Teacher learns with students


By Katie Zerr

Marian Beck

Marian Beck

After growing up on a farm outside of Sioux Falls, it was a bit intimidating for Marian Beck to consider moving so far away from what she knew for her first teaching job.
“I had never even been to Mobridge before my job interview,” said Beck, who is about to finish her first year as the Mobridge-Pollock Middle School and High School band instructor.
She didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised after spending some time here.
“It is really self-sustaining,” she said. “You can get pretty much what you need right here.”
Although a student taking a whole day off for doctor and dentists appointments was confounding in the beginning, she now understands the daylong trips out of town.
Beck attended high school at West Central, graduating in 2009. She received her teaching degree from South Dakota State University in 2013.
Beck said her first year of teaching has been good for her and she enjoys teaching both middle school and high school.
“Everything that comes up is brand new. It was a bit difficult getting used to schedule, (such as planning for hosting the music contest), but I have great kids,” she said. “I feel I am learning just a s much as they are.”
Beck said her ultimate goal is to earn her master’s degree in music and teach at the college level, but after this first year of teaching, that goal has been pushed a bit further down the road.
Beck said she would like her students to say that she really knows her stuff and that she is good at showing them that a piece of music that might seem to be difficult they can do once they break it down.
“I like giving them a variety of music so that they seeing playing band music is fun and not the same old, same old,” she said.
Beck said she likes to go online and find recipes to experiment with and her go-to recipe is a broccoli stir-fry. She likes cooking with chicken because it is her favorite meat.
She said her mother did the cooking when she was young and learned most of what she knows by watching her, but she was not a good helper in the kitchen. Her older brother helped with the farm chores, but she was given some of the least-liked tasks such as fixing the electric fence or picking rocks.
As a kid she remembers her grandmother making her favorite orange salad (see recipes) for her, but doesn’t remember spending time in the kitchen with her.
Beck said her “baking bug” comes and goes, but she does love brownies and will bake up a batch when she gets the urge.
“I will cook more this summer when I have more time,” she said. “Then I will experiment with new chicken recipes.”
She remembers cooking in the dorm at college and setting off the smoke detector a couple of times. Her one big mistake was not with cooking her casserole, but how she cooked it.
“I was using a Pyrex casserole dish and thought it was okay to bake with the plastic lid on,” she said. “I checked it before it became a really melted mess and I thought how could I think it was okay to put that in the oven!”
She is an avid reader in her off time and loves all types of books.
“I love authors that are really good story tellers, those who can grab you and really pull you into the story,” Beck said.
As a high school saxophone player, she participated in the Midwest Ambassadors European tour. The trip to Russia stands out her mind because the architecture was gorgeous. She said she really enjoyed that part of the trip, but it was so unexpected.
“But it was like the people were stuck in the 1890s,” she said. “There were a lot of mullets (haircuts) and the elevator music was just so weird.”
Beck said she is looking forward to the summer in Mobridge. Since she moved here in August of last year, she has yet to experience the warm weather lifestyle.
“I hear the Fourth of July is a big celebration,” she said. “I am looking forward to my first one.”


Orange Salad
1 box tapioca pudding
1 box vanilla pudding
1 box orange Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
12 ounces Cool Whip
2 small cans of mandarin oranges, drained
Mix puddings, Jell-O, and boiling water into bowl. Refrigerate 45 min. to 1 hour (until bubbly). Add Cool Whip and oranges. Stir and refrigerate until set.

Almond Broccoli Stir-Fry
5 cups broccoli florets
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
In a skillet or wok, stir-fry broccoli in oil for 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; stir-fry for 1 more minute. Stir in soy sauce, sugar, and ginger; stir-fry for 1-2 more minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
8 ounces thinly sliced roast beef
8 slices provolone cheese
2 large green bell peppers
1 med. sweet onion-sliced
6 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms-sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. garlic-minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add butter, garlic, mushrooms, onions and a little salt and pepper. Cook until onions and mushrooms are caramelized (30 min. or so). Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the skillet mixture. Cook 5-10 more minutes. Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese. Fill each pepper with skillet mixture until they are nearly overflowing. Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Nutella Brownies
1 1/4 cups Nutella
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a large wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Pour into greased 9×9-inch baking pan and smooth top with spatula. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Be careful: these will dry out easily if you let them bake too long.) Let cool and set before cutting.

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