The student news site of Owatonna High School.

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The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Owatonna’s Discovery program aims to make a difference

Photograph+of+Owatonnas+Discovery+program+room+taught+on+the+second+floor.
Jackson DeGrood
Photograph of Owatonna’s Discovery program room taught on the second floor.

As society advances, almost everything strives to become better. Better technology, better ideas, better cars. Almost everything are the key words. As these things rapidly advance and increase, other critical problems also arise. There has been a dramatic decrease in mental health, less and less people grow up in a typical elementary family. Now more than ever, domestic problems and mental health problems are becoming the next pandemic.

Minnesota has been one of the many states to allocate a part of their state budget to fund a school-based program that helps kids have an equal chance at having a normal education. Trauma Education would be the term for this type of schooling. It is meant to help kids have a comfortable and reliable place away from home. Even though there are not many statistics available, it is thought to be successful at having kids with traumatic background interact with adults and peers more and make more connections.

At Owatonna High School, Ms. Laurie Maskrey is the head of the Discovery Program. With the new school, there are many indirect benefits for the program and for the kids. Ms. Maskrey said, “At the old high school we were pretty isolated. Being up with the English department and kind of right in the middle of things I think will help.” Being mixed in with many other students who would have a more typical schedule definitely will have an impact on the kids and how they interact with people outside of the Discovery Program. Minnesota has put money towards funding classrooms for students with more need.  Mrs. Maskrey said, “Minnesota compared to other states, I think we are probably up there with one of the most financially supported states.”

The Discovery Program is an awesome way to give each student at high school an equal opportunity to be able to graduate on time. Even though they are underfunded, they make due with what they have and continue to support each and every student that they have the chance to work with. The Discovery program aims to make a big difference in the OHS.

Welcome to new Discovery Staff

OHS gains social worker, Ms. Kari Black
Ms. Kari Black excited for her first year at OHS.
Ms. Kari Black excited for her first year at OHS. (Lexie Klecker)

Ms. Kari Black is one of the new social workers at OHS this year. She has been in social work for about 10 years. Ms. Black is one of the three social workers at Owatonna High School. She started her social work career at Lakeville North High School then went back to school to further her schooling and licensing. 

Ms. Black is originally from Northfield, Minnesota and lives with her fiance, three cats and two dogs. Black didn’t always know she was going to be a social worker. She had done insurance for years and decided it was time to start something new. Ms. Black said, “I didn't go home and say ooh insurance is so exciting.” 

Ms. Black has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies, social work and philosophy. She said, “I felt like I needed more schooling to be competent at my job.” She then earned her masters from Ohio State and is currently going to school for her licensed drug and alcohol certificate through Winona.  

Ms.Black enjoys the newness of the school and environment. The new spaces are something that is new for everyone and it will take time to get used to. Ms. Black said, “my favorite part is having a nice office and a door that locks.” Coming from a small charter school with only around 122 students, it has made a big difference to have the little things such as getting her garbage taken out and her room vacuumed by a janitor.

Owatonna stuck out to Black when she had started looking for open jobs. Black said, “I heard great things about the school and great things about the program.” Being able to interact with other social workers and counselors is something that Black also enjoys about the building and district. Students can find Ms. Black in room 210. 

Special education teacher, Ms. Ayleen Bubak joins the OHS staff.
Ms. Ayleen Bubak smiling for  picture excited for her first year at OHS.
Ms. Ayleen Bubak smiling for picture excited for her first year at OHS. (Lauren Kubicek )

Ms. Ayleen Bubak is the new special education department teacher at Owatonna High School. Ms. Bubak was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and moved to Minnesota in 2010. This will be her 12th year in education. She comes from a setting four special education program in Waseca. Ms. Bubak also worked in Faribault for a short while, and has also worked at Burnsville High school for a few years. 

When Ms. Bubak was in high school, she worked in a daycare and also worked with kids with special needs. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to volunteer in a high school special education classroom. One thing that Ms. Bubak really enjoys about the new school is how well the special education rooms are incorporated throughout the school. Ms. Bubak said, “I love how they really took in and took special ed and put it in with mainstream and just trying to be inclusive for everybody.” She really enjoys the fact that everyone is spread out throughout the school equally, providing a more mainstream experience for the kids.

One of the reasons that Ms. Bubak came to Owatonna was because she was looking for another district area to grow in and she also wanted a change in the area. Her favorite aspect of teaching is the relationships she gets to build with students and getting the chance to watch them grow. She also thinks it's really cool to see what her past students are doing now. Ms. Bubak stated, “It feels amazing that I got to be a part of them being successful.”  

In her free time you can find her at one of her four kids activities, which include, hockey, cheer, wrestling, taekwondo along with other things as well.

About the Contributor
Jackson DeGrood
Jackson DeGrood, Editor
Jackson DeGrood is a senior at OHS. DeGrood loves playing Fortnite. In his freetime he plays Fortnite with senior Jayden Omangi. DeGrood’s favorite thing to do is catch a victory royale with fellas. When DeGrood is not playing Fortnite, he is hanging out with friends or being active. He also enjoys snowmobiling in the winter and trying new things that he has not done before. DeGrood is looking forward to being a part of the first graduating class of the new high school.