Welcome to Park & Tiger Elementary!

New Staff: 2021-2022

A Warm Welcome!

We are happy to welcome some new employees to our building! To help staff and students get acquainted with all the new hires, you are welcome to peruse the short biographies, read about each person's favorite school memory, and see their pictures. It's all provided below.

Meet Robyn Adamski: Special Education Paraprofessional

I'm originally from Blaine, MN. I lived there my whole life and moved to Hutchinson one month ago. I love it here! I have 3 grown children and one granddaughter.

Favorite School Memory: I enjoyed time with my friends and all of the school activities.

Meet Paityn Binsfeld: Title 1 Paraprofessional

I grew up in Hutchinson. In my free time I like to spend time with family and friends and do things outdoors.

My favorite memory from going to school at park was doing the winter wonderland day in Gym before Christmas break.

Meet Sarah Blazinski: Behavior Intervention

Hello! My name is Sarah Blazinski. I am 30 years old and am from Silver Lake, MN. I previously worked as an Elementary school counselor for the past five school years, but am excited for this change! I have a five year old daughter named Paisley, who is starting Kindergarten this Fall who keeps me up and running on my toes! I love being outdoors no matter the activity and My daughter and I spend a lot of time with family and friends. I am super eager and excited to be part of the Hutchinson school district/community.

My favorite school memories involve being part of a team. I played basketball, volleyball, track and cross country and made amazing life long friends and memories during each one. Including going to State twice for track.

Meet Elizabeth Chandler: EL Teacher

Hello! I grew up around the Twin Cities. I have always loved language and words, but I took a little bit of a roundabout route to teaching ESL. I got my associate's degree from Hennepin Technical College intending to be a preschool teacher, then got my bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin - River Falls intending to be an early elementary teacher, and then realized that I really wanted to teach English as a Second Language, so I am currently completing a master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. I am so excited to work with my students and their families to help them reach their language goals!

Favorite School Memory: I was homeschooled. I really enjoyed going on field trips with the rest of the homeschool group, and enjoying doing the activities or eating lunch with my friends and their siblings. I really enjoyed getting to learn with lots of different ages around me.

Meet Abbie Crosby: Special Education Paraprofessional

I’m from Hutchinson, I’m going to school for early childhood education. I like to hangout with friends and family.

Favorite School Memory: Meeting all the new teachers.

Meet Michael Daugs: Tiger Elementary Principal

I am grew up in Shoreview, Minnesota and attended Mounds View High School. After high school I attended Southwest State University where I met my wife. We have been married for 20 years and have four kids; Bradyn (14), Bethany (12), Elijah (9), and Josiah (6). I taught fifth grade for 10 years in the Elk River School District. My administrative career started with one year as an assistant principal in the Moorhead School District and then 8 years as an elementary principal for Central Public Schools in Norwood Young America. My family and I love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, sports, and spending time traveling together.

School was not always my favorite thing and I often struggled to engage. I did what I needed to but would have preferred to be outside exploring, building forts, and catching creatures. I do however have fond memories of my first grade teacher Mr. Zeam who went out of his way to connect with his students. Mr. Zeam had a frog figurine collection in his room that consisted of thousands of frogs. He also claimed to have many bins at home with more. I wonder what he did with all those frogs once he retired.

Meet Renee Ely: 3rd Grade Teacher

I grew up in Monticello, MN until I went to college at the University of Minnesota - Morris. In that smaller town I immersed myself in the community by working three jobs throughout my time there. I was an after school tutor, a paraprofessional, and a teacher at a daycare center. I think that shows just how much I love being around children at any opportunity I get! Beyond that, my interests include summer activities on the lake, hiking, baking, playing board games, drinking coffee, and spending time with my family.

My favorite memory of school growing up was having popcorn Wednesdays where we paid a quarter for popcorn. You would walk in and the whole school would smell like popcorn!

Meet Geraldine Fitzloff: Special Education Paraprofessional

I live in Stewart. This is my 3rd year of being a para in Hutchinson Schools. I graduated with a AA in Education Assistant, Special Education and Early Childhood degrees. I've been a Girl Scout Leader for 46 years. I have a husband, 3 children and 7 grandchildren; all live in the area. I love the outdoors! I have a log cabin in the woods near Mille Lacs Lake. We spend summer with the grandkids; watching them and lots of time in pools and playgrounds!!!!

My favorite school memory was in Drivers Ed class--and the driver instructor taking us to lakes when we were learning to drive so he could see if the fish were biting!

