By Tara Fort • Photo by Trisha Shaffer
Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) hit the jackpot when they hired two newcomers from South Dakota, proving that teaching in Prescott is not only an option for young professionals but also a wonderful choice for those wishing to start a rewarding career fulfilled through a supportive district.
Rylee Kulka met PUSD Assistant Superintendent Mardi Reed shortly after obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Kulka then moved to Prescott in July, and in August started her very first teaching job as a 5th grade ELA/Social Studies teacher at Granite Mountain. Kulka says, “This experience has been amazing. The District was so supportive of my move, and even offered to help me find a place to live by going out of the way to make me feel welcome in my new hometown.” She has quickly embraced the Arizona lifestyle and has become enthusiastic about all things Prescott! Says, Kulka, “I love the small town feel which is so different from the Twin Cities where I’m from!” Being a new teacher has its challenges, and even more so when the first job is in a new town, but Kulka is confident with her choice and already feels PUSD has the offerings she might not have had elsewhere. “The whole staff is really on the same page about what they need to do to foster the success of the students. I’m excited to be a part of such a dedicated and passionate team.”
Another newcomer to the District, Nicole Fluth and her husband were looking for a place to relocate when she saw the posting for an Occupational Therapist at PUSD. When her husband also found a job in Prescott as a teacher, the couple moved to embark on a new adventure in a location with better weather and more hiking. Having recently completed her Doctorate from the University of South Dakota, Fluth was lucky to find the perfect fit and now works at three schools in the District. She says, “I love that my role as Occupational Therapist involves working with the school staff to serve individuals in need, as well as make suggestions on how we can best serve the students in the classroom.” As an Occupational Therapist, Fluth’s goal is to improve the skills of individuals to participate in occupations, which can include a range of activities from brushing teeth to getting dressed, to getting groceries and making meals. Many students struggle to keep up with their peers and may have trouble copying the assignments or staying on task. Fluth’s role is to work with these students and their teachers to develop the fine motor, visual and other skills necessary to foster their education, self-care and play.
While Kulka and Fluth do not work together daily, Fluth will be at Granite Mountain working with some of Kulka’s students. Fluth adds, “I welcome the chance to work with all teachers to help students be more successful.” Kulka agrees, “Everyone here has been a blessing. There are amazing mentors and teammates to help us prepare for the betterment of our students.”
For more information about Rylee Kulka, Nicole Fluth and the Prescott Unified School District, visit www.prescottschools.com.