About Our Teachers

Shelley Barber

Mrs. Barber teaches Special Education Language Arts and Guided Studies classes at Worthington High School. She attended Worthington Community College and gained an Associate of Arts degree in 1995, before moving to Marshall to attend Southwest State University. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1997. A desire to further her schooling in the field of Special Education led her to Mankato State University where she earned licensures in Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, as well as, a Master of Science degree in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders in 2003. During her numerous years of teaching, Mrs. Barber has taught many different grade levels. However, she truly enjoys teaching Language Arts classes at the high school level. Mrs. Barber reaps the rewards of teaching on a daily basis. She enjoys working with the students and watching them discover their strengths, develop their abilities and accomplish their goals. Mrs. Barber feels that it is her good fortune that she gets to be a decisive component in student’s education. She finds that she not only teaches the students, but she learns from them as well. An interesting fact about Mrs. Barber is that she was a cosmetologist for twelve years before she caught the “teaching bug” and returned to college as a non-traditional student.

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Michelle Brunk

My college career started at Minnesota West here in Worthington. After completing my general classes, I attended Winona State University in Winona, MN, graduating with a teaching degree in both Learning Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities. I taught for 4 years in Luverne, MN before starting at Worthington High School in 2007 as a Special Education Teacher. In the fall of 2012, I started a new role in the school district as a Special Education teacher on the Special Education Assessment Team (SEAT). I love my job because I love working with kids, preparing them for graduation, and seeing them as successful adults!

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Mrs. Cowan

Mrs. Cowan began her first year as a Special Education teacher at Worthington High School in 2014. She attended University of South Dakota for two years before transferring to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota where she graduated from in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students overcome struggles in the classroom.

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Mrs. Doyscher

Charon Doyscher teaches special education at the high school. She graduated from Buena Vista University with a degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Masters in Emotional Behavior Disorders from Minnesota State Mankato along with licensure in Learning Disabilities. She taught at Southwest Star Concept and Jackson County Central Schools before joining Worthington Schools in 2013. She has experience teaching students in all disability areas and also as an assessment coordinator.

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Ms. Hoff

Hello! My name is Sandy Hoff and I am a Special Education at Worthington High School. I am originally from Volga, SD. I graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, SD and received my Master’s Degree from Southwest State University in Marshall, MN. I moved to Worthington in June of 2016 after 16 years in Sioux Falls, SD. I previously taught at Washington High School. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, spending time with my friends and family, and I enjoy shopping! This past summer, I have been busy planning a wedding. I will be getting married on November 19th.

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Mrs. Petersen

My name is Julie Petersen and I teach Special Education at the high school. I obtained my degree in Elementary Education from Southwest State University. I finished my Masters in Emotional Behavioral Disorders in the summer of 2015 and then began teaching at the high school in the fall of 2015. My favorite part of teaching is when the skills I teach can help make a student’s life easier, both in and out of the classroom.


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Mrs. Schreiber

I am new to the high school teaching profession. I graduated with an undergrad in Music and Business from Concordia University Wisconsin, then went on for a Master’s of Music in Piano and Organ Performance from the University of Notre Dame. After graduating, I had my three boys, Caleb, Isaac, and Ben, and worked as a piano and voice teacher, in addition to supplying all of the music for our church and leading the choirs. Two years ago, I decided to return to education, and took classes through St. Mary’s University to become a Special Education teacher. Being new to Worthington, I was thankful to be offered a job to teach at the high school. I really enjoy being a part of the Worthington school district, and getting to know all of the wonderful students who attend this great school.

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Miss Thorburn

My name is Cynthia Thorburn and I teach specific learning disabilities at WHS. I graduated from Minnesota West with an associates of Liberal Arts degree, then went to Minnesota State University, Mankato for my undergraduate degree. I am excited to be in Worthington. I was able to do part of my student teaching in Costa Rica last spring and really enjoyed that experience!

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