About Our Kindergarten Teachers
My name is Mrs. Appel. I have been a kindergarten teacher here at Prairie Elementary since 2005. Before I came to Worthington, I taught Kindergarten and Special Education at Fulda Elementary and at Riverside Elementary in Jackson, MN. I have been a teacher for over 20 years! I received my BA from Mankato State University, Mankato, MN, and I am working on getting my MA through Southwest State University, Marshall, MN.
I think that kindergarten is the best because we are always learning new things in different ways. We do lots of learning through music!
My husband and I live on a farm outside of Fulda, MN, and we have 4 children. Matthew, Andrew, Bennett, and Kameryn.
My name is Rachel Bell and I teach kindergarten at Prairie Elementary School. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Family Life and Child Development.
After graduating in 2007, I taught preschool for three years in Mankato, MN and the Le Sueur- Henderson School district. I started teaching kindergarten in the Worthington school district in 2010.
What I enjoy most about teaching is watching the students interact and grow throughout the school year, seeing the students coming to school with smiles on their faces and being able to introduce the students to new experiences.
Hello! My name is Ashlyn Bender. I grew up in Highland, California. In 2017, I graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Previously before teaching Kindergarten, I taught preschool for a year. I love having the opportunity to watch students grow and learn to the best of their ability! An interesting fact about me is I played college softball at SDSU as a starting pitcher.
Hi! My name is Mrs. Bristow and I teach Kindergarten at Prairie Elementary! I graduated from Mankato State University with a BA in elementary education. I was a stay at home mom for 13 years as well as a business owner. I was a substitute teacher for the Worthington school district for a year before I became a kindergarten teacher.
I live in Worthington and have 3 wonderful daughters. Ashlyn, Brigette, and Callie. They keep me very busy with their activities and I also enjoy being involved in the community!
I enjoy teaching Kindergarten because everything is so new to the students and it’s fun seeing them so excited to learn! The smiles when they walk in the door each day and their eyes lighting up when they learn something new makes every day a great day!
Hello! My name is Angela Fritz. I have been a kindergarten teacher at Prairie since 2018. I have taught both 5th grade and 1st grade in Madison, South Dakota in before coming to Worthington. I graduated from the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in Elementary Education, a minor in reading, and endorsements in English language learners and kindergarten.
I am originally from Worthington and I am so fortunate to be able to teach in my hometown! I married my husband Eric in 2017.
I have always wanted to be in a kindergarten classroom! Kindergarten students are so eager to learn and are excited to come to school. I love that the kiddos get to learn through play and exploring.
My name is Melanie Kuhl and I have had the privilege to work at Prairie Elementary since 2006. I have taught preschool, first grade and kindergarten, but most of my 10 years of teaching has been in kindergarten. I love teaching Kindergarten! Every day, I look forward to seeing bright, happy children enter my classroom, eager to learn and build new friendships.
My husband Kris and I have lived in Rushmore for 13 years and we have 2 terrific kids. DeLayne and Levi. They both keep us very busy with their school, and sports activities. I have been very involved in the our district as a parent, a volunteer, and a teacher. I love to spend time my spare time with my family, camping, swimming reading, going to the movies, and going on trips.
Hello! My name is Heidi Mathiason and I have been Kindergarten teacher at Prairie Elementary since 2014. I graduated from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN with a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies.
My husband Brett and I live in Slayton with our two boys, Max and Kane. When I am not in school, I enjoy traveling, going to sporting events, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
I absolutely love teaching kindergarten! I love the excitement and energy that kindergarteners have in the classroom, and enjoy watching students learn and grow throughout the school year.
My name is Ms. Oseland and I teach kindergarten at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from Gustavus Adolphus college with bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in mathematics. Before I came to Worthington, I was a behavior therapist at the Minnesota Autism Center in Mankato, MN. I’ve been teaching kindergarten at prairie since 2014.
I live in Ocheyedan, Iowa with my daughter Alice. What I enjoy most about teaching is helping students to explore and grow as learners and discovering new skills daily. Everyday is a great day in Kindergarten filled with smiles and learning.
I am one of the teachers on the kindergarten team here at Prairie Elementary. I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Winona State University in December of 2017. I did my student teaching in Worthington at Prairie Elementary in Kindergarten. Prior to student teaching, I had many different field experiences in all subject areas in all grades ranging from preschool to sixth grade.
I live in Fulda with my husband, Thomas. Outside of school, I enjoy spending my time with my husband and family and I enjoy going on walks, bike rides, swimming, reading, and crocheting.
Hello! My name is Jenna Slater and I teach Kindergarten here at Prairie Elementary School! I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a certification in STEM in 2017.
After graduation, I taught 1st grade in St. Peter, MN for three years. I also went back to school to earn my master’s degree in Elementary Education. I graduated with my master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2018. What I enjoy most about teaching is building strong relationships with my students and seeing them come into my classroom each morning with a bright smile on their face!
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My son, Colt, is my biggest blessing in life. I also have a puppy, Nash. We all love to spend time together outdoors on our family farm, at the lake in the summer, or exploring new places!
Contact Ms. Slater
Hello, my name is Ana Standafer. I graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. I was a paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary prior to receiving my teaching license.
I am originally from Malaysia, a small Southeast Asian country. One of the reasons I love our school district is the multicultural aspect which reminds me of Malaysia. My favorite thing about kindergarten is the endless enthusiasm. Every day is a great day!
My name is Ms. Tims and I am a Kindergarten teacher at Prairie Elementary. I graduated from Augustana University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, minors in Reading and German, and a Kindergarten endorsement.
What I enjoy most about teaching is getting to see the students grow and develop, both personally and academically, throughout the year. I love that every day in the classroom is different, new, and never predictable.