Meet our Teaching Team

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Drew Goodson, School Administrator

Drew Goodson is coming home to Minnesota after working for ten years in Arizona in a variety of charter school leadership positions. His most recent job was School Leader at Mission Heights Preparatory High School. While there, he increased enrollment 20 percent, developed partnerships with community colleges, did community outreach, and implemented unique programs for students such as Youth Entrepreneurs. Drew has held charter school positions that included responsibilities for budgeting, technology, federal and state compliance, marketing, curriculum development, testing, and student discipline and behavior intervention. He has been a guidance counselor, teacher, coach, and athletic director, and has also been a volunteer with Big Brothers and Sisters.

Drew is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in strategic communication and history. In his spare time he enjoys playing and watching sports as well as spending time with his wife, Kelli, and two girls, Noelle and Everly. Drew is very excited to be a part of the team at River Grove and to return to Minnesota.

Jessica Hansen, Kindergarten

Jessica Hansen is delighted to continue serving this community at River Grove elementary. For the past three years, she has been Director and Lead Teacher at Red Bridge Preschool in Marine on St. Croix. She has a psychology degree from Bethel University, studied Latin American topics in Central America, and holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota. She has taught English language learners and is experienced in curriculum development.

Jessica is always learning something new and sparks curiosity in her students. She brings joy and humor to her classroom and loves creating collaborative relationships with families. Originally from Iowa, for the past decade Jessica has lived just north of Marine with her husband, Chris, and two children, along with a variety of bunnies, cats, and chickens. She has been an active volunteer in the community, and she enjoys gardening, singing, cooking, running with friends and exploring the country on family road trips.

Jackie Henschen, First Grade

Jackie Henschen graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in English Composition and obtained her Education degree from Augsburg College. Jackie has a diverse teaching background, including experience in a home-school co-op, specializing in elementary science instruction; several years of experience teaching at parochial schools in both California and in Maplewood, MN; the Read Naturally program at Marine Elementary; and most recently at the Alternative Learning Center in Stillwater.

Jackie considers working with children a joy and honor! Jackie has an unwavering commitment to her students and is dedicated to creatively approaching her lessons so that students are eager about learning and discovery. She comes to River Grove elementary school having worked with children in several different aspects, from teaching in a traditional classroom setting for a decade to working with at-risk learners. She has been married for 29 years and has two daughters, ages 17 and 13. She loves spending time with her family and in her free time, she’s training her rescue dog to become a therapy dog. Gardening, beekeeping, hiking, and being at the family cabin are among her favorite activities.

Renee Anderson, Second Grade

Renee Anderson is a highly qualified and experienced teacher who clearly is a master of her craft and will be a great mentor to other teachers and leader of kids. Renee’s most recent job was teaching second grade in Waseca, MN. She has taught in the Waseca area for 20 years, including grades 3 and 4, and has other teaching experience prior to that, for a total of 27 years of experience. Renee has been a leader in her school with integrating technology into her curriculum, but she is also excited by the learning opportunities that this forest setting provides. She has an Elementary Education degree from UW River Falls and Masters of Science, Teaching, and Learning from St. Mary’s University.

Renee’s passions include inspiring hope, igniting imagination, and instilling a love of learning in children. She continually learns new and imaginative ways to educate herself and others. She loves spending time with her family, which includes her husband, daughters, sons-in-law, and four adorable granddaughters.  She also enjoys reading, walking, sporting events, and traveling, and is excited to be sharing this next adventure with the students at River Grove.

Michelle Cauley, Third Grade

Our team is thrilled to add Michelle Cauley, a 2014 nominee for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Michelle taught third grade at Aspen Academy, a charter in Burnsville, since 2013. Prior to Aspen, she taught at DaVinci Academy of Arts and Sciences (also a charter). This coming year will be Michelle’s eighth year teaching students in elementary school.  Before that, Michelle spent 15 years working in scout camp programs, starting as a camp counselor and ending as a camp director. Her Elementary Education degree is from Winona State.

