New staff members at Henning School this fall include: Leah Roberts, Missy Stevens, Katie Johnson and Jennifer Haugdahl.

Open house set for Sept. 1 at Henning School

By Chad Koenen


our new teachers will be joining Henning School this fall.

Missy Stevens will be joining the district as a student teacher in grades pre-k and kindergarten, Jennifer Haugdahl will be a new Title 1 Math/ECFE teacher, Katie Johnson will be a paraprofessional and Leah Roberts will be a new English teacher. These new staff members are in addition to new school superintendent Melissa Sparks, who joined the district in July after most recently serving as the high school principal at the MACCRAY School District. 

School officially starts on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at Henning School. 

Missy Stevens

A current student at Winona State University, Missy Stevens is joining Henning School this fall as a student teacher in grades pre-k and kindergarten. 

Along with her husband Travis and son Nate, Stevens lives in New York Mills. The family also has adult children and three grandchildren. She is looking forward to the opportunity to continue her education, while also being a part of the Henning School family this year. 

“I am excited to watch the children grow in this coming year. Education has always been my passion and being here at Henning is very exciting,” she said. 

Stevens said some of her favorite memories while attending school revolved around her first grade teacher. Her teacher loved to sing and some of her favorite memories are singing with her teacher in first grade. 

Jennifer Lynn Haugdahl

Jennifer Lynn Haugdahl will be starting the school year as the new Title 1 Math and ECFE teacher at Henning School. 

After receiving a degree from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn., Haugdahl taught at New Testament Christian School for 20 years and also at St. Mary’s School in Alexandria, Minn. She is excited to be closer to her home and make an impact on the lives of students in Henning. 

“I am very excited about teaching closer to my home and making an impact on kids in the community,” she said. “This job fits me well because I enjoy teaching math and believe strongly in the value of ECFE.”

Haugdahl and her husband Gary live near Henning and have six adult children in their blended family. They also have two grandchildren and a number of grand dogs and cats as well.

While she was in high school, Haugdahl said one of her favorite memories was when she was accidentally shut in a locker by her friend for a few minutes.

“When I was in high school I was skinny and could squeeze into a locker,” she said. “Unfortunately, a friend shut the door and I was trapped for a few minutes until she used my combination to let me out. I was a few minutes late for my next class, but it was worth it when the teacher just laughed and told me not to repeat my mistake again.”

Katie Johnson

A Henning High School alum, Katie Johnson is looking forward to joining the staff at Henning School as a paraprofessional this fall.

“I’m excited to come back as a paraprofessional, instead of a student. I’m looking forward to connecting with the students and staff,” she said.

After graduating high school from Henning, Johnson obtained a degree from Alexandria Technical and Community College in communication art and design. This is her first job in education.

Johnson comes from a big family with three brothers and two sisters. She also has a dog named Buddy.

During her time at Henning School, Johnson said her most memorable moment was her senior class trip to the Twin Cities. 

“It was so much fun and a great way to end my senior year,” she said.

Leah Roberts

A recent graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., Leah Roberts will be joining the staff at Henning School as a new English language arts teacher. She also completed her student teaching at Perham High School. 

Roberts said she recently moved into an apartment in Perham and has two cats and a dog that are at her parents house. She said she is excited about joining the staff at Henning School and getting to know the people of the greater Henning community.

“I am very excited to get to know the community, students, parents, administration and staff,” said Roberts.

During her time in high school, Roberts said her most memorable moment came when she was trapped in a bathroom stall after using the high school restroom for the first time.

“My most memorable moment was in seventh grade. I used the high school restroom for the first time and got locked in the bathroom stall. I had to crawl under the stall door on the floor to get out,” she said.