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New faces will greet MP students next week

–By Travis Svihovec

Several new teachers and paraprofessionals have been hired by the Mobridge-Pollock School District for the 2013-14 school year.

Marian Beck will teach middle and high school band and seventh-grade music appreciation. She graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings in May and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education. Beck grew up in rural Sioux Falls and attended West Central High School in Hartford. She started playing saxophone in fifth grade and later participated in All-State and honor bands. She was a member of the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band, symphonic band and women’s chorus at SDSU.

Chris Bredeson is a December 2012 graduate of Northern State University in Aberdeen, where he earned a degree in social science education and history. He will teach social science and English language arts in grades 9 through 12. Bredeson is from Fairdale, N.D., and graduated from Adams-Edmore High School.

Bredeson’s wife Stevie has been hired as a paraprofessional at the high school. She is originally from Chamberlain. She is a May 2012 graduate of NSU and has a degree in English.

Herreid native Jimmie Schmidt has been hired to teach special education at Freeman Davis. She holds a double major in elementary education and special education from NSU. She is a 2002 graduate of Herreid High School and the daughter of Tim and Sheila Schmidt. Schmidt taught in Wakpala for two years and has been a teacher in Harrisburg for the last four years.

Stacy Wiest will become the Title I math and reading instructor at Freeman Davis. She grew up in Redfield and graduated from Redfield High School in 1995. She holds a degree in elementary education from NSU and in May earned a master’s degree in administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She and her husband B.J., who is a loan officer at Dacotah Bank in Mobridge, have one daughter, Tessa, who is 9.

Alexis Hettick is a 1999 graduate of Selby Area High School. In 2003 she earned a degree in elementary education from NSU. Hettick taught third and fourth grades in Isabel in 2003 and 2004 and has taught middle school English in Timber Lake until this year. She has been hired as a math intervention instructor in grades kindergarten through 5. Alexis is the daughter of James and Gwen Ackerman of Selby and the granddaughter of Ardella Ackerman and Joyce Kosters of Selby. She and her husband Chris, who will be a business computer teacher in Selby this year, have three children: son Trayten is 8; daughter Taryn is 4; and daughter Taelyn is 1.

Other paraprofessionals are Holly Hitland, Nathan Ford and Samantha Merkel.

Hitland, in addition to her paraprofessional duties, will teach a consumer math class. She holds a business education degree and has been the school’s oral interp and drama coach. She is entering her seventh year with the district. Hitland and her husband Mike have a son, Jalen, who is 12.

Merkel is a 2013 graduate of NSU. She holds a degree in human performance and fitness, physical and health education, and coaching. She is a 2006 graduate of Rodgers High School in Rodgers, Minn. She married Sam Merkel, son of Dave and Katie Merkel of Mobridge, in September 2012. In addition to paraprofessional duties she will teach some health and physical education classes.

Ford holds an elementary education degree from Sitting Bull College. He grew up in Mobridge, moved to Miller with his family when he was 13, and graduated from high school there. He has been in the National Guard for 16 years and has twice been deployed. He will be a paraprofessional in the upper elementary grades. He and his wife Val have three sons; Jameson is 9, Remmington is 8, and Canyon is 2.

One high school math instructor position has not yet been filled.

-Travis Svihovec –