As a new school year is eagerly anticipated by parents and students alike, teachers are just as eagerly gearing up to return to their classrooms. This year, the schools in Cavalier County will welcome six new teachers.
By Lisa Nowatzki
Langdon Area School District
Taylor Benneweis – Benneweis will be in the Langdon Area Elementary School (LAES) as the new first grade teacher. She is originally from Enderlin and decided to move to Langdon because she was somewhat familiar with the area and the friendly community.
Though Langdon is not too far from her home in Enderlin, Benneweis stated that the move to Langdon was a big step for her and moving gave her the opportunity to step out of her comfort zone.
Benneweis graduated from Mayville State University in May of 2017, so this will be her first official year as an educator.
Benneweis will strive to make a positive impact with her students and within the community. Additionally, she hopes to build relationships and learn the ways of the school and the community.
Benneweis believes she will affect the school in a positive way. She has a lot of motivation and a lot of new ideas and information that she cannot wait to try out.
When asked what she is most looking forward to Benneweis stated that she is “looking forward to meeting my students, their families, and members of the community.” She is also excited to start building relationships and learn all the new “ways” of Langdon.
One of her favorite aspects of teaching is the reward of seeing a child do something for the very first time and getting to take in all the excitement with them.
To the parents, students, and school district, Benneweis wanted to say that she is amazed at how this community is so close-knit and how welcoming they are. She looks forward to meeting everyone and working closely with each of them. She also wanted to thank everyone for all the support thus far! Benneweis said that she is looking forward to a wonderful year. Her final sentiment – Go Cards!
Hilari Pletcher – Pletcher will be the new Langdon Area Elementary School (LAES) music teacher.
Pletcher and her family moved to Langdon two years ago from Ormond Beach, Florida (just north of Daytona Beach), when her husband became the pastor of Langdon’s First Baptist Church. Pletcher stated that when her family was thinking and praying about moving, Langdon came to their notice. She says that she and her family fell in love with the church, the town, and the community.
Pletcher received her Bachelor of Music Education from Stetson University in DeLand, Flor. in 2003. She has been teaching private voice and piano lessons for the past eighteen years. Prior to moving to Langdon, she taught general music at Riverbend Academy for seven years.
Pletcher’s goals include filling the need that the community has for a music teacher while still meeting her commitments as wife, mother, friend, and private voice and piano teacher. She also hopes to carry on the very high standard of musical training the students and parents have received in the past.
While she is very passionate about getting to know the students and helping them make music, she also is looking forward to helping each student find the music that inspires them.
Pletcher is very excited about this coming year and getting to know the students and sharing her love of music with them. She hopes to make a lot of music this year, and is sure the students will enjoy sharing some of it with the community during the December and May concerts.
Alex Quintane– Quintane is joining Langdon Area High School (LAHS) as the new teacher of Principles of Democracy, World History, Sociology, and Psychology.
Before he came to Langdon, Quintane was a student teacher at Legacy High School in Bismarck. This is his first year as a licensed teacher. Quintane received his teaching credentials and educational training from the University of Jamestown. He came to Langdon because it provided him with a great opportunity to start his teaching career in a great school and community.
Quintane hopes to build positive relationships with students while helping them grow academically and personally. He also wants to positively affect the school by being charismatic and supporting to the students inside the classroom and with their extracurricular activities.
As a new teacher, Quintane looks forward to getting to know the students and staff at LAHS. When asked what his favorite aspect of teaching is, Quintane replied “building a positive relationship with students and seeing the improvement that they make over the course of the year.”
He also wanted to thank the school district for providing him with the opportunity to start his teaching career in Langdon. Quintane looks forward to working with every member of the community to help students improve academically.
As a final note, Quintane wanted to personally thank everyone for the warm welcome into the community. He believes it has made the transition of moving easy, and he is looking forward to this school year.
Rob Scherr – Scherr will be the new 6th grade teacher for the Langdon Area Elementary School. Before coming to Langdon, he taught for twenty-eight years in Park River.
Scherr graduated from Minnewaukan High School in 1984. He attended Mayville State University and graduated in 1988 with a degree in Elementary Education.
When asked why he chose Langdon, Scherr replied, “I was informed that Langdon had an upper elementary opening and I should check it out, and here I am.”
Scherr’s favorite aspect of teaching is working with the kids and seeing their growth as students. He hopes to achieve a great relationship with not only the teaching staff but the community and students as well.
As a final note, Scherr stated that he would like to thank the Langdon community for accepting his family and making them feel very comfortable.
St. Alphonsus Catholic School
Sheri Hetler– Hetler will be a new teacher at St. Alphonsus this year. She graduated in 1995 with a double major of Elementary Education and Bible and a minor in Spanish from Northwestern University in St. Paul, Minn.
In the past, Hetler was primarily a reading specialist and Title I reading teacher. Her new position at St. Alphonsus will be as the 5th grade teacher.
Hetler has taught in a variety of places throughout her twenty-two years as a teacher. She taught in Port Washington, Wis., Minneapolis, Minn., Williston, and Langdon. She and her husband, Todd, who is the current principal at LAES, taught in Honduras for two years as well.
Hetler states that she is looking forward to getting to know her students at St. Alphonsus and having small enough classes to be able to do a lot of fun, hands-on learning activities.
Hetler’s favorite aspect of teaching is helping kids who struggle with reading learn the skills and develop the confidence to enjoy reading and be able to read the grade level materials with understanding.
She enjoys teaching all academic subjects, but reading is her favorite. Hetler provided an example of just how much effort she puts into helping her students succeed in reading
“One year, while teaching in another town, one-third of my students came to my 4th grade classroom 2-3 grade levels behind their grade level in reading. With permission from administration to revamp the reading curriculum for these kids, they were able to catch their peers and read at their grade level 2 years later. Since reading is so important to the students’ future success, watching kids grow in their confidence with reading makes teaching reading my favorite class,” Hetler said.
Carrie Hope – Hope will be another new teacher to St. Alphonsus this year but the school itself is not new to her because that is where her education started. Hope attended St. Alphonsus from preschool-8th grade. She has always wanted to get back to St. Alphonsus to teach, and the opportunity came at the right time this year.
Hope received her Bachelors degree in Child and Families studies (early childhood teaching) from St. Cloud State University. Right after graduation, she joined the North Border School District where she taught for six years.
Hope is looking forward to working with the students and staff. She is also very excited to have 16 preschoolers coming in for a fun-filled school year.
Hope stated that her favorite aspect of teaching is “making the classroom fun and watching the students enjoy learning. Seeing the students faces when they master something new is a great feeling.”
Hope’s favorite subject to teach is reading.
“The stories bring the students creativity and imagination out,” Hope said.