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New Staff to Westwood in 2022-2023!!!

Hello! My name is Jill Kerr and I will be the PK-6 elementary principal next year. I have been a teacher for 15 years, 13 of them at Westwood in the secondary building. I earned my bachelor's degree in elementary education from Iowa State University and my masters degree in special education from Morningside College. I recently completed my PK-12 school administration certificate at Wayne State College. 

 

I live in Sloan with my husband, Nick, and our daughters Kinsey and Kelsey. I enjoy spending time with my family, cheering for the Cyclones and Rebels, reading, being outdoors and attending all of my girls' activities. 

 

I am excited to begin my role as elementary principal and look forward to working with the wonderful elementary staff and students. Go Rebels!

Hello!  My name is Vanessa Crawford and I will be teaching First Grade at Westwood for the 2022-2023 school year!  I currently teach Third Grade in Whiting where I have been teaching for three years.  I taught First Grade at Sacred Heart in Sioux City for six years prior to that. 

I live in Onawa with my husband and three children.  Our oldest, Derrick, has graduated and works in town.  Our daughter Anna is in 8th grade and keeps us busy cheering her on for various sports activities.  Our youngest is Mariah and we enjoy watching her grow as a graceful dancer.  In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I love reading mystery novels, golfing, and going to the park with my youngest.  

I am so excited to be a part of the Westwood community and look forward to a great year.  Go Rebels!!!

 

Hello! My name is Jillian Walter and I will be teaching Transitional Kindergarten next year. I graduated from Black Hills State University in December and I am so excited to start teaching! I got married in March and my husband and I just recently moved to the area with our puppy, Milo. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and being at the lake. I can’t wait to be a Rebel!

 

Hello! My name is Erin Michael. I am looking forward to joining Westwood Elementary as a Kindergarten teacher next fall. I graduated from Morningside College in 2010 with my degree in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement and have since earned my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State College. I have taught for 12 years, most recently in Sioux City, with experience in Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade—with my favorite being Kindergarten!

My husband and I live in Sloan with our three children. Our daughter and twin boys keep us very busy! Some of my favorite things include drinking coffee, reading books, going on walks, and of course teaching! I’ve felt very welcomed into this community and can’t wait to give back my time and talents to teach your children when they come to Kindergarten. 

Hello! My name is Samantha Salker and I will be teaching Second Grade next school year at Westwood. I graduated from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and finished my student teaching at Rock Valley, IA in November. I grew up in small town Ireton, IA where I went to school at West Sioux. I am excited to move and start my teaching career in a small town like Sloan!! In my free time I enjoy watching sports (supporting my younger sister who will be a junior in high school), reading, attending concerts, and spending time with family and friends. I am looking forward to becoming part of the Westwood community and teaching the second graders that walk into my classroom. Go Rebels!!

Hello! My Name is Brooke Hansen, and I am very excited to be joining the preschool team at Westwood Elementary! My husband and I live in Sloan with our 6-month-old son and two dogs.  I enjoy drinking coffee, golfing, and all things outdoors! I love spending time with my family when I am not in the classroom. I currently teach preschool in Sioux City at Sacred heart where I have been teaching for the past three years. I graduated from Briar Cliff University in 2019 with my degree in Elementary Education and recently finished my Early Childhood endorsement through Northwestern. I am taking classes to obtain my master’s degree in Early Childhood. Teaching is my life’s passion and I’m looking forward to a year of learning, fun and many adventures!

Hello! My name is Alicia Vande Hoef and I will be the new 5-12 band director at Westwood!  I have been a K-12 Band and Vocal teacher at Whiting for the past 10 years and I am excited to continue my musical journey at Westwood. 

I live in Whiting with my husband Collin and dog Bella.  We enjoy taking Bella for walks and spending time outdoors.  I also enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially my niece and nephews. 

I graduated from South Dakota State and was a Jackrabbit.  Our school colors were Blue and yellow so I am excited to once again bring back the yellow and blue as I join the teacher team as a Westwood Rebel!

Hey Rebels! I am Annika Kolbo and I will be a full-time substitute for the 2022-2023 school year! For the past 4 years, I have been teaching high school art in Benton, Illinois which is 2 hours southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. I am so excited to be back in the Loess Hills where I grew up! I was raised in Sioux City and went to Morningside University. My first teaching job was a K-8 Art position just down I-29 in Onawa! After that, I taught art in Sioux City. 

