Greenfield Elementary welcomed three new teachers this year. The Bulletin recently sent them a questionnaire asking about their interests, what led them into teaching and others. Here are their responses.

Maggie Whipple

Education: UW-Stout for Human Development & Family Studies, St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas for Masters in Social Work.

Family: I live in River Falls with my 9-year-old son Wil, partner Mark, two old dogs named Buzz and Rocket and recent rescue kitten Winnie.

Previous Experience: My most recent experience is from Fraser, where I was a Mental Health Practitioner. Co-leading day treatment and providing outpatient services to children and adolescents were among my job duties. I did my practicum for my master’s program at Hastings Public Schools and realized that I eventually wanted to be in a school setting. Other work experience includes working as a paraprofessional, 3M Employee Assistance, family advocate at Tubman and I still pick up the occasional serving shift (I have waitressed since high school).

What led you to the education field: In my experiences and studies, I kept coming back to schools in some form throughout my work history. It just took a while to figure it out and get to where I wanted to be! The value of education as well as the importance of mental health awareness has been instilled in me for quite some time and in this role, I get to combine the two.

What led you to working for B-W: I wanted to cross the St. Croix and work in Wisconsin. It has been a goal of mine and what I envisioned as I pursued my master’s degree. I am from a small community and understand the unique characteristics, the importance of connection as well as understanding the area and its resources. My goal is to empower students and families to create a healthy dialogue as well as environment when it comes to mental health issues.

Hobbies/interests: I am an avid reader of many genres and collector of books. Music is also a big part of my life and I will listen to just about anything. Paddle boarding, volleyball, running and yoga are among my other activities. My son and I enjoy trying different foods and cooking. Last but not least, I often cheer on the Badgers, the Brewers, the Packers and now the BW Blackhawks!

Amy Gierl

Education – My first degree is a BS is Elementary Education acquired in 2007. My most recent degree is MS in Speech and Language Pathology acquired in 2018.

Family – I am married and my husband and I have two boys who are 8 (second grade) and 6 (Kindergarten). We have lived in River Falls for the past four years and plan to raise our family there.

Previous Experience – My previous experience in elementary schools is limited to student teaching at three different schools around the Twin Cities area while pursuing my degree in Elementary Education. I also volunteered through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and was a Big for over seven years. I have raised two boys, both requiring speech services and while interning at Greenfield my passion for working with children at the elementary level was rekindled.

What led you to the education field – I’ve always wanted to work with children, my first degree was in Elementary Education. I never did teach but worked at Pearson, in Bloomington, MN. Pearson is a company that produces products and assessments for the use in schools all around the world. It was at this job I first learned what an SLP was and I saw the amazing things they did for people both young and old. When my son was 2 ½ years our second son was born and my oldest began to stutter. We enrolled him in an early childhood program where he received speech services and again I was amazed by the speech therapist and what they did for him. After discussing a major life change with my husband, we decided to uproot our lives and move to River Falls so I could pursue a career in speech and language. After going through the graduate program and interning at Greenfield I knew my place was with the children and I was destined to work in a school.

What led you to working for B-W- I completed my school practicum at Greenfield and I absolutely fell in love with the school during my time as a student. The staff was very welcoming and easy to work with and the amount of respect and gratitude everyone has for each other is very apparent! During that time, I realized the atmosphere at Greenfield was very home like, welcoming, a place I would be honored to call my career home. After graduation, Greenfield needed a long-term SLP sub, so I jumped on the opportunity to work at the school of my choice and was later hired on part time for the rest of the school year. Luckily at the end of last school year, a full time position became available and I again jumped on the opportunity to work at Greenfield full time, my dream job!

Hobbies/interests- My family and I love adventuring outside. We have a black lab/collie mix that loves to join us as well. We do a lot of hiking, kayaking, canoeing and swimming. When I have some “me” time I love to read, bake and spend time with friends.

Erin Northup

Education: I graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Elementary and Special Education.

Family: I live in Baldwin with my husband, John and three kids: Keaton (15), Addison (12) and Kennady (10). My oldest son Jaden (19) is attending college at UW-Eau Claire.

Previous experience: I worked as a special education teacher at Durand High School and North High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I worked as a Special Education paraprofessional for four years at Greenfield Elementary until starting a teaching position in September.

What led you to the education field: I have always enjoyed being around kids, so becoming a teacher was an easy choice.

What led you to working for B-W: My children attend school in this district, so I knew from volunteering at their schools that B-W would be a great place to work.

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy being outside, so I spend time with my family biking, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing and traveling.

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