A new school year brings new staff to Koochiching County schools. The following people are starting their first year at their respective schools.
Falls Elementary School
Julie Talmage — first grade
I am in my 20th year of teaching, and excited to be a part of the Falls Elementary staff.
I feel that despite all the uncertainty this school year presents, we are going to have a successful year because of the “team” mentality. Everyone is willing to help in any way they can to ensure our students get the education they need. I’m proud to be a part of this group.
Outside of school I enjoy summer days on Rainy Lake, walking my dogs, and spending time with friends and family.
Tylynn Nault — first grade
Hello, my name is Ms. Nault. I will be teaching first grade this year at Falls Elementary. Over the last six years I have taught Title 1, first grade, and substitute taught throughout the local school districts.
Aside from teaching, my passions include adventuring and spending time with my family, friends and pup, “Acer.” If I am not exploring a faraway place, I am spending as much time as I can on Rainy Lake. I enjoy fishing, camping, swimming, and just being near the water. I am excited to be a part of the team here at Falls Elementary School and I cannot wait to meet my new students.
Shelly Koenig — first grade
I am excited to be teaching first grade for the 2020-2021 school year at Falls Elementary. This will be my fourth year teaching and before becoming a teacher I was a daycare provider for 15 years. I went back to school seven years ago to get my teaching degree after many years of not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am proud to say I graduated from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education in December 2016.
My husband Josh and I have three amazing children; Garrett, 19; Bryant, 17; and Alyana, 12. I love watching and photographing my kid’s sporting events. I also enjoy fishing, gardening and running.
This school year is going to be one filled with many new experiences, changes and blessings. I look forward to returning to the classroom with students and being part of each one of their educational journeys.
Cheyenne Korpi — second grade
My name is Cheyenne Korpi and I am going to be a second grade teacher this year at Falls Elementary School.
I graduated from Bemidji State University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education.
I look forward to working with the students in my classroom and with those that are distance learning. I aim to provide a safe classroom environment that focuses on the academic success of my students. I want to help all of them grow and keep that love for learning. I plan to stay in International Falls throughout my teaching career.
I enjoy spending time on beautiful Rainy Lake: fishing, camping, hiking, and swimming. I also enjoy hunting, photography, and crafting. I hope this school year is happy and healthy for all teachers and students. Go Broncos.
Jenesa Casareto — third grade
A little about myself, I have grown up in International Falls, I graduated from FHS in 2014.
I attended RRCC and graduated from BSU with a degree in pre-primary and elementary education. I am very excited to become a part of the Falls Elementary staff, giving back to my community and being a teacher in my hometown has become a dream come true.
When I am not in the classroom you can find me spending time in the outdoors with my family and friends. I am looking forward to a great school year, Go Broncos.
Sasha Moss — fourth grade
My name is Sasha Moss, and I will be teaching fourth grade at Falls Elementary School. Fourth grade is a magical time, and I am excited to help my students grow as readers, writers, scientists, mathematicians, and artists this year. It will be a unique school year, and our class will approach the challenges with creativity and kindness.
I am a graduate of Bemidji State and Moorhead State universities. The Borderland has been my home since 2006, and I feel blessed to be able to raise my family here. In my spare time, I love to garden and spend time with my family. I also love to read, and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite books with my students.
Kyle Schmidt — physical education
My name is Kyle Schmidt, and I am the new elementary PE teacher at the Falls Elementary School for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the spring of 2019, with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. This school year will be my second year of teaching elementary physical education.
Originally I grew up in Prior Lake, Minn., where I spent a majority of my time playing sports and riding snowmobiles/ATV’s. I also enjoy hunting during my free time as well.
I am very much looking forward to this upcoming school year and making it a great experience for our students. I am extremely excited to become a part of the International Falls community.
Falls High School
Nathan Harnit — social studies
My name is Nathan Harnit and I am the new social studies educator at Falls High School. This year I will mainly be teaching U.S. history 7, and parts of geography 9, world history 11, and civics 8.
I recently graduated from Mankato State University with a degree in SSE and history. This will be my first year as an educator. My interests include music, political science, international relations, travel, and, of course, history.
My hopes for the year are that we are able to juggle the hybrid/distance model of learning so it works for and promotes our students, and that we are able to accommodate all our students to make sure their needs are met and we can be active in their learning in these difficult times.”
St. Thomas School
Sydney Raboin — fifth/sixth grade
I was born and raised in International Falls and I am very happy to be back. I am the youngest daughter of Kipp and Diane Raboin and my sisters are Taylor and Mackenzie.
I graduated from Falls High School and Rainy River Community College in 2014. I continued my education at the University of North Dakota, and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in education, with minors in both middle school and psychology.
Athletics has always been an important part of my life, and I was blessed to run cross country and track for UND. I love spending time outdoors, especially on Rainy Lake.
I am very excited to be teaching 5th and 6th grade, as well as K-6 computers at St. Thomas Aquinas School. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for teaching and to encourage the faith development of young children. I plan to create a fun and positive learning environment, where students will be reminded to be proud of themselves as learners and to continue to set new goals.
Brittany Lemieux — preschool
I was born and raised in International Falls. I graduated from Falls High School in 2004. I then attended RRCC and moved to Bemidji to attend college. After graduating I returned to International Falls and met my now husband at a pizza party. We moved to Minot, N.D., and lived there for five years where we had our first child, Josie.
We moved to Duluth three years ago where I have been a preschool teacher at Summit School. We travel north almost every weekend to hang out with family and friends and to spend time on beautiful Rainy Lake. We enjoy fishing and camping and spending time outdoors. I’m excited to be moving back home.
I’m eager to start my new journey with the St. Thomas Saints. I’m looking forward to the small class sizes and being able to share my passion for teaching with this tight knit community, especially during these times of uncertainty. I have enjoyed how welcoming everyone has been in the short time I have had to get everything ready. The 2020-2021 school year is going to be great.
Kathy Tompkins — music
Teaching children to love music and to develop their talents for worship have been my joy and privilege for many years. I have taught since I was 16, and return to the music classroom at St. Thomas School this fall to pick up the baton from retiring John Faith, who was my high school orchestra conductor.
My education career has touched students ages birth through seniors, including Kindermusik, grade school, German, art, speech, world history, Suzuki strings, drama, orchestra, band, choir, worship leadership training, and Bible studies.
I have a music studio in my home, specializing in strings and piano. Teaching is in my blood, and I look forward to joining the wonderful staff and families at St. Thomas, making a joyful noise for the Lord. One thing I believe we have all learned through the COVID pandemic is how much the arts give us comfort and joy, so musical training is such a gift. Our school has a band, and will soon have an orchestra, choir and drum corps. For such a time as this, I am grateful to be here.
Hi my name is MacKenzie Bodem. This is my first year as principal at Northome School but second year working here. Last year I was the elementary special education teacher.
I was born in Dayton, Minn., and raised on a cattle farm. This is where I learned the “ropes” to life.
I have been in education all of my life. Prior to becoming a principal I taught kindergarten, second grade, early childhood special education, and was a special education behavior interventionist and administrator.
In my free time I enjoy gardening, fishing, hunting, four wheeling and doing anything with my dog and family.
Northome is a great place to be with amazing people. The 2020-2021 school year is going to be one of a kind but I know we will all embrace it, stick together and succeed. Collaboration, flexibility, and teamwork are going to be our No. 1 asset this year.