About Our Teachers
My name is Austin Bauer, and I am the DAPE instructor for the Worthington school district. I graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in P.E.T.E (Physical Education Teacher Education). I also received a minor in health education. I have worked with special education students in the past through a number of different capacities. Some of those capacities include: Special Olympics, Therapeutic Recreation Camp and resource room volunteering. An interesting fact about myself is that I have hiked the Rocky Mountains on three separate times.
My college career started at Minnesota West here in Worthington. After completing my general classes, I attended Winona State University in Winona, MN, graduating with a teaching degree in both Learning Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities. I taught for 4 years in Luverne, MN before starting at Worthington High School in 2007 as a Special Education Teacher. In the fall of 2012, I started a new role in the school district as a Special Education teacher on the Special Education Assessment Team (SEAT). I love my job because I love working with kids, preparing them for graduation, and seeing them as successful adults!
I graduated from Slayton High School in 1992. I received my Undergrad in Elementary and Special Education from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. I then received additional licensure in SLD and EBD. After receiving licensure, I obtained my Master’s Degree and Administrative License (Principal and Director of Special Education) at St. Cloud State University. In my free time, I enjoy crafting and repurposing items. I also enjoy spending time on Lake Minnewaska with Friends and Family. A Fun Fact about me is that I have 2 cats.
Charon Doyscher teaches special education at the high school. She graduated from Buena Vista University with a degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Masters in Emotional Behavior Disorders from Minnesota State Mankato along with licensure in Learning Disabilities. She taught at Southwest Star Concept and Jackson County Central Schools before joining Worthington Schools in 2013. She has experience teaching students in all disability areas and also as an assessment coordinator.
Hello! My name is Kelsey Hartzler, and I am the district Occupational Therapist, who will primarily be working with students in 2nd-12th grade levels. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences from the University of South Dakota in 2013. I then went on to graduate school, where I received my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2016. While in graduate school, I worked at Coulee Connections, an alternative school for at-risk youth; it was during this experience that I realized my passion for working with the pediatric population with unique needs.
I am so excited to be a part of the Worthington School District and get to know students and staff in all buildings, as I will be traveling between the elementary, middle school, and high school to work with a wide variety of students!
An interesting tid-bit about myself is that my dad and sister both work at Prairie Elementary as well!- My dad is a PE teacher and my sister works in the preschool special ed room!
Hello. My name is Kristina Heggesesth and I teach Special Education at the high school. I obtained my B.S. degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of North Dakota. I earned my M.S. degree in Vocational Rehabilitation-Career Counseling from University of Wisconsin-Stout. I began teaching at Worthington High School in the August of 2016. While I am new to Teaching in the district, I am not new to the field. I have over 30+ years working in Human Services. Most of my experience has been helping people who have a disability. My most recent experience was helping students and adults with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. I love teaching Special Education students. I want to make a difference. I especially enjoy helping students prepare for lives beyond high school.
My name is Forrest Roy Johnson, and I started teaching special education in 2019. I graduated from the University of Northwestern in 2009 and began attending Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2017. I like to build LEGO sets with my two daughters, watch Marvel movies with my wife, and play board games with my friends.
My name is Julie Petersen and I teach Special Education at the high school. I obtained my degree in Elementary Education from Southwest State University. I finished my Masters in Emotional Behavioral Disorders in the summer of 2015 and then began teaching at the high school in the fall of 2015. My favorite part of teaching is when the skills I teach can help make a student’s life easier, both in and out of the classroom.
Ms. Ruml began her first year as a Special Education teacher at Worthington High School in 2014. She attended University of South Dakota for two years before transferring to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota where she graduated from in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students overcome struggles in the classroom.
I graduated with an undergrad in Music and Business from Concordia University Wisconsin, then went on for a Master’s of Music in Piano and Organ Performance from the University of Notre Dame. After graduating, I had my three boys, Caleb, Isaac, and Ben, and worked as a piano and voice teacher, in addition to supplying all of the music for our church and leading the choirs. Later, I decided to return to education, and took classes through St. Mary’s University to become a Special Education teacher. Being new to Worthington in 2015, I was thankful to be offered a job to teach at the high school. I really enjoy being a part of the Worthington school district, and getting to know all of the wonderful students who attend this great school.
Hello! My name is Mikayla Schroeder and I am a Special Education teacher at the high school. I am originally from Yankton, South Dakota. I went to college at the University of South Dakota where I double majored in Secondary English Education and Special Education. While at USD, I played on the women’s rugby team. I am excited to join the school district