Terry Public Schools Superintendent Casey Klasna will be a familiar face to most students and parents.
Klasna and his wife Billie Jo came to Terry in 2005 when he began teaching history and physical education classes. The family of five, which includes 5-year-old Rylee, 2-year-old Shaylee and 9-month-old Celee, lives in Fallon.
As he steps into his new role as administrator of the school district, Klasna says he hopes to take elements learned in previous positions and apply them as superintendent
“I had a taste of administration when working as A.D.,” Klasna said of his work last year as the school’s athletic director.
His coaching and teaching experiences will also help in his new role, Klasna said.
“I’m excited. I know I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me,” Klasna said.
With an expected enrollment of 152 students, a certified staff of 14 full-time teachers and 4 part-time teachers along with 3 teachers aides and a handful of classified staff, Klasna says he plans to lead with “moral courage”.
He also intends to continue to be a familiar face to students as he walks the school’s campus and visits classrooms.
New math teacher Mike Ehinger says he and his wife Christina and their family are enjoying their new surroundings in Terry since their late-July move from Brooklyn, Michigan.
Ehinger will be teaching junior high and high school math classes.
This will be Ehinger’s first year teaching. He had been working in a management position in the software industry.
“It’s exciting to see some of the technology they have at the school,” Ehinger said.
The Ehinger family includes 7-year-old Rachel, 5-year-old Megan, 4-year-old Dave and 1-year-old Ben.
Tammi Prete comes to Terry from Spring Brook, Wisconsin. As a first year teacher, Prete says she’s looking forward to a hands-on approach to educating her students in the combined 5th and 6th grade class.
“I’ve always kind of knew I was supposed to be a teacher,” Prete said.
After completing a two-year associate degree in Natural Resources at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana, Prete returned to her home state of Wisconsin where she worked in administrative managerial positions.
Working with an afterschool program provided the finally poke to move her to return to school, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a double minor in social studies and science.
Prete has coached both varsity and junior high volleyball and basketball teams and says she looks forward to being involved in those programs here as well.
“I like coaching a lot. I like teaching fundamentals,” Prete said, adding, “My first priority is teaching.”
Prete’s 18-year-old son Nick is attending his first year of college at Arizona State University.
A Plevna native, Brittany Straub says she is not only looking forward to her new teaching career but to getting involved with community activities as well. A 2010 University of Montana graduate, Straub will be teaching physical education and history classes.
In high school, Straub was involved with FCCLA and basketball and looks forward to helping in those areas if needed.
“It was important to me to stay close to home,” Straub said, pointing out she had been seeking teaching positions in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
As a 1994 graduate of Terry High School, Greg Mendenhall is familiar with the halls of THS and the community of Terry. He began teaching the high school science classes last spring and has been hired to continue in the position for the 2010-11 school year.
Mendenhall received a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education, science broad field from the University of Montana Western in Dillon.
He opted to pursue a teaching degree after working in several positions in Texas, California and Montana. His life experiences included a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy.
“Learning is fun,” Mendenhall said. “I enjoy what I do and I expect the students to enjoy it too.”
Mendenhall, who has taught in Glasgow and Lambert, hopes to apply his energy for science in the classroom.
Mendenhall and his wife Theresa have five children. They are: 12-year-old Katelynn, 10-year-old Joseph, 5-year-old Alysha, 3-year-old Jonathan and 2-year-old Benjamin.