Cologne Academy welcomes new teachers and staff

Cologne teachers
New teachers at Cologne Academy include front row: Aloma Rohman, Missy Isles, Jason Kingman, Tarek Morey, Sarah Hansen, Carrie Pogatshnik and Allie Thomson. Back row: Katelyn Hanke, Heather Anonby, Casondra Jopp, Carly Boehm, Grace Ruzicka, Joy Holder, Helen Suhr, Kelly Peterson, Whitney Gohman and Jamie Lindahl. Not pictured: Chandra Rothstein, Jen Niebuhr and Amanda Anderson. (Submitted photo)

Amanda Anderson – Amanda received her General Studies degree with a counseling concentration at Crown College in St. Bonifacius. Amanda spent the last year and a half as an assistant teacher at Ladybug Preschool Learning Center in Chaska working in the playroom and toddlers department. She is thrilled to transition into an educational assistant position at Cologne Academy. She cannot wait to get to know the students, faculty, and parents at the school. Amanda spends her free time taking care of her one-month-old son, and when time allows it she enjoys reading, drawing, painting and knitting.
Heather Anonby – Heather is Cologne Academy’s Minnesota Reading Corps elementary literacy tutor. Minnesota Reading Corps is a statewide initiative to help every Minnesota child become a successful reader by the end of third grade. Heather serves our students in kindergarten through third grade providing one-on-one literacy tutoring and research-based interventions to build competency and confidence in our students’ phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency skills. Heather is passionate about literacy and she loves to read.
Carly Boehm – New to the middle school team is Carly Boehm. Boehm received her degree in secondary education and English from the University of St. Thomas. She is a licensed communications/Language Arts teacher for grades 5-12. Last year, Boehm worked with high school students in downtown Minneapolis, teaching and assisting within the English classroom. She is excited to make the transition from high school to middle school, believing that middle school can be a fun, engaging and imaginative environment. During her free time, Boehm enjoys reading, writing and running.
Whitney Gohman – A new addition to the art education staff is Whitney Gohman. Gohman will step into the role of part-time kindergarten and first grade art teacher. Gohman received her degree in K-12 art education as well as a certificate in American Sign Language from the University of Minnesota Duluth upon her graduation in 2011. Gohman has enjoyed teaching art in a camp setting, as well as a childcare center, and is delighted to teach art in a classroom of her own. Gohman is thankful for the opportunity to help students build creativity, gain an understanding of art history, and encourage students to develop an appreciation for the aesthetics and beauty of both the artwork and the world around them by viewing and creating art. Outside the classroom, Gohman enjoys spending time with her family and friends, leading a 10th grade small group at her church in New Hope, painting and drawing, as well as camping and enjoying the outdoors.
Katelyn Hanke – Joining the educational assistant team this year is Katelyn Hanke. Katelyn received her A.A.S. degree in the educational assistant program from Ridgewater College in Hutchinson. Katelyn spent the last two years working as the Lead Infant 2 teacher at Lil’ Explorer’s in Waconia. She is very eager to join the staff at Cologne Academy and looks forward to building long-lasting relationships with the children, family, and staff here. Katelyn is eager to help each child she works with grow individually, academically, socially and emotionally. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors and listening to music.
Sarah Hansen – Miss Hansen is one of four Fellows at Cologne Academy. Miss Hansen attended the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, where she received her teaching degree in elementary education and Spanish. In the last few years, Miss Hansen has enhanced her teaching by travelling throughout Europe and instructing preschool. She is very enthused to start her new journey at Cologne Academy and is very much looking forward to helping students grow into successful individuals. Aside from teaching, Miss Hansen also enjoys spending time with her family, reading children’s novels and learning how to cook food from different cultures.
Joy Holder – Joy graduated in 2005 with a BS in nursing from the University of Central Florida. After moving to MN, she worked at Auburn Manor and at Fairview Southdale Hospital on the telemetry med/surg unit. In 2010, she decided to follow her dream of working in the community, and received her licenses for public health nursing and school nursing. She has been working for District 112 for the past three years as their substitute school nurses at both their parochial and public schools. The one thing Joy enjoys the most is putting a smile on the children’s faces and putting them at ease as she cares for their needs. Joy is thrilled to be part of the Cologne Academy Team and looks forward to helping each and every student be safe, healthy, and ready to learn.
Missy Isles – Missy was raised in Jordan and received her teaching degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. She is a French horn player by trade, though she is an avid instrument collector. Sitars, didgeridoos, and mandolins may make an appearance in the music classroom. Missy has spent the last few years working in different schools in the area and wants to teach students to use music every day for the rest of their lives – whether that be playing professionally in an orchestra, singing in a high school choir, or humming on the school bus. In her free time, Missy loves to cook, watch movies, pretend to be a rockstar, hang out with her husband and little black cat, and help out at Central High School with their theater department. She is so excited to begin a new journey with Cologne Academy and thinks this will be a stellar year.
