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New faces to greet charter school students

Lakes Area Charter School (LACS) in Osakis has two new teachers, as well as a new office manager this year. They join the new director, Phil Grant, who joined the staff in July.

KRISTI WIETECHA

Kristi Wietecha is the new English teacher at LACS. A native of Eagan, she graduated from Eastview High School in Apple Valley and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with majors in English and secondary education, with journalism emphasis.

Wietecha student taught in seventh, ninth and 12th grade English classes in Burnsville.

Wietecha enjoyed singing in the choir all through college, and will probably join a church choir in Alexandria, where she lives.

She also enjoys reading and bicycling.

Wietecha enjoys doing some creative writing on the side. She likes writing short stories and said, "I started one in college that I want to finish."

RYAN VIOLA

Ryan, a native of Mankato, attended the University of Minnesota Moorhead, where he studied life science education, and graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry.

He will teach science at LACS and holds his coaching certification.

Viola was a teacher's assistant at Parkers Prairie, where he assisted with the eighth grade science trip to the Badlands, Black Hills and Devil's Tower, South Dakota.

Sixty students made the trip, which Ryan described as out of classroom experience, and field investigation trips. A big part of the students' grades was based on their participation in the trip and their reports on it.

Viola enjoys camping and scuba diving, which he has pursued at Long Lake near Itasca State Park. He does not do ice diving, he said. He plans to scuba dive in area lakes Osakis, Victoria and L'Homme Dieu when it warms up.

Since his parents now live in Florida, Viola plans to try his hand at scuba diving when he visits them.

"I am big into the environment, flora and fauna," he said. He has volunteered almost a thousand hours at the Minnesota Zoo as a docent, where he did feeding shows with dolphins and sharks. He also worked at the Fargo Zoo where he started the Junior Zookeeper Program for children ages 12-13, who help in the barnyards and with educational shows. Kids can earn high school credit for the Junior Zookeeper program.

Asked what his favorite animal is, Ryan said the gray wolf. But his favorite changes and he loves them all.

ANITA DOERING

The new office manager and district assessment coordinator (DAC) at LACS, Doering has lived in Alexandria with her husband, Michael, since 2005.

Doering originates from Florida, but her father was in the Air Force for 22 years, so she moved a lot. Her husband is retired from the U. S. Army.

Doering has served as a legal secretary in Alexandria and Long Prairie, with a total of 32 years' experience in the legal field.

She and Michael enjoy ice fishing, watching the Vikings and shopping. They enjoy their two dogs, Holly and Cole. "Those are my children," she said.

Anita bowls in the Wednesday night Working Girls League in Alexandria and averages 143.

She attended Hillsboro Community College in Tampa, Florida and the National College of Business in Rapid City, South Dakota.

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