By KATHY PAULSEN
For Molly Eckhardt, babysitting was her first adventure in working with kids. She loved it and the children she cared for. There was so much influence in the one-on-one time spent working with children on Molly’s life, she felt that teaching was worth exploring.
Different experiences and her personality led her to the teaching field. After gaining some experience with babysitting, Molly later had the opportunity to help children with sports and swimming.
In her senior class in high school she took part in the Peer Helping program, which was an elective class that gave her the opportunity to work in the elementary school for a semester. She assisted in the kindergarten classroom for one hour, four days a week, and worked in the Title 1 room, where she was able to work one-on-one with a student for 20 minutes a day with reading skills.
Molly was pleased to see the progress that child made in the time she worked with her. Seeing the difference she could make in that one person’s young life led her into the education field where she will be able to teach and inspire many more children.
Following Molly’s years of education in Blue Earth, she went on to attain her degree in elementary education with a specialization in math at the University of Minnesota, Duluth before coming to the Albert Lea area. Previously she was a substitute teacher in the Blue Earth area for two years after graduation.
After going to college in Duluth, Molly worked at many different schools volunteering and did a practicum student teaching abroad and in the Twin Cities area, which brought her back to southern Minnesota.
While in high school, Molly also took part in FFA and played saxophone in the high school band.
Always a sports fan, Molly has participated in many sports throughout her school years. In junior high she played on both the school and traveling volleyball teams, and in high school she played volleyball and softball for four years and basketball for two years.
Molly feels that the small school districts have more sense of community compared to larger schools. She is pleased to be a part of the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva school district, which provides that "hometown" atmosphere plus many extras, along with a personal involvement that many large schools are not able to provide.
Molly is the daughter of Bill and Mary Eckhardt and she has two sisters, Sara and Ellen, along with two nephews, Branson and Garrett.
She feels that education is a challenge and a joy to work at, plus provides a job that will mean so much to someone's future.