BTS hires five new teachers for 2014-15 school year

KINGSFORD – Five teachers have been hired to fill positions at the Breitung Township Schools for the 2014-15 school year. The appointments were approved by the school board of education.

Thomas Christesen was hired as a social studies teacher at Kingsford Middle School, Kristin Novara was hired as an elementary teacher at Woodland Elementary School, Betsy Sielaff was hired as an elementary teacher at Woodland, Emelie Broullire-Fairchild was hired as a part-time Spanish teacher, and Mike Erkkila was hired as an industrial education teacher at both Kingsford Middle School and Kingsford High School.

Christesen is a lifelong resident of the area and graduated from Kingsford High School in 1992. He and his father owned Christesen’s Barber Shop in Iron Mountain, where he worked for 13 years before going back to Northern Michigan University. At NMU, he graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education majoring in social studies. He is currently taking graduate classes at Western Michigan University pursuing a master’s degree in educational technology.

Christesen has been a social studies teacher at the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Schools’ Alternative Education Program for the past 6 1/2 years and was principal of the school for one year.

Christesen is married and has two sons.

Novara is the new kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary. She has been teaching in the elementary classroom at Forest Park Schools for the past eight years.

She and her husband, Mark have two children, Nic and Gianna.

Novara said she is excited to be back in her hometown teaching where she attended school.

Sielaff is also a graduate of KHS and a 2011 graduate of Grand Valley State University College of Education.

She is the daughter of David and Judy Sielaff of Granite Bluff.

Sielaff is active in the YMCA summer camp programs and volunteers at many community events. She is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys summer hikes, golf, snowshoeing and snowboarding.

Fairchild studied Spanish at St. Norbert College an the University of Leon and studied education at Northern Michigan University.

She and her husband, Jesse have five children, Mia, William, Mariana, Eliza and Luella.

Fairchild has been a soccer coach for Northern Stars girls soccer team and a leader for the Merriman Farmer’s Union 4-H youth group. She is also a member of St. Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Kingsford.

She lives on a small farm and enjoys her faith, the outdoors, cooking, soccer, homeschooling, cycling and running, reading, hiking and time with family and friends.

Erkkila received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Northern Michigan University in industrial arts for grades K-12 in 1987, and his master of arts degree in secondary education from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wis. in 2005.

He has previously worked as an industrial arts teacher for the Iron Mountain Public Schools, West Iron County Schools and Forest Park Schools

He and his wife reside in Kingsford.