New staff members join Powell schools

Posted 8/17/21

As Powell students begin the 2021-22 school year both in person and online, they will be greeted by new staff members. The following new employees joined Park County School District 1:

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New staff members join Powell schools

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As Powell students begin the 2021-22 school year both in person and online, they will be greeted by new staff members. The following new employees joined Park County School District 1:

   

Cristin Hoffert, Pre-K liaison

Cristin Hoffert served as a paraeducator at Southside Elementary School over the past school year. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Eastern New Mexico University. She is in an elementary education program at Western Governors University. She had worked as a preschool teacher at The Learning Garden, starting in 2016.

   

DeAnne Jensen, Counselor/Coordinator for Park #1 Virtual Academy

DeAnne Jensen graduated from high school in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and then received her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Southwest Minnesota University. Jensen earned her master’s degree in counseling from the University of the Southwest. 

She has held several  different positions in South Dakota and Wyoming including: youth counselor, alternative school facilitator, Meeteetse library branch manager, after-school director and K-8 school counselor. Most recently, she served as an employment specialist with the State of Wyoming Workforce Services.  

   

Hanson Jordan, Math teacher for Park #1 Virtual Academy and PHS

A graduate of Hulett High School, Hanson Jordan received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Maranatha Baptist University in Wisconsin and a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in curriculum and instruction. For the past 10 years, Jordan has worked as a middle school math teacher at Big Horn County School  District 3 in Greybull.

    

Tara Kelley, Third-grade teacher at Westside Elementary School

Tara Kelley graduated from high school in Schertz, Texas. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Wyoming. Kelley has taught in Ogden, Utah, Centerville, Utah, and Cody.

    

Alyson Leighton, Title I teacher (half-time) at Westside Elementary School

Alyson Leighton received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Dakota State University; she has bachelor’s degrees in English literature, and elementary education with a minor in English learners/reading, and her master’s degree is in elementary education. Leighton taught for seven years in the Bismarck and Grand Forks areas of North Dakota. She was a Title I paraeducator for Park 1 for two years. Most recently, Leighton served (virtually) as an adjunct instructor for North Dakota Center for Distance Education.

    

Sherry Loris, Speech/language pathologist at Southside Elementary School

Sherry Loris received her master’s degree from Baylor University. She has been working since August 2014 at Dickinson Public Schools. Loris graduated from high school in West Jordan, Utah.

   

Leon Miller, Science teacher for Park #1 Virtual Academy

Leon Miller served as the math tutor at Shoshone Learning Center during the past school year. Miller received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in science from University of Wyoming, and graduated with his master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Montana State University Billings in May. He taught science in Montana and Arizona for four years. 

He moved back to Wyoming to be closer to family and previously worked as a parts manager at Agri Industries. 

    

Eric Oram, P.E. teacher at Powell Middle School

A Cody High School graduate, Eric Oram received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from University of Great Falls. He then earned his master’s degree from Idaho State University. He has been teaching the past 13 years in Pinedale.

    

Cheryl Porter, Special education teacher for upper level elementary  

Cheryl Porter comes to Powell from Washington state. She attended City University of Seattle, where she received her bachelor’s degree in special education, and her master’s degree in curriculum and design. Porter has 11 years of experience, with all of those years in Marysville and Lake Stevens, Washington.  

   

Shannon Ragan, Agriculture teacher at Powell High School  

Shannon Ragan graduated high school in Colorado. 

She recently received her agriculture education degree from the University of Wyoming.  

   

Jill Thompson, Kindergarten teacher at Parkside Elementary School  

Jill Thompson has served as the pre-K liaison since August 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University in elementary and special education. Before graduating, she worked as a paraeducator in Lovell. Thompson also was a special education teacher at the Children’s Resource Center.

   

JoEllen Varian, English teacher for Park #1 Virtual Academy and PHS

JoEllen Varian served as a paraeducator for Park 1 for one year prior to teaching English at Big Horn County School District 3 in Greybull for the past seven years. She received her bachelor’s degree in secondary English from Grand Canyon University.

   

Melanie Wantulok,  Special education teacher at Powell Middle School 

Melanie Wantulok graduated from high school in Lancaster, California. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from California State University, she taught three years in California. Wantulok then moved to Worland, where she served as an elementary special education teacher for the past 10 years. Her husband has been transferred to Powell with his job. 

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