Teacher Appreciation Week

Nick Williams, Writer

This year Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7. Teachers are essential for the growth of the next generation and have a larger role in molding them than we think. Here are a few teachers at OHS that we would like to highlight during this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week. 

One of the history teachers here at OHS is Mr. Patrick Churchill, he teaches various social study courses. Churchill has been in education for 17 years. He was the head basketball coach for NRHEG and is now an assistant basketball coach for the OHS Boys Basketball team. Churchill has made a  large impact on both students and athletes throughout the years. Mr. Churchill said, “The thing I enjoy most is building relationships with students. I have kids who I coached or taught 15 years ago that I still have weekly contact with. Seeing them progress through their lives is pretty amazing.” 

Ms. Mara Oien has been teaching mathematics for 17 years. She started teaching in Burnsville in 2003 and then came to Owatonna in 2007, making this her thirteenth year teaching at OHS. She is also the head cheerleading coach for the varsity team. Ms. Oien loves getting to know her students and spending time with them every day, so being a teacher means a lot to her. Ms. Oien said, “Teaching  means showing up every day to support others, to build relationships, show students that there are adults who believe in them and care about their future.” To her, teaching mathematics means she gets to teach real life skills like problem solving, looking for patterns and discovering new ways to look at problems.

In the special education department, one of the teachers is Mr. Turnar Kist. It is his second year. His favorite part about teaching is seeing his students every day and being able to build positive relationships with all of them. Mr. Kist said, “Teaching to me means promoting self-advocacy and assisting students to become an independent as they can be.” He believes ensuring every student has a safe and welcoming learning environment. Outside of school, Mr. Kist is involved as an assistant ninth grade football coach. 

As a business teacher, Mr. Scott Pierce teaches a multitude of courses, including Accounting, Marketing, Small Business Entrepreneurship and Personal Law. This is Mr. Pierce’s 34th year teaching and he believes that making connections with students is what teaching is all about. He enjoys, “The interaction- the back and forth.” Mr. Pierce said, “I also like teaching business because we can introduce kids to things that will be useful to them in their personal lives and careers.” Outside of class Mr. Pierce is the OHS DECA adviser.

These are just a few of the many great teachers OHS has to offer.