The Mabel-Canton School welcomes new teachers Stacey Wilson, Nicky Eiken, and Stephanie Morken to the Cougar family.
Stacey Wilson is the new special education teacher for grades K-4 at Mabel-Canton School. Wilson grew up in Galena, Ill., and now lives in Mabel with her husband Cory and their two children, 9-year-old Jaydon and 7-year-old Payton. The Wilson family is also hosting a foreign exchange student, Alex.
Wilson is a 2006 graduate of the high school in Galena, Ill. Immediately after high school, Wilson attended the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, graduating in 2010 where she majored in elementary education and early childhood.
Wilson explained, “This is my first actual teaching position in a school. After moving up here, I worked at Kids Corner Daycare in Caledonia for seven years. I worked in the preschool room and then I changed to the Pre-K teacher, as well as running the school age program. The last two and a half I have worked at the Mabel-Canton school as a substitute and a paraprofessional in the High School Special Education Department.”
Wilson reflected on her reasons for accepting a teaching position at Mabel-Canton School, saying, “The Mabel-Canton school is a great facility and the people who work there are great. They are all easy to get along with and everyone is very helpful and accommodating. Everyone there really knows how to gather as a team and work together in all situations.
“I guess I would say that learning needs to be fun, but educational. I hope to find different new strategies for the children to learn in a way that fits them the best. Also, in a classroom, I feel that all children should respect their classmates, teachers and other people who surround them. Working together as a team and working to the best of their abilities will help everyone in the classroom benefit.”
Asked about how she anticipates COVID-19 will impact her classroom, Wilson stated, “I feel COVID-19 could impact the classroom if a student must stay home and do distant learning. It will affect the student in many ways. I do hope if this happens, I will be able to do my best to meet the student’s needs and make every effort to be there for them.”
Nicky Eiken, preschool/Pre-K
The new morning preschool/Pre-K teacher at Mabel-Canton is Nicky Eiken. In the afternoons, Eiken will transition to high school SPED as a paraprofessional. She expanded by mentioning, “I also enjoy subbing all over the building when the district is in need.”
Eiken grew up in Grand Meadow. She was a Superlark from the time her grandmother was her preschool teacher until she graduated high school from the domes when they were brand new.
Eiken’s family keeps her grounded. She has three beautiful children: Blake age 9, Hailee age 10, and 12-year-old Kale. The kids are active in sports and keep Eiken running with their hectic schedules. Eiken mentioned that she and her husband Ben are celebrating 10 years of marriage this fall and that he is the reason they reside in Mabel. “This is HOME,” emphasized Eiken.
Reflecting on her education, Eiken stated, “After I graduated high school in Grand Meadow, I went to get my AS Degree at Riverland Community College. When I graduated from there, I decided Winona State seemed like a great place to get my BS Degree. Well, I loved school so much that after over a decade I decided to go back to school for my master’s degree, which I am currently pursuing today.”
This is Eiken’s first official teaching position. She has been a sub for three school districts over the past three years which is the reason that she decided to go back to school for a Masters in Elementary Education.
Eiken said she accepted the teaching position at Mabel-Canton because, “…this is my career goal, to reach and teach the kids of Mabel. I love walking the halls here at school and seeing how excited some of these elementary kiddos are to see me. The feeling is mutual!”
“Learning should be fun,” Eiken said, “I am excited to teach, and I think my students can feel that excitement.”
Noting the impact of COVID on the classroom, Eiken stated, “COVID has been a burden all over the country/world. I am coming into this school year as a hopeless optimist. I want to believe that we are going to stay in-person learning throughout the school year. In the back of my mind, we are always preparing. The age that I teach will absolutely present some difficulties as teaching 3- to 5-year-olds over the computer would prove a very difficult task.”
Stephanie Morken, music
Stephanie Morken is the new kindergarten, first, and second grade elementary music teacher. She also directs the high school choir.
Morken grew up in Columbia Heights, Northeast Minneapolis, where she attended Columbia Heights High School. She went to Luther College for elementary education and started her teaching career at North Winneshiek school where she taught first grade from 2001 to 2019.
Morken has lived in Mabel since 2001. Her husband, Lonnie, also teaches at Mabel-Canton and coaches there as well. The couple has three daughters, one that has graduated high school and the other two are Mabel-Canton Cougars. In addition, both younger daughters are in her choir.
Morken said she accepted the teaching position at Mabel-Canton because, “I believe it is a good school system and has a very family-like atmosphere. The staff and students are very supportive and kind, plus I have always had a music background, so I am very excited about this position.”
“My teaching should be very engaging for the students and interesting. I am excited about teaching music because I feel music education is very important in the lives of young people,” Morken said.
Asked about the impact of COVID on teaching, Morken replied, “At this point COVID has not affected my classroom other than we all must sit very far apart from one another.”
Welcome to Mabel-Canton!