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Husband, wife among new school district hires

Professionally and personally, Jody "Joe" and Mindy Childs have a lot on their respective plates. The parents of a 20-month-old son, Jackson, they moved from Watertown, trained for the Mitchell School District's new computer technology over the s...

Professionally and personally, Jody "Joe" and Mindy Childs have a lot on their respective plates.

The parents of a 20-month-old son, Jackson, they moved from Watertown, trained for the Mitchell School District's new computer technology over the summer and still found time to build a house. Both are experienced teachers.

The Childses -- Joe Childs is 30 and Mindy is 28 -- are among new teachers in the Mitchell School District and are the only husband and wife hires this year in Mitchell.

They're moving in this weekend and start their new jobs Monday, which is the first day of school in the district.

Joe Childs will be teaching seventh- and eighth-grade language arts at Mitchell Middle School and also will coach cross country. He previously taught at Mobridge and Watertown.

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Watertown has a laptop computer initiative in place. Mitchell this year is putting laptops in the hands of all students in grades seven through 12.

"The laptop computers are a step in the right direction," he said. "Computers put all kinds of information at your fingertips."

The Childses said they are happy to be hired by a school district that embraces technology. At Watertown, Joe Childs said he used computers to teach a class unit on advertising. At Mitchell Middle School, laptops will be used for daily assignments and word processing chores.

The transition to the Mitchell district was relatively simple, he said, "since I previously worked at MMS in 1999 as a student teacher with Pat Shawd."

The Childses, married six years, are both graduates of Dakota Wesleyan University. They met in a geography class.

Mindy Childs is a Mitchell native who graduated from Mitchell High School in 1996. With six years' experience as a special education teacher, she will be splitting her time between the high school and Longfellow Elementary.

She said she enjoys working individually with students and helping them learn at their respective ability levels.

"My heart is with the kids," she said. "I enjoy seeing the strides they can make and seeing that light bulb turn on when they learn a new skill."

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Following is a list of new teachers this year in the Mitchell School District:

L. B. Williams Elementary: Rhonda Begley, third grade; Abby Bockorny, Title I (also Spanish at MMS); Catherine Frederickson, art; Alisa Thill, special education; Dina VanderWilt, kindergarten; Susan Richards, elementary instrumental music.

Longfellow Elementary: Mindy Childs, special education (also at MHS); Jennifer Mayer, Reading Recovery; Kristy Jo Rehorst, kindergarten; Wendi Schnabel, third grade; Catherine VerSteeg, second grade;

Mitchell Middle School: Abby Bockorny( also Title I at LBW); Jody "Joe" Childs, seventh and eighth grade language arts; Brad Olson, physical education; Ron Parks, math (also math at MHS);Heidi Sandbulte, seventh grade math.

Mitchell High School: Teresa Berndt, Language Arts; Frank Buck, welding; Mindy Childs, special education (also Longfellow special education); Joshua Davies, American Government/ civics; Abbie Hobbick, math; Tara Hofer, Spanish; Nancy Leach, math; Lacey Musick, vocal music; Ron Parks, math (also math at Middle School); Christina Siemsen, social studies; Michelle Singlestad, physical education.

Other Schools

Mitchell Christian School: Administrator Brian Held says he and his staff of about 20 teachers are ready for the new school year. No new hires were necessary. "Everyone's returning," he said. While school starts Monday, there will be a special Open House held at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28.

John Paul II: Four new teachers have been hired, they are: Elizabeth Schroeder, sixth grade; Megan Rokusek, third grade; Katie Olson, first grade; Deb Owens, preschool.

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