Meet Katelyn Fritsch: Social Worker

I was born and raised in Hutchinson and graduated from HHS in 2009. I attended MSU, Mankato and graduated with my Bachelors of Science Social Work in 2014. I have worked at Meeker County Social Services for the past 6 years in the child protection unit. I graduated with my Masters of Social Work in May. My husband, Justin, and I have 3 daughters: Kinslea (10), Audrina (8), and Ryder (3). They keep us busy but in our spare time we enjoy being on the lake, camping, and concerts. I'm excited to be a part of the district!

Favorite School Memory: Homecoming week!

Meet Ben Jenum: Art Teacher

I am from Hutchinson, MN. I attended college at the University of Minnesota Morris. I have been a 4th grade teacher, a substitute teacher, a summer school teacher, and now an art teacher. I enjoy spending time at the lake with family and friends, acting in community theater productions, playing with my dog, riding my Segway, going for walks and bike rides, watching a good movie, reading, writing my books (4 in progress!) and anything to make my life fun and interesting! I am from a family of 7, I have 2 parents and 4 younger brothers. 2 of my brothers are still current Tigers.

Favorite School Memory: Honestly, there are so many fun memories I could rattle off from my time at Park. But one of the most prominent that stands out to me is Mr. Tillmann’s 5th grade reading class where we always knew we were in for something fun. His energy, excitement. fun vocabulary words, games, cards, and stories always made coming to class a truly happy time!

Meet Todd Karels: Custodian

I grew up in Ortonville, MN. I did 20 years in the Service; two combat tours. I have two degrees and was a licensed electrician for 17 years.

Favorite School Memory: I started out struggling in reading and math and ended up on the B honor roll my junior and senior year!

Meet Kris Karl: Special Education Paraprofessional

I am a graduate of SMSU with a degree in Accounting, Business Management, and a Minor in Mathematics. I enjoy spending time with my family at the lake, camping, concerts and riding motorcycle. I also enjoy reading and refinishing furniture in my spare time. My husband and I farm just outside of Hutchinson so in the Spring and Fall it gets really busy either putting the crops in or taking them out.

Favorite School Memory:

Finding games that my son donated to the classroom from 2003.

Casey Koski: Special Education Paraprofessional

I'm from Robbinsdale, Minnesota. I've graduated from Glencoe's school district. I love to write stories in my free time and I also like to read. I have 3 siblings, 2 sisters and a brother. I am the youngest in the family. Fun fact about myself: I have 17 great-aunts and uncles from my mom's side. So I come from a large family.

My favorite memory of school was, being with my group of friends from K-12 since Mcleod West closed down.

Meet Lara Liepold: Music Teacher

Originally from Worthington. Concordia College graduate. This is my 23rd year teaching in Hutchinson. I taught for 7 years in Northern MN. This is year #30! I was a camp counselor for 5 summers at Shetek Lutheran Bible Camp and 2 summers at the International Music Camp. Through school I played the saxophone, oboe, cello, and piano. My family is musical and my sisters and I sing together. Every other Sunday I am playing and singing at Faith Lutheran Church. I have a 6th grade son, Lukas, and a dog named Dodger. My husband is a detective sergeant with McLeod County. We were set up on a blind date by Cindy Maiers, the MS band director. I love musical theater, playing piano, singing, antiques, swimming, and cooking when I have time…..and coffee. I count on relationships, connections, and humor to keep me going.

Favorite school memory: I had many great teachers who pushed me to do my best in a kind and encouraging way. In 4th grade, my teacher would always have me write out posters for her because I had good penmanship.

Meet Abby McKimm: 4th Grade Teacher

Hi Park Students and Families! I am so excited to be back in our amazing community of Hutchinson. I grew up in Hutch, so I have many fond memories of attending Park Elementary as a student. Prior to moving home, I taught 4th and 5th grade at Birchview Elementary School in Plymouth, MN and 4th grade at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud. This is my 6th year of teaching, and I am definitely looking forward to being back in the classroom with my incredible students! Outside of school, I attend Bethel University where I will graduate with my Master's of Arts in Education degree in December, practice yoga, play the piano, and spend a lot of time outside doing activities like walking/running, biking, and gardening. I believe all students are capable of achieving great things in my classroom, and I look forward to serving the community of Hutchinson as an educator!

I have many "favorite" school memories, which is one reason I became a teacher in the first place, but my most memorable experience at Park Elementary was when I participated in a career fair with Mrs. Kuhl's class. At the time, my dream career was to be a nurse. Obviously I was called to be an educator instead, and I am so grateful for that!

