About Our EL Teachers

Mr. Brown

My name is Paul Brown and I’m a Kindergarten EL teacher here at Prairie!  I joined the team during the 2019 – 2020 school year.

I have a bachelor’s degree in intercultural studies from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul and am currently getting my Master of Arts in Teaching at Bethel University.

I speak conversational Chinese and can read and write some in Chinese. I love my potential future hobby of traveling. I like learning about other cultures and languages. I enjoy being with family and friends. I also enjoy hanging about with my dog, Edmund.

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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.

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Ms. Crowell

Hello! My name is Danielle Crowell, and I’m a 2nd grade ELL teacher. I grew up in Marshall, MN, which is where I also graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a B.S. in teaching ESL (K-12) and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature. For almost 2 years, I taught English in a small village in Kyrgyzstan as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I’ve always loved the comforting community of Worthington, and I am so excited to be working with the students here! Outside of teaching, I love to travel, play hockey, read by the lake, and write poetry and fiction.

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Ms. Freed

My name is Jaime Freed. My position is 1st Grade ELL. I graduated from BHSU for my undergrad work and just finished up a masters at University of Sioux Falls. I’ve taught 1st grade ESL before but in Asia. It seems to be a little different here. The Boys and Girls Club also had me create their Spanish program for 4 year olds in Sioux Falls. I once was hit by a bus while driving to work on a Monday. It only smudged a little dirt on my bumper, however, I got to say it felt like I was hit by a bus once I got to work! #liveforthepuns.

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Mrs. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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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.

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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.

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Mrs. Phung

My name is Aimee Phung, and I am originally from Vietnam. I can speak, read, and write Vietnamese fluently. I am going to be one of the new first grade ELL teachers. I graduated from NDSU with a bachelor degree in Elementary Education. I am currently taking graduate classes through MNSU, Mankato for my TESOL licensure. I have taught as a classroom teacher at St. Mary’s School in Worthington for a few years. I am married, and we have a daughter. I love to travel and try different foods. I am also a nail tech when I’m not teaching or spending time with my family. I’m looking forward to teaching and learning alongside everybody.

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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.

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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.

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Mrs. Strand

My name is Mrs. Strand. I grew up in Brownton, MN and graduated high school from McLeod West. I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I also received my Masters in Education from St. Mary’s University and my ESL degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. I taught first grade for 2 ½ years before coming to Worthington. I started teaching in Worthington in 2009. I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, third grade, first and third grade ESL. I enjoy getting to know and working with my students. It is fun to see their faces, when they finally understand a concept that they have been working on. I have two children, Kally and Wyatt. I enjoy reading, being outside, and spending time with my family and friends.

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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!

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