Wynot students are introduced to eight new educators this school year
WYNOT — Todd Carr tried to ignore a phone call from Wynot Publi c Schools Superintendent Paul Hans.
“I worried what was going to happen and that it would complicat e all my plans,” Carr said.
But he took the call. The call turned into a visit. “As soon as I walked in the door, the whole climate was refresh ing, really impressive,” Carr said. “The door hadn’t even closed and I got this wonderful greeting.”
He was shown the music room and couldn’t say “No” at that point . “I had never seen a music ensemble room that had more thought p ut into it,” Carr said. “The design for that room, I’ve never seen anything like it. There was no doubt in my mind — there was an already successfu l program established and a support system that seemed to me incomparable.”
He was even more sold when Wynot administration told him he could teach kindergarten through 12th grade.
“I can set up the goals where each grade level is at and they have a scope of progression and a good plan to get from kindergarten t o their senior year, and looking toward the future,” Carr said. “A lot of kids can go to college and play at college ensembles and get really good scholarships.”
And then — the clincher: He only had to teach music — just music.
“I’ve wanted to be a music teacher my entire career, but the pa st 26 I’ve had to teach computer classes, too. I could not get away from having to teach computer. I’m on the other side of that. It’s all music or everything is music-related,” Carr said. He actually initially pursued a computer programming career while at Augustana College in 1986. But it only took a year or two to realize it would never be his passion. So, he transferred to South Dakota State University to pursue a degree in music and hasn’t looked back. In total, Carr has more than 30 years of teaching experience, mainly in South Dakota, but he also taught in Minnesota for a year. He currently lives in Yankton, S.D. His new schedule at Wynot will allow him to continue developing a new music program at Mount Marty University. “It was obvious the administration wanted the program to continue to be successful,” Carr said. “When I talked with them and told them where I was at, they said, ‘Let’s work together to find something that will work.’ What we’re doing is not the best scenario, but it’s what we can do for the time being.”
Even though Carr is only going to be at Wynot part-time, studen ts and parents can expect a high level of achievement from the music program, he said.
“I’ve taken a look at what they’ve done in the past. They have a lot of accomplishments,” Carr said. “My goal is to keep them where they’re at, doing exactly what they’re doing. I don’t want them to lose a moment from what the current trajectory is.”
Carr plans to add piano and guitar as options for students to l earn. “Guitar isn’t quite the priority, but those are two instruments you’ll find anywhere,” Carr said. “If there’s something I would really like to focus on, it’s giving students the ability to make their own music as soon as possible.”
When he’s not in the classroom, Carr enjoys spending time with his family: wife, Bobbi Jo; son, Joshua; and daughter, Sara.
And, of course, he’s always making music. This summer, Carr met an accordion player from Tyndall, S.D., and has been playing polka ever since — toting his tuba and bass gu itar along to gigs in the area.
“It’s been a hoot,” Carr said. “This accordion player is very talented, and whatever he’s feeling, whatever’s working with the crowd, we’ll just go with it.” Wynot’s first-graders will get to spend some time in the “operating room” this year.
Under the watchful eye of new teacher Nicolette Koch, first-graders will be performing contraction surgery.
“The kids get to wear doctor masks and gloves. They will use scissors and glue to put the two words together, using a Band-Aid as the apostrophe,” Koch said.
It’s one of her favorite lessons to teach and just one of the exciting activities she has in mind to make learning fun for her students this year.
She previously taught first grade for one year and fourth grade for five years at Vermillion, S.D. She also has experience teaching kindergarten through sixth grade Title Reading in Crofton for three years.
But Wynot is home. It’s where she graduated from and where Koch and her husband, Jeremy, are raising their family: Rori, Tyson, Jaycee and Kinslee. Tyson will be in her firstgrade class this year.
“I am really looking forward to the small class sizes,” Koch said. “I look forward to really getting to spend more time with kids to get to know them better and really push them in their education.”
After all, she’s proof that education continues through a lifetime.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College and her master’s degree from Peru State College. But she’s not done learning yet, currently taking a class in the Science of Reading.
When she’s not teaching or learning, she likes to bake and cook, and go hunting, fishing and camping.
*** Julie Lamoureux
From beautician to nature photographer, Wynot’s newest teacher in Family & Consumer Science has a wide variety of career and life experiences to add flair to the classroom this fall.
“I have held different jobs from short order cook, nursing, to cabinet building. All of this paved the way to my FCS degree. I did not start college until I was 40 years old. Being an adult and having to pay bills and schooling, I took a job at the college as a custodian,” Julie Lamoureux said. She credits her grandmother, Charlene, for setting her current path. Grandma Charlene was Lamoureux’s first teacher in the art of cooking, baking and sewing.
She still loves to sew and craft and is an accomplished quilter. Since she’s unable to follow a quilting pattern, Lamoureux just creates her own.
“Last summer, I did a lot of baking and cooking. I love to try new recipes. This summer I bought myself a grill and smoker. I have been teaching myself how to grill and smoke cheese,” she said.
