Austin school district honors 24 employees at luncheon

By Karen Colbenson

Austin Public Schools district employees were honored at an employee luncheon held at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center on Wednesday.

The event began with a sharing of stories about each recognized employee. Among those recognized were teachers, paraprofessionals, interpreters, translators, secretaries, administrators, food service workers and support staff.

Criteria for the recognition focused on goals such as improving the relationship between the district and community stakeholders and designing new plans and procedures.


Honored employees were:

• Jane Arhart, special events coordinator, district.

• Lynelle Brown, parent, Southgate Elementary School.

• Catalina Ferriera-Truong, translator, district.

• Camille Graven, second-grade teacher, Banfield Elementary School.

• Lori Henry, English language learner coordinator, district.

• Kathy Huffman, sixth-grade teacher, Ellis Middle School.

• Angie Jannsen, fourth-fifth-grade teacher, Sumner Elementary School.


• Duane Jendersee, custodian-central maintenance, Austin High School.

• Dorothy Krob, second-grade teacher, Southgate.

• Melissa Larson, special education-finance specialist, district.

• Gary Loecher, custodian, Ellis.

• Julie Oakland Soukup, literacy coach, Sumner Elementary School.

• Shelley Oldenburg, administrative support coordinator, Neveln Elementary School.

• Dorran Rickert, Title I teacher, Southgate.

• Kim Schammel, second-grade teacher, Southgate.


• Karie Schultz, administrative support technician, Community Learning Center.

• Karianne Sis, early childhood special education teacher, Community Learning Center.

• Donna Skiba, administrative support coordinator, Austin High School counseling department.

• Vickie Splinter, parent, Ellis.

• Carmel Taylor, Schools for Energy Efficiency coordinator, district.

• Sue Thorpe, speech language pathologist, Southgate.

• Alice Tylutki, parent, Southgate.

• Lynette Usgaard, first-grade teacher, Southgate.

• Chris Picha, human resources director.

What To Read Next
Caitlin and Jason Keck’s two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation committee begins next month.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.
Wanda Patsche, new Farm Camp director, has farmed with her husband near I-90 in southern Minnesota since the 1970s and shares her passion for farming on her blog.