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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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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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.

 Contact Mrs. Nordseth


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. Smith

I am an EL teacher. I went to college and earned my Master’s at Southwest Minnesota State University. I have been teaching for the past 22 years either in the primary grades or in Adult Basic Education. An interesting fact about myself is that I like to fish with my family!

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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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My name is Samantha Woitalewicz and I am a 1st Grade EL teacher at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from MNSU Mankato in 2012 with an Early Childhood Degree and began teaching in Worthington in 2013 as a Kindergarten teacher. I taught kindergarten for 5 years, was home raising my kids when they were young for 4 years, and began teaching 1st grade EL in 2022. Making connections with each of my students and ensuring that they know how much I care about them is most important to me in my classroom.

Contact Mrs. Woitalewicz