Change attracts teachers
John and Nicole Kesselring recently moved to Fairmont from Coon Rapids, Iowa, along with their 3-year-old daughter, Cora, to take teaching positions at the Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School.
John will be an eighth-grade P.E./health teacher, as well as an assistant football coach. Nicole will teach high school science classes.
The Kesselrings are two of 10 new teachers at the high school this year, with three coming from Iowa.
John has six years of experience teaching at Coon Rapids-Bayard High School in Iowa. He was head football coach there for four years. Nicole has seven years of teaching experience. Most recently she was teaching at Carroll High School.
“It’s great to be teaching in the same district as my husband,” Nicole admitted. “We’ll be in the same town and on a similar schedule which will be great.”
The Kesselrings moved to Fairmont for several reasons.
Earlier this year, the state of Iowa changed its collective bargaining laws. The new rules limit the role that public union employees play in contract negotiations. Issues like pay and health insurance have been affected, leaving many teachers in Iowa feeling uneasy. A similar law was passed in Wisconsin six years ago.
Fairmont Superintendent Joe Brown wrote a letter about Iowa changing the law earlier this year and it went viral. In it, Brown mentioned that Minnesota gained many new teachers who came over from Wisconsin several years ago, and he suspects the same will happen with teachers coming up from Iowa.
A portion of the letter reads, “Minnesota will be the net gainer by making it easier to recruit Iowa teachers to relocate to Minnesota.” The letter ends with, “It will result in Iowa becoming a loser and neighboring states becoming winners.”
John and Nicole Kesselring heard about Brown’s letter through the news and sent him in inquiry as to whether Fairmont had any openings.
“We heard back from him and came to meet him in Fairmont,” John said. “Everything happened really fast, but he was efficient and everything has been smooth.”
The Kesselrings also made the move to be closer to Nicole’s parents, who are just over the border, 45 minutes away.
“I’m happy to be closer to my parents. I also have some family in town and more in Blue Earth,” Nicole said.
Nicole has already met a few faculty members in the science department at the school, and John has met several other staff through preparing for the upcoming football season.
The couple has daycare set up for their daughter and they’re enjoying their new home in a quiet neighborhood.
“It’s nice to have a new set of kids and a new set of teachers,” Nicole said. “It’s always exciting to start new and fresh.”