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St. Bridget Parish School welcomes new staff

The Journal asked new St. Bridget Parish School staff to introduce themselves to the community by filling out a brief questionnaire. The six responses are recorded below.

Brenna O'Connor

Position: Middle school reading / language arts teacher

Hometown: Welch, Minnesota

Education: University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Master's degree in education; Minnesota School of Business, Master's degree in management

Prior experience: Faculty member at Broadview University and Globe University/Minnesota School of Business for 15 years

Family: Nathan O'Connor, husband; children Andrew (11) and Kendra (9)

Hobbies / interests: I love spending time with my family, fishing and tubing on the St. Croix in the summer, and showing horses that we raise on our farm in Ellsworth. I also enjoy baking, water parks, Western movies and books, jumping on the trampoline and gardening (even though I don't keep up with the weeds very well.)

Why do you teach? I love working with students and finding ways to help them make connections between the curriculum and their futures. The moments when students recognize their accomplishments and gain confidence are especially exciting and provide unlimited rewards for me as a teacher. I am excited about joining the team at St. Bridget's!

Molly Hering

Position: Second grade teacher

Hometown: Hudson

Education: UW-River Falls, degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. I also have my reading license.

Prior experience: I have taught third grade at Saint Patrick School and second grade in New Richmond. For the past three years I have been a reading specialist in Hudson.

Family: Husband, Steven

Hobbies / interests: I enjoy going to the cabin, ice fishing, running and going to sporting events.

Why do you teach? I love being a teacher because I am able to share my passion of learning with children. I love seeing children's smiles every day and watching them grow as learners throughout the year.

Latischa Ferg

Position: PreK- teacher

Hometown: Roberts

College education: UW-Stout, early childhood education

Prior experience: Substitute teacher and parent

Family: Twin sons Brenden and Joshua

Hobbies / interests: Reading, movies, crocheting, going up North

Why do you teach? Because I love being around children and seeing the joy and excitement of learning something new through their eyes.

Judy Youngblood-Bourn

Position: Fifth grade teacher

Hometown: I was born in Hutchinson, Minnesota but I reside in Roberts, Wisconsin.

Education: I attended Winona and Mankato State Universities in Minnesota. I then attended UW-River Falls. I have a degree in family consumer education, elementary education and my Masters degree is in education.

Prior experience: I taught in Dodge Center, Minn., and Spring Valley and Hammond. I have 32 years of experience.

Family: I am married and have five children and eight grandchildren. Besides playing with grandchildren I like to ride motorcycle and four wheelers.

Hobbies / interests: I love anything crafty and love doing theater.

Why do you teach? I teach because I love seeing the students' faces light up when they reach that "aha" moment!

Rachel Culp

Position: Physical education teacher

Hometown: Moved here to River Falls from Lubbock, Texas

Education: Masters of Education from Wayland Baptist University and a BS from Eastern New Mexico University

Prior experience: I have taught for over 20 years; my last campus was All Saints Episcopal School of Lubbock where I was a fourth grade science and writing teacher.

Family: My husband James and I have been married 17 years and I have two children

Hobbies / interests: Cooking, crafting, traveling and restoring old furniture

Why do you teach? I teach because I am a lifelong learner. I love to help students learn that the world doesn't end at the tip of their nose, there is so much to see, and do, and experience. I love to help students learn fundamentals that will help them in the real world and encourage them to try new thing.

Vincent Pedavoli

Position: Fourth grade teacher

Hometown: River Falls

Education: Hamline University and the University of Texas at Tyler; elementary education, history and English

Prior experience: Saint Francis School in Ellsworth

Family: Two collies, Robbie and Jean

Hobbies / interests: I work part-time as a server at the Winzer Stube in Hudson and don't have time for hobbies, but I enjoy working out, tennis and reading.

Why do you teach? I love learning and hope that the children I teach will become lifelong learners and realize that learning is fun. Also, I like when students have that "ah, now I get it," moment.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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