Heather Briese is convinced she was born to be a teacher.
She also believes her niche is among the youngest learners.
Having graduated from high school in Fergus Falls in 2007, Briese attended the Morris campus of the University of Minnesota where she earned her degree in elementary education with a focus on students ages three through the third grade.
“Teaching young students is just a good fit for me,” said Briese, who is teaching Kindergarten at Reede Gray Elementary School this year.
After earning her degree Briese went back to Fergus Falls where she taught at the preschool level before making the move to Breckenridge.
Most recently Briese was in Henning teaching second and third graders. Yet, something was drawing Briese back to the youngest of students, which led her to Redwood Falls and her latest role at Reede Gray in Kindergarten.
“I had heard this was a good school district,” said Briese, adding once she visited that was confirmed.
It was while Briese was in high school that her first opportunity to work with younger students happened, and what she discovered was she really enjoyed just being around those younger children. Additional opportunities as a Vacation Bible School and Sunday school teacher further convinced Briese that education was her calling.
“This is my passion,” she said.
Being in a room with 20 Kindergarten students for the majority of a school day is not for everyone, but for Briese it just seems natural.
“I love the way their eyes shine when they learn or discover something,” she said, adding the students at this level are so funny and always have great stories to tell her.
Beyond the classroom, Briese said she would love to get involved as a coach in the local school district as well. Having participated in diving, hockey and softball in high school, Briese said she would love to find a way to get involved even if she is serving as a volunteer.
“In teaching I am working with my students on learning those fundamental skills they will need to continue in school,” said Briese. “As a coach at the upper level I can help fine tune the skills that have been developed, to help them find their potential and to push them to the next level.”
Briese grew up on a farm in west central Minnesota.
The daughter of Allen and Sue Briese has three brothers. She has always enjoyed the chance to be part of the farm life, as well as just being outdoors. Being in Redwood Falls, she said, gives her plenty of opportunities to do that.
“I love the town,” she said. “It is beautiful here.”
The school year has been going very well for Briese so far, she said, adding the staff has been amazing to work with, and she is looking forward to what the rest of the school year brings.