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New Reede Gray Kindergarten teacher, Kristina Case, lis enjoying every minute of her role

Troy Krause
Kristina Case (above) is teaching Kindergarten students at Reede Gray Elementary School this school year.

When Kristina Case was growing up someone once told her she had a gift. That gift would lead her to her career as an educator, but it would not take the direct route.

“I was told I had a gift with kids,” Case said.

Having grown up in Madison Lake and graduating from Mankato East High School in 2015, Case enrolled at the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University.

“Originally I went to be a nurse, because I love helping people,” Case explained.

Having earned her CNA, the nursing track seemed obvious.

“I was just not into it,” Case said, adding along the way she took an education class and loved it.

So, she switched her major.

In 2019, Case graduated with a degree in elementary education, adding she knew that was what she was supposed to do.

Case said she opted to pursue a path to teaching younger students, because in her previous experiences she seemed to relate to them better than any other ages. As a teacher, she has found that to be true.

“I like that they come to school and think I am their best friend,” said Case, who is teaching a class of Kindergarten students at Reede Gray Elementary School in Redwood Falls. “They also have a love for learning.”

Case had the chance to student teach at the Kindergarten level and said she really appreciated that experience. Since earning her degree, Case served as a long-term substitute preschool teacher in the BOLD School District.

This past winter and spring she filled in as a long-term substitute teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Mankato where she taught fourth graders.

When Case walked into Reede Gray this September she was starting in the first classroom of her own.

“It was fun organizing and decorating my room the way I wanted it,” she said, adding she has enjoyed every minute of her teaching experience. “In August I was up here almost every day getting things ready for the first day.”

What makes Case’s experience unique is that the students in her class also entered their own classroom for the first time, too. 

Case is learning a lot in her first teaching role, adding, like her students, she is gaining new experiences every day.

“Every student is different,” she said, adding COVID-19 has changed how things are done in the classroom and that has made getting to know the students a little more of a challenge.

Case said the students have been doing a great job with the requirements, although she said not being in what one would consider a traditional classroom setting has added some stress to everyone.

All in all, Case said things have been going very well in her first months of school.

What she has truly appreciated is her fellow teachers who are providing great guidance for her. Case said whenever she has a question she knows where she can go to get it answered.

“Everyone has been very helpful,” she said, adding the entire community has been very welcoming of her.

Case said she has 19 students who are part of her classroom, although distance learning has meant not all of them are actually in the room.

The new Kindergarten teacher is chalking that up to another learning experience she is gaining, too.

Case indicated she is happy with her role at Reede Gray, and she looks forward to even more educational experiences in her classroom as she teaches her students and learns from them all along the way.