"Change your thoughts and you change your world." Norman Vincent Peale
     My name is Michelle Simon. I am a first grade teacher at McKinley STEM! I am very grateful to be entrusted your child's learning this year. I am excited to share a bit of myself with you, and tell you why I think McKinley is such an amazing place to learn.
    First of all, I am a mother of three children. My son is in college at Iowa State University studying engineering. My oldest daughter is a junior at Owatonna High School. My youngest daughter is in 6th grade at Willow Creek E-STEM. All of my children benefit from participating in sports and music (thank you coaches and conductors). My husband enjoys golfing and coaching my daughter's basketball team. I enjoy watching my children participate in their activities, spend time with my family, and go for walks with friends. When I get the chance, I also love to travel. I grew up in Owatonna and I am excited to bring the love of learning to first graders here. My mom, we call her "Grandma", often comes in to volunteer. Owatonna is an amazing place to live and grow!
   Next, McKinley STEM is an amazing place to learn because the entire staff work together to make this a great learning environment for all learners. We participate in the Perpich Art's grant which integrates art into the curriculum. Last year the students designed and built the prairie garden located in front of the school with the funding and training provided by this grant. We also work together to create an environment where we learn from our failures and celebrate our successes. As a STEM school, students and teachers are expected to work with each other in teams, just like the real world. Real world applications allow learners to ask hard questions and discover answers through the process of inquiry. This makes learning challenging, fun, and engaging. When this happens students learn more and they learn to love learning!
    This engaging environment is contagious! I recently completed my masters in reading and language (along with Mrs. Rypka). At the same time as I completed my masters I began STEM certification classes through St. Catherine's University along with many other teachers from McKinley! This has allowed us to collaborate and plan for many exciting opportunities for all McKinley students.
    I look forward to a great year! (read, read, read)
Best Regards,
Michelle Simon

Home Child School Day (HCSD)  
I can not wait to meet you to begin our fabulous year together! All of the teachers and school personnel at McKinley have made plans to make this the best year ever! Please bring all of your supplies to HCSD (the link for this list is on the McKinley homepage). Please bring your child's transportation information (bus number (Owatonna Bus Company 507-451-5262, who is picking you up or where you are walking to, as well as the name phone numbers of friends and loved ones) and emergency contact information so we can make sure our year begins with all of the information we need to make this a safe and fun year for you.

Welcome to 1D, McKinley STEM!

Michelle Simon
Telephone: (507) 444-8227
First Grade