In my free time, I enjoy creating, traveling, and pretty much any outdoor activity! I love to climb rocks, hike, run, and kayak! I make lots of art, sing loud, and even play my ukelele from time to time. 

I am thrilled to be a Rebel and to see what opportunities await! 

Hello, my name is Logan Landwehr and I have just finished my 9th year of teaching.  In my 9 years of teaching I have had the opportunity to teach Special Education, Health, and Physical Education.  I have also had the opportunity to serve as Activities Director.  In 2019, I graduated from Peru State College with a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and in 2021 I received my Administration Degree from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.  I love working with students of all ages and building relationships with them that will help them succeed after they have finished school.

 

Outside of work, I love spending time with my friends and family.  I am married to my best friend, Paige, she teaches PE and is a coach.  Together we have a 10-month daughter named Brooke.  I am excited to start a new journey at Westwood and can’t wait to get started!  Go Rebels!!

Hello! My name is Brenda McFarland and I am extremely excited to be joining the Special Education team at Westwood. I have enjoyed being a part of the Westwood family ever since I was in kindergarten, and I love that all my children have had the pleasure of being a part of this family as well.  I have been substitute teaching at Westwood for the past couple of years which prompted the desire to complete my degree in elementary education.  As I near the end of my college journey I am eagerly looking forward to student teaching in the fall, graduating from Buena Vista University in December, and officially becoming a teacher at Westwood Community School in January of 2023.

Aside from my college coursework, my husband and children keep me extremely busy with their various activities. But, whenever there is time, I thoroughly enjoy running, camping, boating, traveling, and watching a good Hallmark movie.     

I am looking forward to a wonderful 2022-2023 school year and officially joining the Westwood staff.  Once a Rebel, always a Rebel!

Hello! My name is Mrs. Steph Becker and I will be the new Elementary Instructional Coach at Westwood in the Fall. I have taught Kindergarten for the last nine years at Franklin Elementary in the LeMars Community School District and at Siouxland Christian in Sioux City. I attended the University of South Dakota and graduated with my Elementary Education degree in 2014. I earned my Masters Degree from Morningside College in Teacher Leadership in 2016. Currently, I am working on my Administration Degree. My family lives East of Hinton, IA on our family farm. I am happily married to my husband David, who farms and feeds cattle. Together we have three boys! Jackson (5), Levi (3), and we just welcomed our third son, Simon to our family on May 3rd. We love to spend time on the farm, go to the cabin in Okoboji, and be outside as much as possible! I can't wait to meet all of the new families and staff at Westwood! 

Hello! My name is Paige Landwehr, and I am excited to be the JH Girls Basketball Coach next year. For the past 6 years I have been teaching Secondary PE / Health and coaching at Sidney High School. I have been the JH Girls Basketball Coach for the past 6 years, as well as the Head High School Girls Basketball Coach for the last 3 years. I have also had the opportunity to coach JH volleyball and JH track. 

 

I will be teaching Secondary PE/ Health next year at West Monona. My husband, Logan, will be the Special Education Coordinator at Westwood next year. Logan and I, along with our 10 month old daughter Brooke, are excited to be part of the Westwood school district!

Hello! My name is Megan Haafke and I look forward to teaching Secondary English this coming fall at Westwood. I graduated from Buena Vista University Spring of 2021 and spent the last year subbing for a few local districts in the area. I am excited to put my skills from my schooling and experience subbing into practice both with running my classroom and growing my experience working with colleagues. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children on our farm located near Bronson, IA. I cannot wait to grow with the middle and lower high school students this school year and many years to come! Go Rebels!

Hello! My name is Heather Collins and I’m excited to work with the Westwood High School teachers and students

as an Instructional Coach for the coming school year!

 

I live in Sloan with my husband, Chase Collins and our daughter Evangeline. This will be my seventh year in the classroom. Prior to this, I taught agriculture to elementary students through a local non-profit, Siouxland Agriculture in the Classroom, and then taught Science for three years in Sioux City.

 

I look forward to working with the students, staff and families in the Westwood community!