Contributed photo
Seven new teachers will be joining the staff at New York Mills School this fall. New staff members include: Doug Schulz, Kate Schanning, Kelsey Pieschke, Alecia Wahlin, Cambria Jacobs, Taylor Lehti and Madison Cichy. 

School began on Tuesday at NYM School

By Chad Koenen


Seven new teachers will be among the friendly faces greeting students at New York Mills School this fall. 

School got underway on Tuesday at NY Mills School and among the new teachers were Doug Schulz, high school science; Kate Schanning, high school special education; Kelsey Pieschke, high school social studies; Alecia Wahlin, grades 5-8 special education; Cambria Jacobs, grades 5-12 band teacher/director; Taylor Lehti, third grade teacher and Madison Cichy, second grade teacher.

Doug Schulz

High school science teacher Doug Schulz is excited to join the staff at NY Mills School this year and once again have in-person learning for students and staff. Prior to coming to NY Mills School, Schulz taught at Circle of Life Academy, M-State and North Dakota State University. 

He has two adult children. One of his favorite memories of attending high school at Central Cass High School in North Dakota was being a part of the Class B state record setting 3,200-meter relay team. In fact, the 3,200-meter relay record still stands today. 

Kate Schanning

She might be new to the staff at NY Mills School, but Kate Schanning is not a new face around the NY Mills School District family. Schanning’s husband Kyle is currently a special education teacher at NY Mills. She most recently worked at the Freshwater Education District in the Level IV Academics, while also teaching in Superior, Wis., and Fairmont, Minn. 

Schanning will be joining the district as a 9-12th grade special education teacher and is looking forward to joining the staff at NY Mills.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside my husband, Myle Schanning, being closer to home and working in a mainstream school again,” she said.

The Schannings have a son, Ellis, and a baby on the way that is due in early October. 

Among her favorite memories while attending high school was playing soccer and running track and field.

Kelsey Pieschke

Originally from Marshall, Minn., new high school social studies teacher Kelsey Pieschke is gearing up for her first teaching job this fall. She will be the new high school social studies teacher and is looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the NY Mills community.

“I am looking forward to making connections with students/staff and being part of a welcoming community,” she said. 

Pieschke said her favorite memories of attending high school revolve around marching band and being able to get a behind-the-scenes look at teaching at a young age. 

“I have two favorite memories of K-12 school which are participating in marching band in high school and when I was in middle school my mom worked as an Early Childhood teacher in the school and I would always go down to her room after school and help her, which inspired me to be a teacher,” she said. 

Alecia Wahlin

New 5-8th grade special education teacher Alecia Wahlin comes to NY Mills this fall from Prairie Winds Middle School in Perham. After spending 8 years teaching at her former high school in McGregor, Wahlin has spent the past two years teaching special education in Perham, before joining the staff at NY Mills this fall.

“I am looking forward to working with my students this year and getting to know the staff.  I have heard great things about being an Eagle,” said Wahlin. “We moved to this area in 2019 and have been enjoying  it. We love all the lakes.” 

Wahlin’s husband works for TEAM Industries in Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids and they have two children. Josie is four-years-old and will be starting preschool at NY Mills this fall and Tyler who is one-years-old. 

Wahlin said she has always enjoyed school, especially the back to school time of the year. 

“I always have enjoyed school, especially ‘back to school’ time.  I loved the excitement around shopping for school supplies and getting ready for school to start.  A new school year was always a fresh start for me.  I still love it as a teacher,” she said. 

Cambria Jacobs

Some of Cambria Jacobs’ favorite memories while attending school in Waconia, Minn., revolved around band in high school. After all, band provided her the opportunities to travel and make music with her friends all over the country.

She is hoping to continue that strong musical tradition as the new 5-12th grade band teacher in NY Mills. 

Prior to coming to NY Mills, Jacobs took a few long-term substitute positions at Carondelet Catholic Schools in Minneapolis, Minn. and Waconia Middle School.

As she prepares for the upcoming school year, Jacobs said she is looking forward for the chance to get involved in the NY Mills community. 

“I am looking forward to becoming a part of this wonderfully welcoming community and continuing to work with amazing young musicians,” she said. 

Taylor Lehti

A native of Cromwell, Minn., Taylor Lehti will be teaching third grade at NY Mills School this fall. She recently graduated from the College of St. Scholastica with a B.S. in elementary education and a minor in special education. 

Prior to coming to NY Mills School, Lehti was a student teacher at Churchill Elementary in Clouquet, Minn. and taught first grade summer school there as well. She is looking forward to the chance to get to know her students, staff and be a part of the NY Mills School District. 

“I am so excited to meet my students and build relationships with them,” she said. 

Her favorite memory of attending school was having the opportunity to grow up in a small community and getting to know her classmates and teachers. 

Madison Cichy

New second grade teacher Madison Cichy grew up and graduated high school from just down the road in Henning. She said she is excited to begin her first year of teaching second grade at NY Mills School.

“This school year I am looking forward to getting to know the staff, students, and community at New York Mills. The community and staff have been incredibly welcoming to the new teachers already,” she said. 

Like many students, Cichy said one of her favorite parts of attending high school was the excitement surrounding the new school year.

“My favorite memory from attending school was the excitement of the new school year. I loved learning who my teacher was going to be, finding out who was in my class, and getting to connect with everyone,” she said.