A native Wisconsinite, Michelle grew up just off of Lake Winnebago in the rural town of Neenah.  When not teaching, Michelle loves to spend as much time as possible at her cabin in Wisconsin with her family, flipping around in the gym on trampolines or balance beams, or on geology adventures searching for fossils. She also enjoys road trips and adventures with her entomologist husband, David, and her future rockhound-in-training daughter, Bronwyn.

Jody Dick, Third Grade

Jody Dick Jody Dick has a Masters in Elementary Education degree from St. Catherine University. Prior to getting her degree in education, Jody studied cultural anthropology at Swarthmore College and then at Princeton University. She taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades at Afton-Lakeland Elementary over the past 4 years.

Jody is excited to share her passion for environmental education, cultural studies and literacy with the River Grove elementary students. Jody has lived in the Stillwater area for the past 17 years, and before that lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and all over the Midwest. She and her husband love traveling, skiing, and hiking with their two children, ages 17 and 15, when they are not busy attending their cross country, tennis and Nordic meets, band and choir concerts, and musical theater productions.


Luke Hallbeck, Fourth Grade

Luke Hallbeck has Elementary Education degree from Hamline University, where he also studied history and creative writing. He most recently was an AmeriCorps Math Tutor in Roseville district, where he also student taught. At Hamline, Luke won an award for fiction writing, and he incorporated his talent for writing into a unit during his student teaching.

Luke is originally from a small town up in cabin country, a little north of Brainerd, MN. He grew up in a restaurant family, so he loves to cook and bake. He also enjoys playing hockey, rollerblading, writing, being disappointed by Minnesota sports, learning yo-yo tricks, and taking care of his pet tortoise, Zamy. He is very excited to be a part of River Grove elementary school and the Marine on St. Croix community!


David Cauley, Fifth Grade

David Cauley has significant teaching experience in many area charter schools, including a start-up charter, so he will be able to share that important experience here at River Grove. David has an English degree from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, and Elementary Education degree from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and also studied at Glasgow University in Scotland.

David spent his youth wading through ponds hunting dragonflies and crayfish, and camping with the Boy Scouts in Hopkins, MN. He enjoys biology, entomology, paleontology, theater, and medieval history. He lives with his pirate wife, Michelle, and their future fossil-hound daughter, Bronwyn.


Adam Johnson, Sixth Grade

Adam Johnson is thrilled to be teaching sixth grade at River Grove! Adam most recent position was teaching fifth grade in Maplewood, MN, and previously taught first grade in Roseville. He received an Elementary Education degree from Augsburg College in 2013.  This will be his fifth year in the profession.

Adam is originally from up the river in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and has been very familiar with the area his whole life.  Adam is most excited about bringing the class into nature (he once took his school’s entire fifth grade on multi-day camping trip!) and the greater St. Croix River Valley community; getting to know the students that will make up our classroom community; and the freedom of teacher-powered learning.  He looks forward to getting to know his students and welcomes any communication regarding the educational journey together.  He added, “Bringing the world to your son or daughter is a fantastic responsibility and joy.”

Outside of teaching, Adam enjoys playing guitar, trivia, biking, running, and camping.  This summer he will be on a national parks road trip out west. He hopes to bring some of the pictures, stories, and artifacts from this trip to River Grove elementary school, and is looking forward to a year of discovery and learning!

Molly Kaliher, Special Education 

Molly KaliherMolly brings extensive experience to River Grove! She has been teaching special education for the last 25 years, 23 of those years have been in Stillwater. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Masters in Education from St. Mary’s University. She has been trained in Berard Auditory Integration Training (A.I.T.), Therapeutic Listening, Advanced Listening with the Whole Body, Orton-Gillingham, “How does your Engine Run,” and Brain Gym. Molly is involved with Camp Avanti as an Administration Team Advisor and also provides Behavioral Support. Her hobbies include canoe trips, camping, and cooking.

Molly is always accompanied by her service dog Hope, a chocolate lab. Hope is trained to alert Molly when her blood sugar is out of range due to Type 1 diabetes.


Photos courtesy of Jenn Cress

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