Sarah Johnson (Interim Board Chair/Treasurer / Staff)
My name is Sarah Johnson, and I have been teaching here at Nerstrand Elementary School since 2012. I currently live in and was born in Northfield, but I grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin. I have also spent some time living in Colorado, Alaska, and Scotland. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the spring of 2002 with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. I love to spend time outdoors, and that was what initially drew me to Nerstrand. The commitment here to the environment and community service is something very special that I'm glad to be a part of. When I’m not at school, I love to take nature photographs, hike, snowboard, try interesting foods, listen to music, and travel.
Tara Vondrasek (Staff)
Hello, my name is Tara Vondrasek. I received my associate's degree from Waldorf College, my bachelor's degree in elementary education from U of W - River Falls, and earned my master's degree in elementary education from St. Mary's University. I have also taught first grade in Eagan, MN and summer school in Rosemount. My family and I live in Northfield. My husband Tom and I stay busy with our two sons, Anthony (3 yrs.) and Aiden (4 mo.) We enjoy camping, fishing, gardening, playing volleyball, and of course, snowmobiling. During my free time I also enjoy reading, beading and watching the MN Wild.
Amber Skluzacek (Secretary/Parent)
Hi! My name is Amber Skluzacek. I am a passionate involved mother of 4 and a resident of rural Nerstrand. I grew up in Montgomery MN and attended the University of Minnesota to attain my bachelor's degree in agricultural education. I currently stay home with our youngest child and own and operate my own photography business.
Three years ago when my children were admitted into Nerstrand Elementary School our lives changed so much! We were now part of a school that not only offers an excellent education, but hands-on, caring, one of a kind experiences for our children. After having our eldest daughter attend a public elementary school for two years, prior to Nerstrand, we truly appreciate all of the great gifts Nerstrand Elementary School provides.
When a spot on the school board opened up I excitedly raised my hand. It is an honor to serve our students, staff and school. I look forward to continuing to help our school maintain its traditions and continue to grow to be its absolute best.
Carissa Erickson (Parent)
Howdy! My name is Carissa (Feyereisn) Erickson and I am the parent of a current Nerstrand Elementary School third grader, a soon-to-be kindergartner, and a three year old. I grew up in nearby Cannon City, and married Nerstrand School alum, Doug Erickson, at the Valley Grove Church. Mike Erickson, my father-in-law and another Nerstrand alum, has served as Custodian at Nerstrand Elementary School for the past 18 years. The Nerstrand roots run deep, as Mike’s dad, Eugene Erickson, also attended the school. Following graduation from Faribault High School, I attended the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, and have worked at salons in Chanhassen, Victoria, and Eden Prairie. Presently, you’ll find me at Coiffure Salon on Division Street in Northfield. When I’m not getting into someone’s hair (literally and figuratively), you’ll find me working with my family on a variety of projects in and around the modified “shouse” we built in Cannon City, or John Deere Gator-ing in the woods that I grew up four-wheeling, exploring, hunting, and camping in, and doing my best to navigate life!
Nicky Schaefer (Staff)
My name is Nicky Schaefer and I started here at Nerstrand in 2015. I was born and raised in North Dakota (the accent will show itself every now and then). My family moved to Minnesota when I was going into high school. I have always known I wanted to work with children in some way or another. I am so lucky to have found Nerstrand for my daughter to attend and for me to work at. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Nerstrand "family".
Terri Neumann (Community Member)
My name is Terri Neumann and I have lived in Nerstrand all my life. I attended Nerstrand School prior to it becoming a charter school. My husband and I have a son that is grown now, and attended Nerstrand Charter School. I participated in the PTO while our son attended. By far, Nerstrand School excels in teaching students using many learning opportunities. Some examples are, Prairie Appreciation Day, Discovery Day, Peace Garden, Learn and Serve and Community Celebration, to name a few. My grandfather was one of the elders for the first Community Celebration, some of you may recognize his song "Still Doin Good in The Big Woods". The teachers and staff at Nerstrand School truly love their students.
I have been a Licensed and Certified Dental Assistant for over thirty years and have worked in a Dental Office in Northfield for twenty-nine years. I love to cook, play piano, traveling, camping and spending time with family and friends. I am excited and honored to serve on the Board at Nerstrand School.
Jake Kaukola (Staff)
Hello, my name is Jake Kaukola. I am honored to be the Music teacher at Nerstrand Elementary School. I grew up in Fairfax, MN and attended GFW School K-12. For my Bachelor's Degree I attended McNally Smith College of Music and most recently I have attended Minnesota State University Mankato to receive my Master’s Degree in K-12 Instrumental Music Education.
I currently live in Northfield, MN with my wife Brooke, my son Rory, and our cat Nile. When I am not teaching I am performing in jazz bands or symphonic bands as a drum set player or percussionist. I also love to play guitar and piano. Other than music, I am an avid Minnesota sports fan and I love to hike and camp. Feel free to stop in the music room to say hello!