Jennifer Durkee joins the GMR School faculty as a fifth grade teacher and lists her hometown as Bemidji, Minn. A Falls High school graduate in International Falls, Minn., Durkee attended Crown College, Oak Hills Christian College, and St. Cloud State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.
Previous teaching experiences include pre-school, second-fifth grade, and sixth grade Communications; Learning Resource.
Jennifer and her husband Barry are the parents of sons Jason and Cody, and daughters Emily and Kalli. Their current residence is Karlstad, Minn.
A 2012 graduate of Greenbush-Middle River High school, Kaitlynn Wilson graduated from Mayville State University in 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. Her current position includes Elementary Special Education teacher, Fall Musical co-director, One-act play director, and Dinner Theatre director.
Previous teaching experience is Early Head Start in Warroad, Minn., through NWCAA.
A residence of Greenbush, Kaitlynn is unmarried; she has one dog that goes by the name of Porter.
Kaitlynn commented, “I’m very proud to be a Gator and am excited to be teaching at GMR. The communities of Greenbush and Middle River mean a lot to me. I’m looking forward to helping little Gators shine! Moreover, getting to partake in GMR theatre, as a director, is something this former thespian is very excited about! I feel really lucky that I get to come to this school every day and work with such awesome kids and staff.
Originally from Luverne, Minn., Deb Stanelle is a graduate of Luverne High School. She is also a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Her current position is a School Social worker but, she said, a more accurate description of the job would be Student Advocate.
“I am at the school to come along side the students and staff to help the students with social and emotional learning; helping them discover their own tool box of self-regulation skills in order to succeed in school and later in life. So many times students do not realize their own potential. I want to help awaken that in our own students.”
Previous experience: “When we moved to the GMR School District in 2007, I started subbing for the school district and in Badger School. I have a School Social Work License which enables me to sub short term for a teacher. Then in February of 2009 I was hired by Northwest Community Action Head Start as a Family Advocate which is where I have been working full-time until being hired by the GMR School. In this position I had the privilege of working with the Grygla, Middle River, Viking, Karlstad, Marshall County, Kittson County and Roseau County Head Start and Early Head Start families, children, and teachers. Head Start provided a great foundation for jumping into this position at GMR School.
“I am married to Dave Stanelle who is a Resource Room Teacher in Greenbush. We have three children all of whom or will graduate from Greenbush. Nathan graduated in 2011, Kayla graduated in 2013, and Sarah is anticipated to graduate in 2020 (she is a junior). We own our home in Greenbush.”
She commented, “I feel like I am coming home since I had subbed here 10 years ago. I knew 90% of the staff before starting this fall and I am working on learning students names. One of my main goals in this job is to enable students to find their skills and strengths to succeed. All people have something to contribute to society. Childhood and the teen years is where we explore different avenues to find our strengths. I want to help our students see their own capabilities and help them find the tools which work for them.”
Originally from Lake Bronson, Minn., Melissa Kostrzewski graduated from Tri-County High school, Karlstad, in 1992. She graduated from Moorhead State University in 1997 with a degree in Early Childhood. She has a Minn. Pre-K teaching license. Previous teaching experience includes four years of Head Start in Middle River and two years of Kindergarten in Arizona.
Melissa has two children: daughter Chelanne, a senior, and son Jaden, a freshman. The family resides in Greenbush.
“I’m not really a new staff member,” she commented. “This is my fifth year with the district.”
Joining the teaching staff in the Badger school system this year is Jessica Voll of Salol, Minn. A 2005 graduate of Roseau High school and a 2009 and 2014 University of North Dakota graduate, Voll has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a Master of Science degree in Special Education. She is teaching Elementary Special Education, grades kindergarten through sixth.
Jessica previously taught grades five through twelve at Marshall County Central (MCC) in Newfolden, Minn., for five years, 2013-18.
She resides in Roseau, Minn. Her parents are LaVerne and Mary Kay Voll; her sibling is Nathan Voll, BGMR baseball head coach.