Casondra Jopp – Casondra is a graduate from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a first year educational assistant at Cologne Academy. She is elated to start this new journey and to help students one on one to be more successful and to work together with the staff as a team! During her free time, she enjoys going up north to the cabin with family, playing volleyball and softball, and spending time with her fiancé.
Jamie Lindahl – Jamie is an Educational Assistant at Cologne Academy and a 2001 graduate from NDSU with a BS in Child Development and Family Science. She has taught for 12 years in various settings.  Jamie and her husband of 12 years have three children, ages 11, 9 and 5.  Jamie loves running and has participated in more than 8 marathons!
Tarek Morey – Mr. Morey is the sixth grade social studies teacher. He received his teaching degree from Minnesota State University Mankato. Mr. Morey has spent the past two years as a high school teacher at Prairie Seeds Academy in Brooklyn Park and as a substitute teacher for many schools around the metro area. He is pleased to be part of the Cologne Academy family and is looking forward to getting to know the students and families here. Mr. Morey is a huge sports fan, especially football, and is always cheering on the Vikings to victory. He also likes to hang out with his family and friends, and enjoys being outdoors.
Jen Niebuhr – Jen might be new to Cologne Academy, but she is not new to teaching. Jen received her teaching degree from Concordia University, St. Paul. She later went on to add an additional teaching license to her portfolio. She comes to us with over 20 years of teaching experience.  Eighteen of those years were in Minnesota schools, and most of those years were spent in the middle school grades. She has taught in grade 2, and grades 4 through 8. All of those experiences make her a great addition to our staff as our in-house reserve teacher.
Kelly Peterson – New to the first grade team is Kelly Peterson.  Peterson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in elementary education with a minor in English.  In previous years, she has taught kindergarten in Waconia as well as first and second grades in Freeport, Ill.  She is overjoyed to be joining the first grade team at Cologne Academy this year.  Peterson loves the curiosity that first graders have as they learn about their world, as well as the amazing growth that first graders attain as readers, writers, and mathematicians.  In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, hiking, travelling, and cheering for the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers.
Carrie Pogatshnik – The kindergarten team welcomes Carolyn (Carrie) Pogatshnik. Pogatshnik received a BA in K-6 elementary education with a concentration in communication/Language Arts. This will be Pogatshnik’s 10th year teaching kindergarten and she is thrilled to join such a fabulous team. She is overjoyed about being at Cologne Academy and energized every day by seeing the children and their smiling faces. Pogatshnik lives with her husband and four furry cats in Chaska. During her free time, Pogatshnik loves to collect rocks, take pictures, read, go to movies, camp, canoe, hike, and work with her husband on their small business, Crazy Leaf Photography.
Aloma Rohman – Aloma is an alumna of Kean University and has earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in the mathematical sciences with a focus in mathematics education. She also holds a communications/public relations degree. Teaching has always been a passion of hers for the most part of her life and she has over a decade of private and professional teaching experience. In high school, she co-founded the Peer Tutoring and Peer Leadership program and became one of the lead tutors at its launch. She enjoys attending additional workshops, classes, and any other opportunities to continue her education. She also plans to return to school and pursue her secondary educational goals. Recently married, Aloma moved from New Jersey to Minnesota where she enjoys caring for her new family. She loves to travels and plans to, one day, see the canals of Venice, Italy.  Aloma has high expectations for her students and hopes to instill a love for why math works.
Chandra Rothstein – Rothstein received her undergraduate and graduate degree in speech-language pathology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has spent the last 11 years working with children in educational and medical based settings. Although she has worked with students at Cologne Academy since its inception, she is excited to formally join the team. She enjoys working closely with the students, teaching them new skills or finding strategies to help them work more independently; watching them gain confidence. In her free time, Rothstein enjoys spending time with family/friends, golfing, gardening, and reading.
Grace Ruzicka – Joining the educational assistants this year is Grace Ruzicka. Ruzicka earned her degree in speech-language hearing sciences from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in special education from St. Thomas University. She recently returned from Japan where she spent the summer teaching English skills to young Japanese students. Ruzicka is delighted to join the Cologne Academy team and develop lasting partnerships between students, families, and faculty. Aside from work and school Ruzicka enjoys spending time with her fiancé John, especially during Minnesota Wild hockey season.
Helen Suhr – Helen has been teaching music since 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Mankato State University and her master’s degree in instrumental conducting and music education from Colorado State University. She is passionate about music education and the long-term benefits studying music has on all people’s lives. Helen is an active performer – playing saxophone with the Medalist Community Band out of Bloomington as well as woodwinds, substitute piano, and cantor for Guardian Angels Church in Chaska. She has been a featured saxophone soloist with the Mankato State Wind Ensemble, Colorado State Wind Ensemble and the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys spending her free time with her wonderful husband, Chris, and their two fantastic children, Brendan and Olivia.
Allie Thomson – Also joining the educational assistant team this year is Allie Thomson. Thomson received her degree from Normandale Community College. She has always had a passion for working with children and is looking forward to applying her passion in a school setting. Thomson has worked with children with special needs for the past seven years. During her free time, Thomson enjoys training service dogs, gardening, sewing and traveling.