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Jasper County Tribune

New faces teaching at Baxter

Name: Allison Engel

Position at Baxter: TAG teacher/coordinator, shared with West Marshall

Education: Wartburg College, elementary education, K-6 and 7-12 reading/language arts endorsements. University of Iowa TAG endorsement

Work history: I taught at Orient-Macksburg for six years, mostly at the elementary level. Then, I loved to be closer to my hometown of Oskaloosa and to reunite with my college sweetheart, now fiancée. I taught eighth grade English at Colfax-Mingo for the past two years.

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? I came because I was excited for the change to work with advanced learners. I love working in small schools because you can really get to know the students and their families, and it’s clear this is a great community.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? I like to ask those hard questions that challenge kids to look at the other side of the story.

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? Students are people first, students second. When you get to know students, you can tie what you’re learning to their interests.

What are you most excited for this school year? I’m most excited to get to know my students and their passions. I know there is a group that’s already super excited for National History Day and I’d also like to introduce National Novel Writing Month this year.

Name: Todd Frohwein

Position at Baxter: Agriculture instructor/FFA advisor

Education: Agriculture and life sciences education degree from Iowa State University

Work history: I worked 20 years for Zearing Fertilizer Inc. and Frohwein Enterprises in Zearing.

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? I grew up in Zearing and graduated in 1995, from Colo-NESCO. I have a deep love for small towns and small-town schools. The administration and others that I interviewed with were also very down to earth and really cared about the students. It’s also a huge bonus having my own space in the agriculture building for instruction, shop projects, welding and woods. Really the feel of the school and community is what helped me decide to take my first teaching job in Baxter.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? My favorite teaching method is hands-on learning. I do not believe students will reach their full learning potential by direct instruction, notes, memorization and testing. I strongly believe any time you can take what you are teaching them and put it in their hands they will learn a lot more and remember it for a long time.

I like to interact with kids by getting to know a couple things about them so we can have something to talk about. I will also show them I am human and share a few things about myself they might not think a teacher has done or has gone through.

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? I have learned getting to know your students is the best thing you can do as a teacher. It helps with trust, building relationships, classroom management and helps you guide their learning, giving students what they need to succeed.

What are you most excited for this school year? Getting to know the students, other instructors and the faculty members.

Name: Kaylie Brindley

Position at Baxter: Third grade teacher

Education: Elementary education major from Waldorf University

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? Small school, close knit community with a welcoming environment.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? Hands on activities. I like when kids get up and move.

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? Each day is a new day so don’t let anything from the day before slow you down from the day ahead.

What are you most excited for this school year? I’m excited to watch my students grow and grow myself as a teacher and get involved in the community.

Name: Bri Cook

Position at Baxter: Third grade teacher

Education: Elementary education major, technology minor from Iowa State University

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? Small town and a strong bond between school and community.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? Definitely hands-on. I love seeing kids play an active role in their learning.

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? Kids need somebody on their side, be their biggest supporter.

What are you most excited for this school year? Developing relationships with my students and seeing them grow throughout the year.

Name: Jodie Schabilion

Position at Baxter: Family and consumer sciences and health teacher

Education: DMACC and Iowa State University

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? I am a small town girl. Growing up, I attended a small school identical to Baxter, in southwest Iowa. Baxter feels like home.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? My favorite teaching method is team based learning. I first participated in team based learning at Iowa State as a student. I like that a group of students can work together to solve problems, answer questions and collaborate on projects. Team based learning is a natural fit for family and consumer sciences curriculum

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? I have learned every student has a story.

What are you most excited for this school year? I am excited to build relationships with my students and hopefully have some laughs along the way.

Name: Sammie Hofmann

Position at Baxter: Middle School Science

Education: Biology degree University of Wisconsin, Platteville, masters from Iowa State University

Work history: Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Mad Science of Iowa

What attracted you to Baxter to teach? The strong community support of the school and the caring staff.

What is your favorite teaching method, how do you like to interact with the kids? I use a variety of methods, but I always want students to guide the learning in the classroom.

What is a valuable lesson you have learned about teaching? To build relationships first, the rest is easy after that.

What are you most excited for this school year? Getting to know the students and attending school events.

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