About Our Teachers

Ms. Doyle

Originally from Anoka MN, Ms. Doyle taught art for over ten years in the Twin Cities metro area. In addition to classroom teaching, Ms. Doyle is an exhibiting painter. Her artwork can be viewed at If she isn’t teaching or painting, Ms. Doyle is most likely searching for interesting vinyl records to add to her collection.

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Mrs. Harder

I have been teaching Business classes since graduating from Bemidji State University, which is also where I obtained my Master’s degree in Business Education. Prior to teaching at Worthington, I had 22 years of experience teaching at Warroad High School in northern Minnesota and 3 years of experience teaching at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa. I am currently teaching business and career classes at the Area Learning Center. 

Working with students with diverse backgrounds and skill levels is very rewarding. The students challenge me to learn and continually find alternative ways to enhance my teaching methods. Interacting with these young adults makes teaching an exciting career with something new to look forward to every day.

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Ms. Hermsen

I graduated from the University of Sioux Falls in 2008 earning my degree in K-8 elementary education. I played basketball and golf for the Cougars. I have currently taught the last four years in the West Central School District. I was also the head volleyball and head girls golf coach in those four years.

Education has always been a big part of my life as both my parents are educators as well. I enjoy working with children to help prepare them to be successful in their daily lives. In my spare time, I enjoy golfing, boating and spending time with my family.

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Ms. Hinojosa

I am teaching EL at the Learning Center and at the High School. I have been part of ISD 518 since 2000, first as a student, then as a paraprofessional and interpreter, and now as a teacher.

After graduating from Worthington High School, I attended MN West and obtained my Associates of Arts degree. After that, I moved to Mankato to attend Minnesota State University where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education. I’ve had the privilege of studying abroad in Spain and completing my student teaching in Costa Rica and St Peter Minnesota.

I am very excited to start my teaching career and grow as an educator with ISD518.

I love many thing including coffee, sunsets, and watermelon.

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Mr. Loi

I was born in Vietnam and I came to Mankato 10 years ago to attend Loyola Catholic School as a sophomore in high school. After graduating from high school, I went to Minnesota State University to get my B.A. in Mathematics Education and M.A. in Mathematics. While I was finishing up my Master’s degree, I had the opportunities to teach College Algebra and Finite Math and Introduction to Calculus to college students. 

My first year teaching in Worthington School District was 2017. I enjoy working with the students and staffs in the ALC. I believe that with my experiences as international student, I can help students bring out their full potential.

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Mr. Lowry

Teaching in 42 different nations around the word has taught me that children are the same everywhere. And the satisfaction I get from working with young people has only increased through my various experiences. It is also a joy to help them understand the world and why it is the way it is.

Before traveling the world as an educator, I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul in 1986. From there, I began my teaching adventure – traveling to Honduras, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Africa. Although I am now teaching comfortably for the Worthington School District, I do not consider my adventure over. By teaching a variety of social studies classes – World History, American History, Economics, Government, Geography, and the Humanities – it is safe to say there is a new adventure every day.

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Mrs. Markus

I graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. I have been a licensed social worker for three years. Prior to working at the LC, I worked for Nobles County and Murray County as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager. This experience has prepared me to work with the youth at the LC. I am very excited to meet the students of the LC and to explore ways to overcome certain barriers in their life- may it be mental health issues, truancy, or family struggles. I enjoy watching children grow and recognize their own potential to be successful in life.

Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family which consists of my husband, our daughter, and our dog.

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Mrs. Nelson

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher told me I should become a teacher and started me on my journey to teaching communications at the Area Learning Center. A three and one-half week cultural and language immersion experience in France gave me a better understanding of what it is like for our students who come here knowing very little English.

Except for when I was in college, I have lived in Nobles County, and during that time I taught at Adrian, Brewster, and Round Lake before teaching at Worthington. I graduated from Worthington High School and earned degrees at Worthington Community and Technical College and Minnesota State University, Mankato. I did most of my graduate work at Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of Iowa.

Outside of the school setting, I enjoy writing, photography, reading, needlework, sewing and quilting, gardening, preserving and researching history, and working with steam engines at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota.

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Mr. Smith

Raised outside of Farmersburg, IA (population 280- it is a real place!) I attended Iowa State University and experienced teaching math in Decorah, IA; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Sherburn, MN before Joining the ALC team. Every step of my life I turn into a learning and growing experience because, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” -John Cotton Dana.

Aside from teaching, I enjoy camping, bicycling, cooking, and corny jokes.

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Ms. Stark

Graduating quite a few years ago from Bemidji State University, I have taught English in Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin and Minnesota. I have certifications is Reading and Alternative Education and have worked in both those areas as well as teaching College Now and AP English. Always someone looking to try new things, I am teaching ESL now. 

I love helping students learn a language I enjoy so much. In my time away from school you might see me out on my kayak or riding the loop on my bike. I have two dogs and am a lover of all animals.

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Mr. Selvey

My name is Austin Selvey, and I am a physical education and health teacher at the Worthington School District. I graduated from North Dakota State University in 2016 with a double major in physical education and health education. After graduating I spent time in Duluth, MN where I was a substitute teacher for a year. After that I was able to teach full time in my home town of Bertha, MN for 2 years where I taught K-12 PE and a health class. I started teaching here at Worthington in 2019. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two dogs, bow hunting, ice fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.

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Ms. Torgerson

Hello! I am Sandy Torgerson and I teach special education at the ALC. I graduated from Buena Vista University with degrees in elementary education and special education as well as a reading endorsement. Before earning my teaching degree I worked as a special education para professional for eight years. I love working with special education students.

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Mr. Utesch

Graduating from Iowa State University the spring of 2017 and student teaching in two very diverse school districts helped prepare me to teach at the ALC in Worthington. I love having the opportunity to reach students of all cultures and backgrounds. Seeing students succeed and learn something new is one of the many rewards of being an educator that I thoroughly enjoy. 

My goal is to help each student reach their fullest potential and build relationships with them that create a positive learning environment. I am an avid sports fan. The teams I root for are the Twins, Vikings, and Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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Ms. Wahl

I earned my B.A. in psychology from Southwest State University in Marshall, MN and then my Master’s degree in counseling, for both schools and agencies, from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. From there, I became the k-12 school counselor for five years in Clark, SD. I then began back in Minnesota with the Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley School District as 7-12 and later k-12 Counselor for six years and Browns Valley School District as the k-8 School Counselor for two years until the job changed to full time at CGB. In 2015, I started here at the ALC as the 7-12 School Counselor. I have always found working with kids to be enjoyable. 

At the ALC, I have many responsibilities including individual and group counseling, mental health referrals, career counseling, scheduling, test coordination, and anything else that supports our students to meet their goals and preparing for a successful future. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and spending time outdoors, camping, hiking, etc.

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