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Shullsburgs new teachers excited for 14-15 year
new shulls teachers
New staff at Shullsburg School District includes: from L-R: Front row: Susan Bader, Nicole Brant, Jessica Johnson, LeAnn Wurtzbacher. Back row: Cody Schnitzler, Hannah Pick, Jennifer Bendorf, Jennifer Russell, Joe Diedrich. Missing from photo: Laurie Genz-Prien, Tammy Woodworth. -Photo by Tom Gunnell.

Shullsburg School District has several new faces on staff for the 2014-2015 school year. Along with the hire of new principal Joe Diedrich, the district has a new guidance counselor, librarian, special education director and seven new teachers.
    Susan Bader, of Council Hill, Ill. is the new guidance counselor at Shullsburg. She has a BS in psychology and an MSE in counselor education from UW-Platteville and previously worked at Parkview School District as a school counselor for 13 years, before moving back to the area to raise her two children.
    Bader married two years ago and now has an 11-year-old stepdaughter in addition to her two children, ages 8 and 10. She enjoys reading and outdoor activities such as horseback riding and golf as well as activities her family can participate in together.
    So far it has been a busy year at Shullsburg School District for Bader.

“I’m looking forward to forming positive relationships with the students in order to assist them with their future goals and social/emotional concerns,” said Bader. “The staff and students have been extremely supportive and helpful in helping me adjust and get up to speed with the structure and practices in the building.”

Laurie Genz-Prien, from Monroe, is the new special education director at Shullsburg and at Southwestern School District. Genz-Prien is originally from the Lake Mills area and attended UW-LaCrosse for her undergrad degree in elementary education. She also attended UW-Whitewater and National-Louis University for her Master’s Degree in educational leadership and supervision.

She has worked as an early childhood: special education teacher, an early childhood: special education program coordinator, an assistant principal and was the assistant director of special education for CESA 3 in 2013.

Genz-Prien lives in Monroe with her husband Keith and their daughter, Paige who is a senior at Monroe High School.

“This year’s work will include mentoring two new special education teachers and keeping compliance with all the paperwork that is connected to special education,” said Genz-Prien.    

Jennifer Bendorf is a new librarian at Shullsburg School District and teaches library and research skills to all students from 4K-12th grades.

Bendorf is a native of Boscobel, where she currently lives with her husband and their pit bull, Josie. The couple is excited to be expecting their first child.

Before coming to Shullsburg School District, Bendorf worked as a library assistant at the Boscobel Public Library as well as a secretary for St. John’s Lutheran Church, also in Boscobel.

Bendorf enjoys reading, baking and video games in her free time and is looking forward to getting to know the staff and kids at Shullsburg through the year.

“I’m also looking forward to working with the staff at the McCoy Public Library here in Shullsburg to make both of our libraries the best they can be for the community,” said Bendorf.

Jessica Johnson, of Darlington, is the new 5th grade teacher in Shullsburg. Originally from the Gratiot area, Johnson attended Black Hawk High School as well as UW-Platteville for a degree in elementary education.

She interned at Argyle School District as a co-teacher for a semester before working as a part-time kindergarten teacher in Platteville before taking the position in Shullsburg.

Johnson said she enjoys photography and spending time with her family, which includes two nieces and a nephew.
“I cannot wait to learn more about my students and the community,” said Johnson.

Jennifer Russell, of Shullsburg, is the new high school and middle school science teacher. Russell has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UW-River Falls in teaching and previously taught at Monroe High School.

Russell and her husband have five children who do or will attend school in Shullsburg. In her spare time Russell enjoys reading and crafting.

“The students at Shullsburg are fantastic,” said Russell. “I enjoy having the opportunity to work with a group of students who are cooperative and ready to learn.”

Hannah Pick, a Shullsburg native, is a new high school special education teacher at Shullsburg who also helps with 8th grade special education.

Pick received an economics degree from UW-Madison and worked in Madison for four years before deciding to go back to school for her teaching degree.  She received her social studies/history teaching degree from UW-Platteville in the spring and is currently working on her Special Education certificate. 

Pick is married and has a 14-month old daughter. She enjoys spending her free time with her family. Pick is also in her third year of coaching varsity volleyball at Shullsburg and plays in a volleyball league in the fall.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to teach at Shullsburg,” said Pick. “The first several weeks of school have been great and I look forward to getting to know the students better and helping to make the students lifelong learners!”

Cody Schnitzler of Elizabeth, Ill., is the new 3rd grade teacher at Shullsburg Elementary. Schnitzler attended UW-Platteville, where he earned a degree in B-11 elementary education with a minor in early childhood education.

Schnitzler student taught with Lynette Stansfield’s 5th grade class at Shullsburg last year, during which he applied for his current position. He is also the middle school boy’s football coach and enjoys teaching, coaching and playing sports.  

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“I am looking forward to an amazing first year of teaching, meeting new staff members, developing stronger relationships with staff I already know and growing as a district,” said Schnitzler.

Tammy Woodworth is the new Title 1 teacher at Shullsburg Schools. Woodworth lives in Shullsburg with her husband, Mike and their children, Zach and Ella.

Woodworth said she is looking forward to working with the students and staff at Shullsburg Schools.

Nicole Brant of Scales Mound, Ill., is the new 2nd grade teacher at Shullsburg. She attended Scales Mound High School and graduated from UW-Platteville in December of 2013.

Brant is also very active in coaching and is the junior varsity volleyball coach at Benton High School and a club volleyball coach for the Green Sting volleyball team. She is also a volunteer coach for the Scales Mound Area Sports Headquarters (SMASH) girls’ basketball and softball teams.

In her spare time, Brant enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as painting, reading and photography, though as a first year teacher, she said she doesn’t find much spare time.

So far the school year has been very busy, and even a little overwhelming for Brant, as she was hired only a few days before the start of the school year, but she said she absolutely loves it.

“I look forward to the many things I will teach the students and the many new things I will learn this year,” said Brant. “I know there will certainly be a lot since this is my first year as a teacher. It certainly is a great day to be a Shullsburg Miner!”

LeAnn Wurtzbacher was also hired as a new early childhood teacher at Shullsburg, but did not respond to the RJ’s inquires by press time.

A biography and background information on new principal Joe Diedrich was not included in this article as a previous story in the RJ has already covered that.