Kingsland School welcomes seven new teachers this school year. Each shared a little about themselves so you can get to know them.
Collin Boekhoff is the new 4th grade teacher at Kingsland Schools. Boekhoff says he was drawn to a teaching career because he wanted to make an impact on children. He shared he has always enjoyed spending time with children and wanted to find a profession that could make a “great impact.”
Collin’s educational background includes graduating from St. Charles High School in 2014. He went on to complete his elementary education degree at the University of Northern Iowa in 2018. Mr. Boekhoff’s first teaching assignment was teaching 3rd grade in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He taught there for four years until he came to Kingsland. Boekhoff recently completed his master’s degree from Northwestern College in Iowa.
Collin enjoys spending time with his family and friends in his spare time. In addition, he loves getting outdoors to explore and hike.
Mr. Boekhoff sees his biggest challenge this year to be getting used to the Minnesota education standards after teaching in Iowa for the past four years. He now has new routines and people to get used to.
Working in a smaller district is something to which Boekhoff is looking forward. He thinks it will be a different feeling than his previous district with its four elementary schools. He shares that his goal for this year is to”acclimate to the new district while also getting to know all the families.”
Ben Marcom is the new in-house substitute teacher at Kingsland. In addition, he will mentor and help students who need a little extra academic help.
Ben grew up in northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma. He graduated from Watts High School in Oklahoma in 1995 and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2016. This will be Ben’s seventh year of teaching. His first two years, he taught 4th grade literacy/history in Siloam Springs, Ark. Most recently he taught 4th grade literacy/history in Prairie Grove, Ark.
“I love kids,” was Ben’s statement when he was asked why he chose education for his career. While his wife had suggested she could see him as a high school teacher, Ben felt the pull of elementary education.
Ben recalls watching a seventh grade teacher deal with a difficult student during his first observation of a classroom in his Intro to Education class. He was amazed at how the teacher skillfully handled the refusal of a student to seriously answer a question; her mix of “poise, unyielding love, and a slight dash of playful sarcasm” impressed Ben. He left that classroom “knowing what he wanted to do for life.”
Spending time with his wife and family is one of the things Ben loves to do. He has been married to his wife Tara for 22 years. Tara was originally from the Stewartville area; the Marcoms moved here to be closer to Tara’s family. Ben and Tara have five children – a son and four younger daughters. The girls will be attending Kingsland in kindergarten, 2nd, 4th, and 8th grade. The family moved to Chatfield from Arkansas in August.
Other hobbies Ben enjoys include “humming and strumming on the guitar,” reading, and coaching when he has the opportunity.
Mr. Marcom sees his biggest challenge this year to be handling different age groups from day to day. As an in-house sub, he’ll be moving from classroom to classroom throughout the district.
Marcom is looking forward to getting to know the culture and community of the school.He loves creating an atmosphere where all people want to be – not just the students. He looks forward to seeing what he can add to the school. His goal is to help in any way possible and to keep working for the opportunity to have his own classroom again.
Mr. Marcom commented, “I just want to thank everyone for the opportunity to teach your students. It is going to be a great year!”
Isaiah Minnich is the new P.E. and health teacher for middle school and high school students at Kingsland. Isaiah actually went to kindergarten at Kingsland and is happy to be back where his own education began.
Isaiah attended high school in Rochester, and got his teaching license at Winona State University. He participated in the graduate inductee program through Winona State and Rochester Public Schools where he taught full-time and earned his master’s degree. He continued to teach in Rochester for another two years.
While in Rochester Schools, Mr. Minnich was a SPED instructor. He decided to teach P.E./health because he enjoys sports and running and looks forward to teaching health.
Isaiah enjoys spending time with his friends and his many siblings and other relatives. In his spare time, Isaiah likes to hunt, fish, and watch football. Isaiah lives in Stewartville.
A couple former teachers really made an impact on Isaiah’s life; as a result, he chose to become a teacher himself. According to Isaiah, “Teachers do more than teach a subject. They are there to listen to students that might need help and give them support they need in order to be successful.”
Mr. Minnich sees his biggest challenge this year is getting used to the schedule and teaching a subject and a grade level he has not taught before. He appreciates that he has great support from people that he knows he can talk to if he needs help.
His goal for this year is to show students that while they are all different, they can all work together. He wants to earn the trust of his students and for them to know he is there for them.
Mr. Minnich noted that he has “really enjoyed the school year so far.” He feels very welcomed by both the school and community.
Abby Palkowski will be teaching early childhood special education this year at Kingsland; she’ll be meeting with small groups of preschoolers and kinder-garteners.
Abby chose elementary education because she loves working with kids. She particularly loves the enthusiasm and energy of young kids. While she didn’t plan on a career in special education, she’s excited to learn more about it as she takes on the assignment.
