About Our Teachers
Hello Everyone, my name is Melinda Ferry, I am a new ECSE teacher housed at Community Education. I received my Master’s in Education, along with my licensure in Early Childhood Special Education, at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, and my Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Saint Scholastica also in Duluth. I am a recent transplant here from Northern Minnesota, having lived there most of my life. I am a proud mother to two adult children, Heather and Lonnie, and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Tiffany. I am also a proud grandmother to my three precious grandsons, Layton, Orrin, and Alan. I was married to my wonderful and now deceased husband Scott, for twenty-five years. I look forward to working with a diverse community of preschoolers and their families and learning more about their cultures as my previous teaching positions did not encompass as much diversity. The one thing I know from teaching small children is that they are accepting of each other despite any differences in skin color, dialect, likes and dislikes. I am in my first year as a Master Gardening Intern from the University of Minnesota, learning so much about plants and flowers. In addition, I enjoy traveling with my daughter and my family, spending grandma time, taking in fairs and festivals, birdwatching, listening to the Minnesota Twins on the radio or in person, watching fireworks anytime, and singing Karaoke. I am enjoying learning about my surroundings in Worthington and the beautiful lake, the parks, and the biking and the walking trails.
My name is Holli Finke and I am a speech language pathologist at Prairie Elementary. I attended the University of South Dakota, where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and a Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology. I started with the Worthington School District in 2007, where I find new and exciting experiences every day.
In my free time I enjoy trying to keep up with my three young children.
Hello! My name is Makayla Hardy. I am a Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with a bachelor’s in early childhood special education. My teaching journey began with District 518 as a student teacher in 2019. I started teaching ECSE in January of 2020 and continued until June of 2021. My husband and I moved to Canada, where he is originally from, and we welcomed our firstborn there in 2022. I stayed home with our son until we moved back to the States in 2023 and I began teaching ECSE for District 518 again. In my free time I love to spend time with my family and being outdoors. You will probably spot us at a park or on a walk (if it is nice outside).
Hello. My name is Patty Lindner and I have been an ECSE teacher with District 518 for 16 years. Prior to joining the team here, I taught in Sioux Falls, SD for 4 years. I graduated from Augustana College and later completed my masters at Southwest State University.
I am married and have 2 children. I enjoy attending my children’s events, photography, and spending time outdoors.
Hello! My name is, Ashley Tharp. I began teaching ECSE at district 518 in Worthington in 2023. I graduated with my undergraduate in early childhood education from South Dakota State University and with my masters in special populations at Augustana University in 2019. Prior to moving to Worthington, I taught for 10 years in Sioux Falls in early head start and headstart. In my free time, I enjoy attending sporting events, concerts and traveling. I look forward to starting my new journey in teaching at district 518!