Meet Paige Mlinar: Special Education Teacher

I grew up in Hutchinson and graduated from the high school in 2010. I received my degree in Special Education from St. Cloud State University. I have worked as a Special Education Teacher for three years at Central High/Middle School in Norwood Young America and ACGC Elementary School in Atwater. For the past two and a half years, I have been employed by Central Public Schools for various subbing positions. Some of my hobbies are spending time outside, walking, biking, gardening, watching my plants grow, reading, and traveling.

One of my favorite memories is going on a band trip to Disney World, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom in Florida during my senior year of high school.

Meet Morgan Ondracek: Special Education Paraprossional

I am from Hutchinson. I have 1 biological brother who is younger and 2 older step brothers. I love going to the lake in the summer and in the winter I love ice fishing.

My favorite memory from school is the homecoming dress up days!

Meet Sara Redekopp: 4th Grade Teacher

My husband and I have called Hutchinson home for the last 22 years. We have two grown daughters, one in Fargo, ND and one in Brookings, SD. For 25 years I taught piano lessons to students ages 5-75. I also worked as a Title 1 para at Park Elementary for 13 years. I finished my Elementary Education degree online through Bemidji State University in May. I enjoy biking, hiking, reading, volunteering at my church, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

Favorite School Memory:

Performing "Goldilocks and the 3 Polar Bears" with puppets for a fairy tale unit in 3rd grade.

Meet Laura Ruegemer: Kitchen Staff

I grew up on a farm near Browerville, MN. I have 6 brothers and 6 sisters, I'm the 11th child. I just graduated and moved in with my brother near Bird Island, MN. We were all homeschooled by my mother.

Favorite School Memory: Recess!

Meet Bonnie Schmidt: Kitchen Staff

My husband and I have been married for 30 years. We have 3 children, ages 27, 25, and 18. We love to go up North to our Cabin.

Favorite School Memory: I enjoyed the field trips!

Terri Schmuhl: Title One Paraprofessional

I am from Illinois. I worked with children in Head Start. I love to craft!

My favorite school memory is from High School. My favorite teacher helped me and made me change my outlook about school.

Meet Sara Scott: 5th Grade Teacher

I am very excited to join the 5th grade team at Park! I grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota and attended the University of Saint Thomas for my undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education/5-8 Social Studies and Applied Sociology. My first two years of teaching were in Saint Paul at Holy Spirit School. I then spent the next eight years teaching 6th grade in Lakeville, MN. My family moved to Hutchinson in 2012 and I have been teaching 8th grade World Geography at Hutchinson Middle School since 2015. My husband and I have two sons, ages 11 and 14, who keep us busy with sports and activities. I love to read mysteries, listen to podcasts, hang out with my friends and family, and spend time outdoors.

Favorite school memory: It is hard to come up with a single memory because I always loved school. Sometimes my teachers would let me and a friend teach the class a lesson and I think that is what helped me realize that I wanted to be a teacher!

Meet Linda Smestad: Special Education Paraprofessional

I live outside of Hutchinson. I love to read, can salsa, asparagus and jellies, be with my grandsons, and play with my dogs. I love to be outside and do different things.

Favorite School Memory:

Reading and art!

Meet Jenna Urick: 2nd Grade Teacher

I am from Chaska, Minnesota and received my Master of Arts in Teaching from Hamline University! This will be my second year teaching and I am very excited to join the Second Grade team and the Hutchinson community! My previous experience includes being aThird Grade teacher at Orono Intermediate School, a preschool teacher at Creative Kids Academy, working at the child care center at Life Time Fitness, and being a nanny in the summer! I am a huge sports fan and enjoy cheering for every Minnesota team! I am still waiting for the day that I get to celebrate a championship from one of the major teams we have (shoutout to the Lynx though)! Some of my other hobbies include spending time with my family (especially my new baby niece), hanging out with my 3 dogs and 1 cat, reading, and being outside and enjoying nature!

My favorite memory from school would be from Clover Ridge Elementary School (in Chaska, MN) because there I was able to loop with the same teacher and classmates for 1st and 2nd grade and then again in 3rd and 4th grade. This allowed me the opportunity to really create connections and relationships with my teachers and classmates!

Meet Billie Vallacher: Title 1 Paraprofessional

I was born and raised in Hutchinson. I went to school here at Park Elementary when it was a K-6 building! My son is a 5th grader here at Park. I enjoy watching Marvel movies and shows with my son.

Favorite School Memory: I really enjoyed being the MC and performing in the 6th grade talent show. I also loved being in Crossing Guard.