Ms. Palkowski graduated from a high school in a small, rural Wisconsin town which was very similar to Spring Valley. She student taught in Cochrane-Fountain City and graduated from Winona State University in May 2022.
Family for Abby includes her mom, dad, and older sister and brother who live out of state, and a younger brother still living at home in Wisconsin. She has a large extended family, to which she is very close.
In her spare time, Abby enjoys getting to know Spring Valley, Rochester, and other local communities; she enjoys attending local events. Abby also enjoys reading and watching movies when she is at home in Stewartville with her boyfriend.
Since Ms. Palkowski’s degree is in elementary education with an emphasis on early childhood, she has little background in special ed. She considers this her biggest challenge this year and is very grateful for her coworkers who have helped as she begins her first year of teaching. Her goal this year is to learn as much as she can with the help of her great colleagues.
Abby shared that she is excited to be at Kingsland, a school that reminds her so much of the school she herself attended as a youngster and the school at which she student taught. She noted she loves being part of a small community where she “can count on seeing a friendly face.”
Cole Rollins is the new 5th grade teacher at Kingsland School this year. As a former student, Cole loved coming to school and being involved in school activities. He learned he enjoyed working with students when he was a teacher’s assistant while in high school. He considers elementary education to be the “sweet spot.”
Cole likes that as an elementary teacher, he is able to teach multiple grades and subjects. He believes having a small group of students all year provides him the opportunity to build better relationships with his students.
Rollins graduated fromTriton High School in 2018; he attended RCTC and earned his two-year associate degree in 2020. After transferring to Winona State University-Rochester, Cole earned an elementary K-6 education degree. Mr. Rollins student taught at Jefferson Elementary in Rochester and at Byron Intermediate School.
Cole lives in Rochester, but he frequently visits his parents and brother in Claremont. Some of Cole’s hobbies include sports, hunting, fishing, and hiking with his dog.
Mr. Rollins sees the drive from Rochester to Spring Valley as one of his biggest challenges this year. His goal for the year is to make a “positive impact” on each of his students.
He is “super excited” to become part of Kingsland’s community and to build relationships with the Kingsland staff and students. The comment Mr. Rollins wanted to share with the community was, “Go, Knights!”
Shawn Trueman is no stranger to teaching even though he’s a new teacher at Kingsland. Mr. Trueman was originally from Ohio, but has lived in Minnesota since 2004. While in Minnesota, he was a college instructor most of the time. Trueman taught at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, St. Cloud Technical & Community College in St. Cloud, and Central Lakes College in Brainerd. From 2018 to 2022, Trueman was a substitute teacher in Rochester Public Schools.
Shawn was drawn to teaching because he finds it rewarding to share what he knows. Since he taught earth science related courses in college, it was a perfect fit for him to teach similar classes at the middle school and high school levels.
Mr. Trueman will be teaching 9th grade physical science, 8th grade earth science, 10th grade biology, and an astronomy elective.
Shawn will be living in Rochester. He enjoys following the Cleveland Sports teams –the Guardians, Browns, and Cavaliers – as well as the Ohio State Buckeyes. In his spare time, he enjoys working out. Another of his interests is astronomy. Shawn enjoys traveling; he’s been on four cruises, including a cruise to the Mediterranean this past summer.
Mr. Trueman sees getting his students to understand the importance of doing well in school as his biggest challenge this year. He wants them to understand the need to try their best at anything they do. Mr. Trueman looks forward to his challenge of getting his students excited about the subjects he teaches. Since he is a new teacher at Kingsland this year, Mr. Trueman sees his goal for the year simply to learn from his colleagues as much as possible.
Emma Welch is Kingsland’s new 3rd grade teacher. Emma is excited to be teaching 3rd grade because she feels it is a fun age academically, in which students are introduced to a lot of new material.
Emma graduated from Stewartville High School in 2018; she majored in elementary education and minored in early childhood education at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls, graduating in spring of 2022. She student taught in both Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Macroom, Ireland.
From a young age, Emma wanted to be a teacher. She has always wanted to help students become good people and positive members of the community. Her goal for this year is to be a positive influence in her students’ lives who can inspire them to be respectful and excited to learn.
In her spare time, Emma enjoys traveling; she stays active through running and golfing. Emma enjoys seeing friends and family and just relaxing. Emma is living in Stewartville currently; her parents, sisters, and boyfriend live there as well.
Ms. Welch is looking forward to having her own classroom this year for the first time. She is excited to see something that she has worked for, for over four years, come to fruition. She is anticipating “a positive community within the school that comes from being in a small district.”
According to Ms. Welch, her biggest challenge this year is that many of her ideas and plans might not go as planned. Realistically, she reminds herself that she has to remember this is her first year; she realizes that as long as she tries her best, she can learn from these times to help her improve in future years. With that kind of attitude, you’ll go far, Ms. Welch!
Welcome to all of Kingsland’s new teachers!