According to Principal Jim Peters, Fillmore Central Elementary School has four new teachers this school year. Some are new to the district, while others have worked in other roles at Fillmore Central prior to this year. Recently, the four gave some information about the path that led them to their current position.
Sara Greenwood described the start of her teaching career, saying, “I started in Northfield, working in Special Education, and then I switched to kindergarten while I was there. And then I was in Albert Lea for a couple years teaching kindergarten. Now I’m here teaching kindergarten.”
When asked what brought her to Fillmore Central, she said that a good friend told her of the opening and encouraged her to apply. She added that she recently got married, and the commute to Albert Lea made the Fillmore Central position even more appealing.
Sara is originally from Nerstrand, which she describes as a “tiny town” in Minnesota. She added, “I’m very musical. My siblings and I started a band 18 years ago, and have been traveling, doing tours nationally and internationally. We’ve done a couple of CDs here and there with that.” She also pointed out that she’s found Fillmore Central and the local community to be very close knit and supportive.
Another new teacher is Shelby Ebner, who also teaches kindergarten. She explained, “I’ve lived in Preston my whole life. I went to Fillmore Central, K through 12. I lived in Winona for college, and graduated in December 2020.”
“I long-term subbed here in fifth and sixth grade, Title 1, so it’s my first year teaching in my own classroom, so that’s been fun.” Besides teaching kindergarten, Shelby said, “I really like sports. I coach softball, and I do class for volleyball and basketball here.” As a lifelong resident of Fillmore County, she said she really appreciates the local community. She shared, “They’ll have your back if anything happens. It’s just a great community to live in.”
Jennifer Lindstrom has 12 students on her caseload as a fifth and sixth grade Special Education teacher. She stated, “I technically haven’t graduated yet. I will graduate in December from Augsberg. This is my fourteenth year here at Fillmore Central. I spent 13 years as a Special Education para here prior to deciding to go back and finish my degree.”
Jennifer pointed out that her mother Connie Lindstrom also teaches at the school. “She’s been with the district since they combined, 20-some years ago.” Jennifer stated, “I grew up here, then moved to Rochester. That was too big for me, so I came back. My son is a kindergartener here. In our free time, we canoe the Upper Iowa River, or kayak. We spend a lot of time outside, but I also like to binge-watch Netflix. That’s my stress reliever!”
Another new teacher at Fillmore Central is Tyler Sloan, who explained, “I am a sixth grade teacher. We have three sections of sixth grade. I teach Minnesota History and Science. I am brand new to Fillmore Central this year; last year, I taught third grade at Grand Meadow.”
Tyler grew up in Grand Meadow, and graduated from there in 2016. After that, he says, “I went to Saint Cloud State, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in the spring of 2020.”
Tyler enjoys an interesting “side gig.” He stated, “I am a varsity assistant for Grand Meadow high school football this year. My dad is the head coach over there, so this is my third year doing that.” He said he hasn’t run into any challenges yet in working for two school districts.
In his free time, Tyler is often on the golf course. He quipped, “I play all the time, and I still wish I played more!” Looking to the future, Tyler said, “I see myself being at Fillmore Central for the foreseeable future… So far it’s been awesome! There’s so many great people there. They welcomed me right away!”