About Our Teachers

Mr. Bau

My name is Brian Bau, and I teach Social Studies here at the Learning Center. I received my BA in History and my education license from Southwest Minnesota State University. I grew up just up the road in Slayton, MN, and graduated high school from MCC in 2008. I enjoy hanging out with family, watching football (SKOL Vikes), and playing video games.

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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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Mr. Jesse Duitsman

My name is Jesse Duitsman and I teach Physical Education and Health at the Learning Center. I grew up in Round Lake and currently reside in Okabena. I received my Bachelor degree at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. When I’m not at school, I enjoy fishing, hunting, and playing video games. I also have an identical twin who works at District 518 as well.

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Mr. Greenbush

My name is Kenneth Greenbush and I am a teacher of mathematics at the Learning Center in Worthington, MN. After receiving my Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from MSU – Mankato, I went into Data Analytics for a few years. After missing teaching (which I did a lot of during my graduate program), I decided teaching was what I needed to be doing. When the pandemic was in full force, I left the field of analytics for teaching and have never looked back.

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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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Mrs. Janssen

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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Mr. Olsen

This is my first year at the Learning Center. For the previous 30 years I was at the High School. I received my bachelor’s degree in Physics and Chemistry from Minnesota State Mankato and my master’s degree in Education from Saint Mary’s University.
I also am a coach for the Girls High School Hockey team.

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Mr. Regnier

My name is Blake Regnier. I grew up in a town in Northern Minnesota called North Branch, and I graduated from North Branch High School. I attended the University of St. Thomas and earned a BA in English before completing my teaching license through St. Thomas’s graduate program. I am also currently in the process of obtaining my Masters of English Literature through Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Up until the 2018-2019 school year, I have been teaching and living in the Saint Paul area. I am excited to be moving into such a welcoming and diverse community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Learning Center as an Communication Arts teacher. When I’m not working with students, I love to spend time with my Beagle, Emmy. I also really enjoy cooking and baking, and I will never pass up the opportunity to learn new recipes.

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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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