Darian Johnson


Age: 22


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? I will be the new fifth- and sixth-grade science and social studies teacher.


Where were you raised? I grew up in Winterset


What is your education background? I graduated from Winterset High School in 2014. I then attended The University of Iowa and graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s in elementary education with an endorsement in speech/communications and theatre.


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? My first year


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? I am excited to learn about the community and get to know my students and their families.


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? In my free time, I love spending time with my fiancée and our two cats. I also enjoy singing and playing ukulele.


Lance Baetsle


Age: 30


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? I will be teaching seventh-grade science, eighth-grade science, biology, and anatomy and physiology.


Where were you raised? I grew up in Ladora, which is a small town 40 miles west of Iowa City.


What is your education background? I went to the University of Northern Iowa for my bachelor’s degree in biology. I went back to school and received my education endorsements alongside taking classes for my master’s degree in science education, which I will complete this fall.


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? This is my first year of teaching, but I did student-teach at Colo-NESCO last year, as well doing work as a substitute and an associate.


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? I enjoyed my time last year at Colo-NESCO as a student teacher, a substitute and as an associate. I feel we have a great staff here and am looking forward to collaborating with them. The students are great and I looking forward to working with them. I am excited to be here and am looking forward to getting to know the students, staff and community.


Who are your family members? I have a wife, Amanda; three cats named Midnight, Gus, and Josie and a pug named Bongo.


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? I like gardening, kayaking, biking, rollerblading, playing hockey, board games, video games and learning new things.


Nathan Ramthun


Age: 29


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? Seven-12 math teacher


Where were you raised? Nevada


What is your education background? Graduated high school at Nevada in 2007, graduated from Wartburg College in 2011


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? One year at Woodward Academy teaching algebra, six years at Fort Dodge teaching eighth-grade math


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? Teaching at a small school and being closer to family


Who are your family members? My girlfriend is Cheree Elkin, my daughter is Aria Ramthun (2)


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? I enjoy playing sand volleyball, slow pitch softball, tabletop games and spending time with my family and dogs.


Noah Ronnfeldt


Age: 23


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? I will be an English teacher. I will teach English 7, English 9, digital media, communications (first semester) and creative writing (second semester), and strategic reading. I will also be directing this year’s fall play and co-coaching high school speech!


Where were you raised? Williams


What is your education background? I graduated from Northeast Hamilton High School in Blairsburg. I attained my associate’s degree from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. Lastly, I attained my bachelor’s degree and teaching certification from Iowa State University.


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? I student-taught at Webster City High School and taught English 10, English 12 and Contemporary Literature. I also did two long-term sub positions: one at Boone High School, where I taught English 10, algebra, and probability and statistics, and one at Northeast Hamilton Elementary in Blairsburg, where I taught K-six special education.


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? As this is my first year of teaching, I am beyond excited to start my career at Colo-NESCO! I will also be taking on a couple of new roles that I am excited to learn from! I’m just so excited to become a part of this community!


Who are your family members? My father, Roy Ronnfeldt, my sister, Hilary Ronnfeldt, and my mother, Margaret Ronnfeldt, who I know will be looking down on me as I start this new chapter in my life.


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? I love learning new things, so my strange hobby is to try and learn new skills. For example, I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube at the beginning of this year. My other hobbies include: reading, watching movies, over-analyzing TV shows and playing sports of all kinds (I’ve been known to be quite competitive)!


Travis Owens


Age: 26


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? Athletic director/physical education five-12


Where were you raised? Milo


What is your education background? Iowa State University, Bachelor’s Degree in kinesiology/physical education


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? Belmond-Klemme CSD, K-six PE teacher


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? Having the opportunity to help maintain/grow the sport programs, as well as creating a relationship with the community.


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? I am very passionate about athletics. I have a great background with baseball. I also enjoy hunting and fishing in my free time.


Rodney Hesterberg


Age: 47


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? Special education teacher (Level II)


Where were you raised? West Branch


What is your education background? Buena Vista University, Wartburg College: major, American history, world history, political science and education


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach? Des Moines Public Schools — American/world history, earth science, biology and special education


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? Working in a small school environment, being a part of a great team


Who are your family members? Mom and Dad - live in Colorado; older brother lives in West Des Moines and younger sister — lives in Denver, Colo.


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? WW II history, astronomy and sci-fi subjects


Jim Walker


Age: 68


What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? Superintendent


Where were you raised? Algona


What is your education background? Briar Cliff College, BS with major in physical education and minors in business and biology; Iowa State University, MS in educational administration; Iowa State University – specialist (superintendent endorsement)


What other schools have you taught at, and what did you teach?


Granville Spalding, Granville, Iowa — 3 years PE and science


Nevada Community Schools


• Assistant principal/teacher - 3 years


• Middle school principal – 26 years


• Superintendent - 8 years


What excites you about working at Colo-NESCO? I retired in 2013, but wanted to stay involved in education, so I picked up a variety of jobs related to education. I was a part-time driver of a school van for Nevada for the past five years. I also worked for SAI (School Administrators of Iowa) as a data collector and then as a time change coach for three schools in southeast Iowa. The opportunity at Colo-NESCO to stay involved with education in a part-time setting appealed to me. The position, since it was part-time, provides me the flexibility for my wife and I to see our grandkids during the week if they have activities going on at their schools, and still stay active in an educational setting. I look forward to working with the board, staff, students and community.


Who are your family members? Spouse, Madeleine; two sons, Matt (Jill) and Eric (April); six grandkids, Michael, Julia, Brecken, Madiana, James and Gretchen


Do you have any interesting hobbies/pastimes? Following New York Yankees baseball team and reading