River Grove is adding two new full-time teaching positions, and a couple of our current teachers are relocating, retiring, or moving to new opportunities. We wish departing teachers RJ Walcheski, Jackie Henschen, and Erin Diedrich the very best! Here are our new teachers.
Jo Heide, Fourth Grade Jo Heide graduated from Bethel University with degrees in K-6 Education and Teaching English as a Second Language. Jo has taught fifth grade at Osseo Area Schools for the past three years, and she loves the independence and curiosity of upper elementary students. She is passionate about empowering students to take ownership of their learning, as well as developing a love for reading! Jo loves spending time outdoors, and she is currently in the Natural Sciences and Environmental Education program at Hamline University in St. Paul. She can’t wait to put her new learning into practice at River Grove! She enjoys hiking and camping with her husband, yoga, baking sourdough, and rewatching her favorite TV shows.
Elly Johnson, First Grade Elly is a graduate of Bethel University in St. Paul with degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish Education. Her passion for being a life-long learner and love of children inspired her pursuit to become an educator. Elly taught kindergarten for five years in the White Bear Lake school district where she grew up before staying home to raise and school her two young boys. During her time at home, she developed a nature-based preschool curriculum and joyfully taught and learned alongside her children. She enjoys spending time with her family traveling, reading, downhill skiing, biking, and boating. She is a lover of all water sports! When not skiing herself, she can be found teaching kids and adults alike how to waterski, wakeboard, wake surf and even (to the occasional brave soul) how to barefoot waterski!
Roman Lozano, Special Education Roman Lozano is excited to be joining the River Grove family. He grew up in Minnesota and loves being in the great outdoors as much as possible, whether it is taking a hike with his wife, playing golf, or walking his cat. He has a passion for reading and finding books that students will love. Roman has spent the last two years teaching at a middle school in Cottage Grove. He also has experience working with students from pre-k to 12th grade. For Roman, building lasting bonds with students and their families is very important.
Carley Maley, Special Education Carley is excited to be joining River Grove this year! She has been teaching for eight years, six of those as a special education teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Special Education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. She enjoys building relationships with students and creatively thinking of ways to spark excitement, self-motivation, and confidence in students. Carley lives in Hudson, WI, with her husband Jonathan and two children, Walker and Juniper. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, snowboarding, reading, and spending time with her family.
Jaime Souza, First Grade Jaime Souza graduated from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls with a Master of Science in Elementary Education. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Most of Jaime’s teaching experience can be attributed to a 20-year outdoor, environmental education career working as a Program Coordinator and Educator for inspiring organizations, such as the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, the Audubon Center of the North Woods (now Osprey Wilds), and the St. Croix River Association (now the Wild Rivers Conservancy). Jaime is passionate about student-centered, place-based learning. She finds incredible joy in connecting children with nature and encouraging a lasting love of wild spaces through observation and exploratory activities. Jaime is excited to join the River Grove team in 2021 as a new first grade teacher, and she is committed to approaching her curriculum writing and teaching with care, creativity, and innovation. Jaime is married to Jon and they have two kids, David and Ramona, along with a silly dog named Meyer. They are an adventurous family, often planning trips to National Park Service sites, hiking the Superior Hiking Trail, mountain biking, and paddling the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Jaime also enjoys spending time with her kiddos, gardening (still working on that green thumb), watching professional cycling races, cooking (her husband is the true chef), baking sourdough creations (a pandemic achievement), daydreaming of future adventures and travels, and birdwatching (amateur at best, but her life list is slowly growing).