Norway-Vulcan introduces new teachers

New Norway-Vulcan Area Schools teachers for this academic year include, from left, Sam Galvin, Karen Hackstock, Nicole Weber, Sarah Kleikamp, Chris Berndt, Katie Mendina and Elizabeth Benz.

NORWAY — Norway-Vulcan Area Schools has several new members on its teaching staff for this academic year.

They include:

— Elizabeth Benz, who will teach middle school science. She has lived in the Upper Peninsula almost all her life, and looks forward to teaching students about the engineering design process as they integrate STEM education into our science curriculum.  

— Christopher Berndt, who will be teaching in the English language arts department at the high school. He is a graduate of Kingsford High School, St. Norbert College, and, most recently, Northern Michigan University. As a life-long Yooper, he is looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the school system and creating a collaborative, student-centered environment in his classroom.

— Sam Galvin, who will teach biology, anatomy and world history. He grew up in Eaton Rapids, Mich., and has found a new and enjoyable home here in the Upper Peninsula. Galvin enjoys the time he spends with his wife, Sara; their daughter, Amelia; and their dog, T. He is happy to become a part of the NVAS community and is looking forward to meeting and getting to know students and staff.


— Brooke Granquist, who will teach English language arts in the middle school. She grew up in Powers and graduated from North Central Area High School in 2009, Northern Michigan University in 2013, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from National University in 2016. Since graduating from NMU, she has been involved in classrooms as a paraprofessional and has taught online courses for Johns Hopkins University for the past two years.

— Karen Hackstock, who will teach fifth grade math and science. She has 19 years of experience working in education, with the past nine years spent teaching fifth grade with a strong emphasis on professional development in teaching math and science. Hackstock most recently completed a year-long fellowship through Notre Dame University that focused on STEM education. She is looking forward to getting to know all the students and families.

— Sarah Kleikamp, who will teach third grade. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood/middle childhood education from St. Norbert College. Kleikamp enjoys spending her free time with family and friends and being involved in various outdoor activities. She looks forward to building relationships with her students and learning alongside them. 

— Katie Mendina, who will teach in the Title 1 program. She resides in Norway with her husband, Andy, and two sons, Carter and Charlie. This will be her eighth year teaching. Mendina taught kindergarten for the past seven years and said she is very excited for this new adventure at NVAS.

— Nicole Weber, who will teach middle school special education. She is a local to the area, having grown up in Florence, Wis. Weber holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where she studied elementary education. She also has a master of education degree with an emphasis on special education from Viterbo University.