Students, staff, teachers and school board members at Mabel-Canton welcome two new teachers, Mr. Blaine Storlie and Mrs. Katie Farnen to the Cougar family. Both teachers are passionate about teaching at Mabel-Canton.
Mrs. Katie Farnen – Many of the students are already familiar with Mrs. Farnen because her husband, Samuel Farnen, is the school’s band teacher. Mrs. Farnen is the school’s new special education teacher.
She grew up in La Crosse where her family still resides. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she earned an education degree as well as a music degree. After college Farnen taught in Tomah, Wis., for two years followed by a year at Lanesboro and a year at Houston. This is her fifth year teaching special ed. She was hired at Mabel-Canton as the early childhood special education teacher, which includes pre-k through six grades. She will also be doing some consultation for upper high school.
Farnen passionately shared, “I love the little kiddos.”
The Farnens purchased a home in Mabel. Mrs. Farnen is looking forward to getting involved in the community whether that is in the classroom or outside. For example, volunteering at the concession stand during the Friday night football games.
Farnen also directs the show choir and show band in Onalaska a few days a week. In addition to traveling to visit family, the couple has a one-and-a-half-year-old black Lab, Kepler. Currently, the three of them are taking therapy dog training classes, which Farnen explained takes up a lot of their time.
Mr. Blaine Storlie – Mr. Storlie teaches 7th-10th grade physical education and health, 10th grade economics, and 12th grade government. He said it is a strange combination.
Mr. Storlie shared that he graduated from Spring Grove Public School in 2013. He went to college at Hamline University in the twin cities, where he played basketball. His first degree was a business degree through the University of Superior, an online program graduating in 2019. In 2021, he graduated from Winona State University through an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) program, a two-year online program.
He was a para-professional at Spring Grove for four-and-half years and taught special education in Spring Grove for four years. He is planning on coaching girls basketball in Spring Grove this winter, which he has done for four years. He also coached baseball in Spring Grove for eight years. He lives in Caledonia.
Mr. Storlie enthusiastically stated, “I love sports.” In the summer he plays slow pitch softball. His uncle introduced him to golf during the pandemic. He bowls in the winter. He loves watching all kinds of sports and listening to music, plus he plays a lot of video games. He tells his students that video games are his getaway. During the Olympics he watched curling and rowing. He does not get into diving sports because he does not know what they are doing, and the dives all look alike. Referring to sports, he noted, “It takes up a lot of my time, which is good.”
Mr. Storlie is also passionate about math and history. In high school, he took accounting and loved it. At Spring Grove he was a math para and really enjoyed it as he got to spend a lot of time in math classes. In high school he took all upper-level classes, like APA American government APA American history and he loved them. He also said that he tried to take extra history classes in sharing, “I just love history. I love learning about the world. I have always been a kind of history guy.”
Mr. Storlie explained that communication is very important to him, as well as having an open and respectful communication between himself and his students, stating, “So what really drives my class – respect is first and foremost, responsibility, and trust. I expect in my class. My three rules in my class; I call them my commandments.”
Both new teachers concluded by emphasizing that everyone has been extremely helpful.