for six years. First grade has been a nice change. I am always amazed at how much a first grader learns and grows throughout the year!
 When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and puppy Cooper. I also enjoy playing the piano and oboe, reading, and riding my bike.

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