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About Our 2nd Grade Teachers

Mrs. Ahlers

I am Mrs. Ahlers and I teach Second Grade. I completed my schooling by attending Minnesota West Worthington Campus, Buena Vista University, and Storm Lake IA-Elementary Education, Pre-primary.

I started working for the Worthington school district in 2007 as a Preschool teacher for the Even Start family literacy program at the West building. From there I began teaching half time first grade at Prairie. I also taught ELL for one year at Prairie. I enjoy my second graders. I especially enjoy seeing their progress in math. Second grade is a big year in math, learning how to regroup and rename in addition and subtraction! I also enjoy reading and listening to the students become much more fluent readers throughout the year.

I enjoy teaching in my hometown, as I am a Worthington High school graduate! I grew up in the Rushmore area, along with my family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters! I am married; my husband and I have four children. We have a very busy household and love family time.

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Mrs. Coon

My name is Mrs. Coon and I teach 2nd grade special education at Prairie Elementary. I attended The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I then received my Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. Outside of school, I enjoy camping, hiking and kayaking with my husband and our three children.

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Mrs. Doeden

Hello, my name is Mrs. Doeden. I was born and raised in Worthington and graduated from Worthington High School. After high school I earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris with majors in Elementary Education and Spanish. In 2001, I also earned a Master’s Degree, in Educational Leadership, from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. 

I began teaching in ISD 518 in 1992 at West Elementary and have been with the district ever since. I currently teach 2nd grade here at Prairie Elementary. It is a privilege to teach children each day and I look forward to coming to work. I enjoy helping students discover new things, especially in science and mathematics. I also enjoy practicing my Spanish every day.

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Mrs. Eisenmenger

My name is Summer Eisenmenger and I teach 2nd grade at Prairie Elementary. I received my Master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities in 2015. Since then, I have taught 1st and 2nd grade. 

 My husband and I live on an acreage just outside of Windom, MN, where I also farm corn and soybeans with my dad. I have 3 dogs and several farm cats. In my spare time, I love being active. I play in leagues for volleyball, wallyball, softball, and golf. I also love hiking, biking, wake-surfing, and fishing. 

 My favorite part of teaching is incorporating hands-on activities to make learning fun and active. I love seeing students get excited about learning!

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Ms. Esselink

Hello, my name is Ms. Esselink. I grew up in Hills, Minnesota and graduated from high school in 2015. After graduating from Hills, I attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. In the spring of 2019, I graduated from SMSU with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education. I started my journey at Prairie Elementary in the fall of 2019. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my family, spending time at the lake, reading, and helping out on the farm.

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Mrs. Kremer

Hello! My name is Katie Kremer. I am a second grade teacher at Prairie Elementary. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and special education at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. I also received my Master’s degree in Special Education from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. I started teaching at Prairie Elementary in 2009. What I enjoy most about teaching is figuring out how the students learn and meeting their learning needs. Seeing the students master a skill they have been working on is also a highlight of the job. 

I currently live on an acreage by Brewster with my husband (who works in construction), 2 dogs, and 2 cats. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, which still holds a special place in my heart!

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Mrs. Landwehr

I graduated from St. Cloud State University where I majored in Elementary Education with a reading minor. I then taught fourth grade at Cedar grove Elementary in El Paso, Texas for eight years. I have been teaching second grade in Worthington since 1999. My husband teaches geography at the high school. We have two children who keep us very busy. In my spare time I like to spend time with my family, garden, read, and travel.

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Mrs. Mahoney

Welcome! My name is Mrs. Mahoney. I am currently a 2nd grade teacher at Prairie Elementary. I teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and art. I began my career as the Elementary Spanish Teacher in 2005 after graduating from Southwest Minnesota State University with an Elementary Education degree and a Spanish specialization along with a Spanish minor. Beginning in 2011, I am now a 2nd grade teacher and enjoy it very much! 

The thing I enjoy the most is seeing the joy on the students faces as they learn new things. A fun fact that my students always get excited about is that I have a twin sister. They love to try and guess which one I am in pictures!

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Mrs. McGraw

I am Mrs. McGraw. I graduated from Worthington High School in 2004, and from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2008 with B.A. degree in Elementary Education with a focus in reading and a B.A. degree in Dance.

I began my teaching career with a long term substitute position from grades 4 -8 at the Worthington Area Language Academy (WALA) in January of 2009. I was then hired on as the Title 1 teacher for the rest of the 2008-2009 school year. I taught 2nd and 3rd grade at WALA during the 2009-2010 school year. I was very fortunate to get hired and have the opportunity to begin teaching 2nd grade at Prairie Elementary starting with the 2010-2011 school year. I love it.

There are many things that I enjoy about teaching, but one of the best things is when you can see kids engaged and having fun with what they are learning. It is that “light bulb” moment, when everything clicks and makes sense to them that really makes my day worthwhile. One of the biggest things I try to instill in my teaching everyday is this: they may not remember everything I teach them this year, but they will remember how I made them feel everyday and how they felt about themselves during our time together.

One interesting fact about me is that I traveled to London for two weeks during the summer of 2010. The highlight of my trip was actually getting to see a Harry Potter in the movie theater in London!

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Ms. Steffl

My name is Ms. Steffl and I teach 2nd grade at Prairie Elementary. I received my Associate in Arts Degree from Minnesota West Community & Technical College. I then went on to Southwest Minnesota State University where I graduated with a degree is Early Childhood Education. Outside of school I enjoy being with friends and family, enjoying the sun and outdoor activities.

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Mrs. Vortherms

Hello I am Kendall Vortherms. I teach 2nd grade at Prairie Elementary. My family lives and works in Worthington and we are very proud of our community. My husband and I are busy with three children at home.

I was born and raised here in Worthington, MN. I completed my college education at Southwest Minnesota State University. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.

It is so rewarding being a teacher where you have lived your whole life. I love being able to educate students that I know will better our community in the coming years. My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing the student’s excitement for learning. My goal as a teacher in this community is to promote education in a positive and safe environment.

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Mrs. Winter

Hello! I’m Emily Winter. I have been teaching first grade at Prairie Elementary since 2012. I graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2006 with a degree in elementary education. I taught 2nd and 3rd grade near Houston, TX for six years. First grade has been a nice change. I am always amazed at how much a first grader learns and grows throughout the year!
 When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and puppy Cooper. I also enjoy playing the piano and oboe, reading, and riding my bike.

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