During its May meeting, the Anselmo-Merna Board of Education approved the final hire for the 2021-2022 teaching staff. Beginning next year, A-M will welcome two new teachers to the staff. Troy Gilligan and Kaitlyn Mason will both be teaching in the elementary school. Mr. Gilligan and Ms. Mason are both Anselmo-Merna graduates, who have chosen to return to their home school.
Superintendent Logan Lightfoot said, “We are thrilled to have Ms. Mason and Mr. Gilligan come back home. It speaks volumes about the health of a community when young, talented graduates choose to come back. They certainly had their choice of schools, and they both chose to be Coyotes, once again.”
Kaitlyn Mason will be teaching second grade. Ms. Mason grew up on a ranch northeast of Anselmo and she is beyond thrilled to be coming back to Custer County and to the friendliest, kind hearted, and most hard-working people she knows!
She graduated from Anselmo-Merna High School in May of 2009 and continued onto the University of Nebraska at Kearney to continue her education. In May 2013 she graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree, with both an Elementary Education and Early Childhood Unified endorsement.
This will be her ninth year teaching and she can’t wait for it to come around! She was able to spend the first two years doing what she loves at Hayes Center Public Schools in Nebraska where she taught sixth grade and coached both elementary quiz bowl and junior high quiz bowl.
For three years at Gothenburg Public Schools she taught second grade before moving to sixth grade reading and science. For the past two years she’s had the opportunity to not only teach sixth grade reading but to teach a fifth-grade reading section, as well. For five years she coached junior high and high school quiz bowl and for the past four years she assisted the speech team.
She not only loves to teach and help children grow but also to be in the kitchen, read, watch Netflix, and spend time with family and friends. She also loves to spend time on the family ranch and in the country! When asked about the opportunity to join the Anselmo Merna staff, Ms. Mason said, “I am extremely excited to be here at Anselmo-Merna Public School, to be part of this team, community, family! I can’t wait for the school year and adventure to begin!”
Troy Gilligan will be teaching fourth grade. Mr. Gilligan was raised in Anselmo, Nebraska and is the youngest of 6 children. Mr. Gilligan attended Anselmo-Merna Public School and graduated in 2016. During his time at A-M, he accomplished numerous athletic achievements, and was a leader of several successful football, basketball, and track teams. After graduation, he attended Hastings College, where he played basketball before transferring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In December of 2020, he graduated from UNL with a degree in Elementary Education. This fall, Mr. Gilligan student taught in sixth grade at A-M. While student teaching, he also served as an assistant coach on both football and girls basketball teams.
When asked about his opportunity to teach at Anselmo-Merna, Mr. Gilligan said, “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to come back to Anselmo-Merna Public Schools and teach! The teaching staff and administration have been amazing and I am looking forward to working with such a great team!”
Some current staff members will be moving assignments to provide the best opportunities possible for Anselmo-Merna students. In addition to his duties as Athletic Director, Spencer Goodman will be providing math instructional support to K-6 students. Molli Miller will be assuming the role of K-12 Counselor.
Mrs. Miller is excited to work with students in her new role. “I am so excited to be the counselor at A-M! I am looking forward to helping build programs that develop great character within our student body, establishing rapport and care with our students, and supporting and guiding students to help them in their future to become who they desire to be.”
Karen McGinn will be moving to Title I Reading, where she will bring a wealth of teaching experience and student advocacy to support improved literacy with our elementary students. The Anselmo-Merna staff looks forward to a fantastic 2021-2022 school year.