Two new teachers have joined the staff at Kingsland School this year — Cierra Ulwelling, the new 3-4 & 4-5 preschool teacher and Ariana Caddell, the new fourth grade teacher.
It was natural for Cierra Ulwelling to become a preschool teacher; she had worked in child care ever since she turned 16. She loves working with preschoolers and enjoys observing the children in their different developmental stages. Cierra believes that children at this age learn most from play, and she loves to interact with the preschoolers through educational play.
After graduating from Southland Public Schools in 2018, Ulwelling attended Winona State University, majoring in elementary education with an early childhood emphasis. Ulwelling student-taught preschool at Grand Meadow before graduating from WSU in May 2021.
Cierra, who lives in LeRoy, enjoys spending time outdoors — hiking, fishing, gardening, and walks with her dog. Her parents are Kent and Kim Ulwelling; she has two brothers, Matt and Karsen Ulwelling.
Ulwelling considers her biggest challenge this year is that she is a first year teacher during COVID. She noted that many of the necessary COVID precautions are not necessarily ideal for preschoolers, but realizes that such precautions are indeed needed to protect the health of the children.
Ulwelling shared that her goal at Kingsland is “to create long lasting relationships and plan activities and lessons that optimize student success.” She looks forward to building relationships with her students and their families; she shared that she really appreciates the support she has received from the school.
“Preschool is a crucial period for creating a positive environment for kids at school. I want my kids to continue to be eager to come to school and learn and grow,” Ulwelling commented.
Obviously, Ulwelling is putting her beliefs into practice. She shared that her preschoolers all come to school very eager to learn. They have been busy learning the routine and their classmates as well as learning all about fall and the seasonal changes through fun activities.
Ariana Caddell, who will be teaching fourth grade at Kingland this year, chose teaching as a career after taking multiple personality tests in her middle school careers class. She had gone into the class thinking she’d become a journalist, but all those tests consistently resulted in recommending a teaching career. After doing a little research, Ariana changed her goals and chose to be a teacher.
She had always enjoyed watching her cousins as they grew up; she loved “that spark and happiness they would get when they learned something new.”
Ariana graduated from John Marshall High in 2016 and went on to get a degree in elementary education and literacy at Minnesota State University-Mankato. After graduating in December 2020, she took a job as a fourth grade reading teacher at Chatfield.
Ariana will be living in Rochester and commuting to Kingsland. In her spare time, she enjoys snuggling with her rabbit Benny and reading. She also loves to paint and sing. Ariana used to skate competitively and was a hockey cheerleader for the Maverick team in college. Her parents live in Rochester as well; her younger brother is studying at Winona State.
With a goal of creating a fun and effective learning environment that makes her students feel welcome, Caddell is looking forward to getting to know her students and having a “great year of learning and fun!”
Caddell acknowledged that a big challenge this year will be bringing the students back into the classroom full-time after the last years of “inconsistent learning.” Regardless, she shared that she is “so excited to be at Kingsland” and that she “can’t wait to see what this school year will bring!”
Welcome to the community, Ms. Ulwelling and Ms. Caddell! Enjoy your first year at Kingsland Schools!