In Fairmont: Teachers recognized at banquet

wo Fairmont Area Schools teachers were recognized for their 25 years of service Monday night at the new teachers recognition banquet, put on by the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce. Pictured are 4th grade teacher, Bethany Huse, Chamber president, Ned Koppen and high school math teacher, Jerry Brooks.

The Business Education Committee of The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce put on its annual New Teachers Recognition Banquet on Monday evening. The banquet recognizes new teachers in Fairmont schools as well as those who have been teaching in Fairmont for 25 years.

For the 2018-2019 school year, there were 11 new teachers at Fairmont elementary and high schools and one new teacher at St. John Vianney and two at Southern Plains. All were recognized Monday evening. Each new teacher was partnered with a sponsor from a local business.

In addition to the new teachers, two veteran teachers, Jerry Brooks and Bethany Huse, were also recognized for their 25 years of service in the district.

Bethany Huse has spent a total of 25 years teaching for Fairmont Area Schools. Huse is an elementary teacher with a Master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University. She got her first teaching job in Fairmont and has been there ever since.

Huse started out teaching second grade but spent the majority of her years as a first grade teacher. For the past four years, Huse has been teaching fourth grade.

“Everyday’s a new day and every year there’s a new group,” Huse said of why she enjoys teaching.

Huse and her husband, Brad have a son and daughter, Jordan and Natalie.

In addition to teaching, Huse has served as a PLC leader, site leader, teacher mentor and student teacher supervisor. She’s been active in staff development and has served for several years on the Education Minnesota Fairmont (EMF) negations team.

When it comes to giving advice to those teachers just starting out, Huse asks them to remember why they wanted to teach.

“You’re here for the love of kids and that’s what’s going to be your motivation day to day,” Huse said.

Huse also said it’s good to seek advice from other teachers when new situations arise and she reminded new teachers to use parents as a resource as well.

“It’s a tough job and you need support,” Huse said.

Jerry Brooks has been teaching high school math at Fairmont High School for 25 years but he has done so much more than that during his years with Fairmont Area Schools.

Brooks got his BA in Secondary Education from the University of Dubuque. He also has his Masters in Educational Leadership from Southwest State in Marshall. He started off his teaching career at Cheyenne Eagle Butte High School in South Dakota, where he spent three years.

Brooks shared why he came to teach in Fairmont.

“We’re both from this area. We both graduated from Blue Earth and had family in the area,” Brooks said of him and his wife, Heidi. “We were looking for a community that would be a good place to raise kids.”

The couple have four grown sons: Zach, Casey, Brandon and Ryan.

Over the years Brooks has taught pre-algebra, algebra, consumer math, geometry, AP calculus, computer science and ALC math. Most recently, Brooks began teaching a Principles of Flight class as he is a licensed pilot and flies frequently in his free time.

Brooks has also been the head baseball coach as well as a coach for basketball, football and he’s the head math league coach. other positions he holds include EMF negotiator, Credit Union Manager/Loan Officer for Fairmont School employees and EMF vice-president.

Brooks shared some advice for new teachers.

“You have to enjoy being around the students. When you no longer enjoy being around the students, it’s time to change your line of work. I can say that in my 29 years of teaching, I have yet to grow tired of being around kids,” Brooks said.