About Our Teachers

Mrs. Kroells

Hello! My name is Laura Kroells. I have been a 2nd Grade EL Teacher at Prairie Elementary since 2015. Originally I am from Belle Plaine, MN. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2014 and am currently working on my Masters of ESL through Hamline. Before coming to Worthington, I spent time traveling to Peru, the Czech Republic, and Costa Rica. Part of my student teaching experience was working at an international school in San Jose, Costa Rica. During that time, I also took Spanish classes – so I understand what it is like to be a new language learner! When I am not teaching, I like to read, travel, exercise, and spend time with family, friends, and my dog.

Mrs. Brouwer

My name is Mrs. Brouwer. I am a licensed Elementary Education teacher with an additional degree in English as a Second Language (ESL). I teach with the 3rd grade team at Prairie Elementary School. I work with Second Language Learners in Third Grade. I graduated from Mankato State University and received my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Colorado. I began my career in Pittsville, Wisconsin as a First Grade teacher and moved to Haxtun, Colorado where I taught Third Grade for seven years. When I moved to Worthington, I taught Third Grade for four years. I have been teaching ESL ever since and have worked with First through Fifth grade students as well as the Newcomers as they arrive from other countries.

I love being a teacher because it's one of the only jobs in the world with the highest degree of professional satisfaction. Nothing makes me happier than the moment when I see my students, once unable to understand one English word, capable to manage real-life situations in English. I also work with young children and their eagerness and enthusiasm when learning English is absolutely great.

You will be interested to know that I enjoy antiques, I am addicted to homemade cards, and I like photography.

Contact Mrs. Brouwer

Ms. Frigen

My name is Nikki Frigen. I am a 2nd grade English language teacher. I graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND with my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education in 2003. In addition, I received my master’s degree in 2010 in English Language Learning PK-12 from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, UT.

Before coming to Prairie Elementary in 2011, I taught in Incheon, South Korea for three years. I taught English to kindergarten and elementary aged students. I enjoy teaching very much because every day is an adventure and I enjoy seeing my students learn.

Contact Ms. Frigen


Mrs. Hagen

Hi! I am Mrs. Hagen, and I am excited to be teaching at Prairie Elementary. I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree from St. Mary’s University. I have been teaching since 1990 starting with 1st and 2nd grades in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 4th grade in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Kindergarten and 1st grades; and 1st – 3rd grade English Language Learners for District 518 in Worthington, Minnesota.

Teaching is a very rewarding profession. I am truly thankful for having been lead to this career.

Contact Mrs. Hagen


Ms. Kingery

My name is Ms. Kingery and I teach 3rd grade EL at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from Bethel University in 2011 with a degree in TESOL and Spanish Education. Before coming to Worthington, I taught high school English for two years in Bogotá, Colombia. I loved soaking in Colombian culture, speaking lots of Spanish, and experiencing the adventure of living in another country. No matter where I am teaching, two of my favorite parts of teaching are watching my students learn and having the opportunity to learn from them.

Contact Ms. Kingery


Mrs. Nordseth

My name is Mrs. Nordseth. I am a 2nd Grade EL Teacher. I received my B.S. from Moorhead State University, MN and my Master Degree from Mankato State University, MN.

I started working for the district in 1994. As I work, I enjoy watching children’s faces light up when they learn something for the first time and watching them grow socially and academically.

I enjoy spending time with my family, outdoor activities and traveling to new places.

 Contact Mrs. Nordseth


Ms. Payne

Hello! My name is Ms. Payne and I teach 4th Grade EL at Prairie Elementary. I graduated in 2013 from Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota with Bachelor of Arts degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and Elementary Education. One of my favorite things about teaching is getting to witness students’ excitement when they master a new concept or skill. When I am not teaching I enjoy curling up with a good book, riding horses, camping, kayaking, and being outdoors.

Contact Ms. Payne


Ms. Olson

Hello! My name is Jessie Olson, and I am a 4th grade ESL teacher. I graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul. I have had many experiences working with ELs, most notably when I volunteered with an adult ESL class in the Twin Cities and when I volunteered with Adult Basic Education for ESL at the Hubbs Center in St. Paul. I have also had a practicum experience in Segovia, Spain and several experiences in various schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some interesting facts about me are that I speak Spanish and that I have traveled to five countries around the world: Honduras, Spain, England, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. I definitely plan to travel more in the future. I am looking forward to this school year! 

Contact Ms. Olson

Mrs. Phillips

My name is Mrs. Phillips. I teach 1st grade ESL (English as a Second Language) to our language learners. I have taught in Worthington since 1993. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an Elementary Teaching Degree and an endorsement in reading. I received a Masters in Education through St. Mary’s University Winona in 1996. I then earned my license in ESL in 1998. I also was a trained Reading Recovery teacher for 10 of those years. I enjoy most seeing the growth children make in their learning. It is a great feeling to know I had something to do with that. I really enjoy working for this school district. We have such a great dedicated staff.

Contact Mrs. Phillips


Ms. Rossow

My name is Ms. Rossow. I have been an ESL teacher for almost twenty years; I began working in the Worthington School District in 2009. I am a specialist for English Learners. During the last two years I have been co-teaching with Fourth Grade teachers at Prairie Elementary. My job is to make academic content comprehensible to students who are developing English language skills. I received my BS in English Education (7-12) from Moorhead State University and my additional licensure in English as a Second Language (K-12) from coursework at St. Cloud State University, Mankato State University, and Hamline University. My students think it is important that you know I have a big dog and a cat.

Contact Ms. Rossow


Mr. Runck

My name is Mr. Runck, and I teach 4th Grade ELL at Prairie Elementary. I graduated in 2014 from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. Before working at Prairie Elementary, I spent a year teaching in rural Alaska. I love helping students find success as they work through the challenges and discover the many rewards knowing two languages can bring. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, archery, and working with computers and programs.


 Contact Mr. Runck

Mrs. Varley

Hello! My name is Mrs. Varley and I teach kindergarten language learners. I graduated from Iowa State University and Southwest Minnesota State University with an elementary education degree, ESL endorsement, and Masters in educational leadership. This is my 18th year as a teacher. Each year brings new adventures and every day is fun! I have two sons in high school and I enjoy attending their activities. I’ve lived in Minnesota for 18 years but I’ve lived in Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, and South Dakota too!

Contact Mrs. Varley

Mrs. Scheidt

Hello all! My name is Mrs. Scheidt and I teach 3rd grade EL at Prairie Elementary and the 8th grade volleyball coach. Prior to Worthington I was a family and consumer science teacher/volleyball coach at Okoboji School District. I graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor in family and consumer science as well as in food and nutritional science, and a minor in coaching. I received my masters of science in education with an emphasis in teaching English as second language from Southwest Minnesota State University. I’m currently a student at MSU – Moorhead earning my license in Ed Leadership. The best part about teaching in EL is witnessing students overcome barriers to excel in their classrooms. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, painting, and reading.

Contact Mrs. Scheidt