By Kyle Klausing News Editor Yellow Medicine East kicked-off another school year on Tuesday, September 4. As in years past, returning students spent the day reconnecting with old friends, reviewing class syllabi, and memorizing new schedules.
Among the changes awaiting students as they returned to class after their summer hiatus is a big slate of new teachers. Last week, the Advocate Tribune highlighted three new teachers; Teresa Schulte-Hunt, Tom Walsh, and Amy Stewart. This week, we sat down with three additional teachers to learn more about them.
Originally hailing from Willmar, Austin Rambow explains that he was first attracted to teaching at YME because “I really wanted to stay around my hometown.” He went on to add, “I have a lot of family and friends around the area that I enjoy seeing.”
Rambow has joined the YME teaching staff as a physical education instructor for grades 6 through 10.
He graduated Valley City State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Health Education. Rambow says that this will be his first year teaching.
Rambow says that he is excited to start “building a relationship with students.” Impacting young people has always motivated Rambow in his teaching career. “I have always enjoyed being around kids,” he adds.
The coming days will undoubtedly bring their share of busy work as Rambow learns the ropes at YME. He says that he will use the time “getting my feet in the door,” adding that he most looks forward to “growing as a teacher.”
Rambow’s passion for sports is not just limited to the school gym. When he’s not teaching, he enjoys playing and watching sports. “If I'm not participating in something,” he remarked, “I am usually watching it.”
Originally from Bloomington, Katie Lavin moved to Granite Falls with her husband in July of 2014. She explained that she was first attracted to teaching at YME “because of the location, community and wide range of diversity and culture.”
She has joined the YME staff as a special education teacher covering grades 11 and 12.
Currently, Lavin is attending Bethel University in St. Paul where she is working on her Masters of Arts in Special Education ABS grades K-12. Before that, she attended the St. Paul campus of Metropolitan State University where she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Business Management. Lavin also attended Normandale Community College in Bloomington where she received her Associates of Arts degree in General Education.
This will be her second year as a special education teacher.
Lavin explained that she values the connections that she makes as an instructor. “I enjoy building relationships and making a difference in the lives of the students I see and teach every day,” she explained.
Asked if she has any highlights that she looks forward to this year, Lavin said that she is excited to be “assisting my seniors in finishing their last year of high school.” She also hopes to help guide them after graduation by “helping them plan for the future.”
When she’s not in school with her students, Lavin says “I love spending quality time with my husband, Brian, and our 2 1/2 year old son Grayson.” She continued by saying that she values the time she gets to spend with her family, explaining that “family is very important to me so any time with them is a blessing.”
In her free time, Lavin enjoys “going out to eat, going to the movies and shopping.”
Growing up in the nearby town of Milroy, new teacher Jerry Gladis graduated from there in 1979. He says that he has worked with YME staff in past years and “appreciated the willingness to help students succeed.”
Gladis is a 1983 graduate from Southwest State University (later known as Southwest Minnesota State University) with a degree in History and a Social Studies Teaching Certification. Ever since then, He has been teaching both part- and full-time for 38 years.
Asked about what he is most looking forward to with the start of the new academic year, Gladis replied that he is excited for the “interaction and relationship building with students and staff.” As a teacher, he views his primary responsibility to be “helping prepare students for the real world.” This involves “pushing students to get involved with activities outside the main classes: extracurricular sports, choir, band, shop, school clubs, yearbook, etc.
“Outside of time in the classroom I enjoy playing basketball, softball, golf (and other sports). Love to travel with my family and friends.”