Another passion of hers is nature photography and she hopes to have her own design studio built by next summer.
She grew up in Wakefield and graduated high school there before attending beauty school. She worked in Omaha and Fremont before moving back to Wakefield.
Lamoureux married her husband, Steve, in 2002 and the couple have lived in Wayne for 20 years.
Six years ago, they bought a cabin in the Brooky Bottom area and this summer moved there permanently.
“We are happy to call Wynot home now,” she said with a large extended family in the area including her father and grandmother still in the Wakefield area. “I was drawn to the smalltown atmosphere and always knew that I wanted to teach in a smaller school district so Wynot just seemed to be the perfect fit.”
She graduated from Wayne State College in December 2022 with a Family & Consumer Sciences degree. This coming December she will graduate with her secondary education degree.
“My greatest accomplishment is finishing in three years,” Lamoureux said. “I do plan to continue my education because I am extremely passionate about my career field. I hope to instill some of the passion in my students.”
She wants to incorporate social, emotional and service learning education into her lessons, already making contact with potential guest speakers. A field trip to the Ronald McDonald House in Sioux City, Iowa, is also in the planning stages. In her first year teaching, Lamoureux said she’ll be learning right along with her students.
“I am looking forward to getting to know all my students and learning what interests them,” she said.
*** Nate Wieseler
One new Math teacher + a classroom full of engaged students = a fun year.
Nate Wieseler will be an addition to the roster of teaching staff at Wynot Public Schools for the 2023-24 academic year, teaching junior high and high school math.
But his surroundings won’t be all that new to him.
He’ll be teaching in the same place where he grew to love math himself.
“I’ve always liked Math growing up and had a passion for helping others. These two things meet perfectly as a Math teacher. What better place to do it than the place that grew those passions and desires when I was young,” he said.
Wieseler said he’s looking forward to seeing familiar faces at school and getting to know the new ones.
“You can count on getting my best effort this year to make math fun and captivating, but in order for that to happen there must be challenges and struggles as well. That is where the learning happens,” he said.
Along with being a Wynot graduate, Wieseler continued his education by receiving a degree from South Dakota State University in May.
He worked as a student teacher at Arlington, S.D. for high school math.
Now, back in his hometown, Wieseler and his wife, Josie, live close to family. He’s the son of Clair and Carol Wieseler, and his siblings are Colin, Noelle and Olivia.
He’s looking forward to settling into small-town living.
“My wife and I just recently purchased a house in Wynot. I am looking forward to not having to drive my car all that much,” Wieseler said.
Outside of school, he enjoys spending time with family and friends playing cards or spending time outdoors. Wieseler is also an avid sports fan whether it be playing or watching. His favorite teams are the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Los Angelos Chargers, and the San Diego Padres.
*** Aurora Urwiler
Aurora Urwiler will be joining the teaching staff at Wynot Public Schools mid-year in the industrial technology and agriculture department. The Laurel native won’t get much of a break before she’s back in the classroom - this time as a full-time professional for second semester starting in January.
Urwiler graduated from Laurel-Concord-Coleridge High School and attended Nebraska College of Technical Agrictulture in Curtis before transferring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to finish her agriculture education degree.
Not only will she be new to the school, she will be starting a new program.
Under Urwiler’s leadership, she will lead the Agriculture Education/ Industrial Technology program and give students the opportunity to join FFA. Through FFA, students will compete in livestock judging and participate in Leadership Development Events and State Convention.
“I can’t wait to see them take what we learn in the classroom and apply it to competitions in FFA,” she said.
Urwiler is the daughter of Scott and Diane, and the oldest of three children including brother, Evan, and sister, Faith. When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys farm life and spending time with friends. *** Brenda Buschkamp
Wynot’s new science teacher will also be starting a robotics program at the high school level this school year.
Brenda Buschkamp, Hartington, said she was excited about joining Wynot’s teaching staff because of the opportunity to teach a variety of topics.
“I hope to have many field trips to the great outdoors for my classes,” she said.
She previously taught at Vermillion, S.D., High School and also at Hartington-Newcastle Public Schools. She also was employed at an auto body parts supplier in Yankton, S.D.
Buschkamp graduated from Hartington Public Schools and Wayne State College with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Buschkamp and her husband have three children, Logan, Mason and Carmen. When she’s not teaching, she likes to read and kayak, as well as work on the farm raising goats.
*** Brooke Young
Wynot’s new Title 1 teacher starts her professional teaching career this 2023-24 academic year. Brooke Young, Laurel, graduated from Laurel-Concord- Coleridge High School and Wayne State College. She is engaged to Logan Hansen, and they own a yellow Lab named Casey.
When not teaching, Young enjoys shopping, traveling and taking Casey for walks.
She’s excited for her position at Wynot where she’s heard many positive comments about the school and the community support.
“I’m looking forward to collaborating with my colleagues and helping students reach their highest potential,” she said.