Braham Area Schools welcomes new teachers

Front (l to r): Brad Zahler, Mike MacDonald and Dan Krause. Back (l to r): High School Principal Justin Sawyer, Cathy Moos, Jesse LaValla, Mariah Olson, Leah Palmer and Elementary School Principal Jeff Eklund.

Front (l to r): Brad Zahler, Mike MacDonald and Dan Krause. Back (l to r): High School Principal Justin Sawyer, Cathy Moos, Jesse LaValla, Mariah Olson, Leah Palmer and Elementary School Principal Jeff Eklund.

Mike MacDonald, K–12 Vocal

MacDonald is excited to be teaching in Braham. He was born in Mora, grew up in Two Harbors, and is happy to be back in the area. After graduating from The College of Saint Scholastica, he taught for two years in Phoenix. He is ready and extremely excited to work with the students of Braham and the Braham community. Go Bombers!

Brad Zahler, 7–12 Art

Zahler attended college at the University of Minnesota-Dututh and received his master’s degree from the University of St. Catherine. He has nine years of teaching experience working in various schools, including Renville Count West, Princeton, Zimmerman and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. He currently lives in Zimmerman with his wife and three children.

Mariah Olson, ECSE Teacher

Olson is the new ECSE teacher at Braham Elementary. She grew up in the area and graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School in 2009. During high school, she participated in PSEO at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. After high school, she attended Minnesota State University-Moorhead, where she earned a degree in early childhood special education. She recently moved back to Bethel, Minn., where she lives with her husband. She is looking forward to this upcoming school year and working in the district.

Dan Krause, 7–12 PE and Health

Krause is the new high school physical education teacher at Braham Area Schools. He graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato and spent the last two years teaching physical education at Dassel-Cokato Public Schools. He is originally from Delano, Minn., and has a passion for teaching, sports and the outdoors. He also owns a DJ business to change things up once in a while. He is very happy and excited to join the Braham community and looks forward to meeting all of you.

Jesse LaValla, K–4 Special Education

LaValla currently lives in North Branch. He is a 2007 graduate of North Branch Senior High School. He completed his generals at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in 2010, then transferred to Minnesota State University-Moorhead to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education. He is really looking forward to working with the Braham team.  He has heard great things about the schools and the community. As his step brother has said, he will be working for the school district where legends are made.

Cathy Moos, 7–12 Special Education

Up until Moos started teaching at Braham Area High School, she worked as a paraprofessional in the FAN (Functional Academic Needs) program at North St. Paul High School for four years. Before that, she was an elementary school librarian for six years at St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater, Minn. She enjoys watching students learn and is grateful to be at Braham.

Leah Palmer, 7–12 Special Education

Palmer is excited to be teaching at Braham Area High School. She completed her teaching degree through St. Cloud State University and the North Branch Co-hort. Her license is in special education. She lives in Rush City with her husband and children. When she is not teaching, she likes to garden, read, camp, watch sports and spend time with her family. She is looking forward to a great year getting to know the students and staff at Braham Area High School.

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