About Our Teachers

Mr. Bau


Mr. Beebout

I have been teaching for 6 years in the science field. I received my B.S. degree in Chemistry from Southwest State in Marshall, MN. I am a father of three grown children. On my free time, I enjoy help out on the family farm near Milroy, MN. I also help out with driving the school bus to afternoon activities.

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Ms. Duarte-Alonso

My name is Andrea Duarte-Alonso, and I am a communication arts teacher. I graduated from St. Catherine University in 2019 with a major in political science and double minors in English and women’s studies. Thanks to English teachers who empowered me, I fell in love with literature and writing at a young age, and I hope to do the same with my students. I feel fortunate to work in the Worthington School District, especially with our incredibly diverse students. I’m also a proud ISD518 alumna–go Trojans!

I am involved in local non-profit boards, the arts, and community engagement outside of school. In my free time, I enjoy being with loved ones, being active, camping, exploring the outdoors, and of course, reading and writing.

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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. Henkels

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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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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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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Ms. Werder

Hi my name is Caitlin Werder and I am a ELL teacher for both 7th and 8th grade. I received my degree in teaching English as a second language from bethel Univeristy in 2012. The last three years I taught ELl students in Wisconsin. I love teaching students because I get to learn so much from them, as they do from me! I love to travel and have had the opportunity to study abroad in Fiji and visit other places such as Germany, Austria, France, and Great Britain. I am also the dance team coach and love that I get to continue to do something that I so dearly love. 

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