Ms. Cathee Bruinsma - Science
Hi—my name is Cathee Bruinsma—this is my 8th year at Harrisburg Middle School. I have taught kids from kindergarten through seniors in high school and have coached athletes from grades 5th through seniors in college—but my love has always been teaching science and coaching in the middle school. Prior to coming to Harrisburg I taught and coached in Canistota for 15 years, where I raised, taught and coached my four kids. After they all graduated it was time for a change. I now have eleven grandchildren, a change from the six that I had at the beginning of last year.:). I have retired from coaching but am still trying to stay active with volleyball by referring and line judging and watching . I enjoy playing pickleball—a great new sport for anyone looking for something new. My husband, Scott, and I also enjoy walking, working on our house and garden and spending hours of time playing with the grandchildren and our almost 2 year old dog, Blaze!
Mrs. Christine Johnson - Math
HEY! I am Christine Johnson and I teach MATH! I have the 6th Grade Advanced Math and 7th Grade Math! This is my first year at North! I started my teaching career 20 years ago. I spent the first 8 years in Sioux Falls. My boys started 3rd grade in the Harrisburg School District and I loved the small-town feeling that Harrisburg had and wanted to be a part of it! I was at Explorer for 7 years and when Endeavor opened, I moved there.
I am super excited for my new journey at HNMS. My husband and I have twin boys (Lukas and Paul) that play football at SMSU in Marshall, MN. (Go MUSTANGS!) I have two Labrador retrievers. Koda is our huge black lab that likes to pet you back~ aka Licks-A-Lot! Echo is our little yellow lab that is addicted to fetching! My favorites include: football, Q-doba, Star Wars, elephants, Marvel, Starburst and riddles! In my class, mistakes are expected, inspected and respected!!
Mr. Craig Swensen - Geography
Hello, my name is Craig Swensen. I teach 7th grade Geography. This will be my fourth year teaching but my fifth year in the Harrisburg district, as I did my student teaching at the High School. I also help out up at the high school with TigerVision, where we stream varsity sports online.
My wife, Kristen, and I have been married for over four years and recently bought a house in Harrisburg. We do not have any children but do have a dog named Kenobi, and yes he is named after the Star Wars character Obi Wan Kenobi because I am a nerd and there was no way my wife would let me name our future son Kenobi.
Since I was 12 years old, I have also owned a shave ice business where I travel around the area, during the summer months, selling deliciousness in a cup at local events and festivals. Some of my favorite things are, in no particular order, Cornhusker football, the Seattle Mariners, sports in general, Star Wars, Dr. Who, The Walking Dead, Arrow, the Flash, Bob’s Burgers, Batman, and going to movies...I wasn’t lying about being a nerd.
Mrs. Caitlin Stratton - English Language Arts (ELA)
Hello! I’m Cait Stratton, and I’m excited to be embarking on my 3rd year as a teacher. I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, and I began attending school in Harrisburg in 8th grade. In 2015, I graduated from Augie with majors in English, Spanish, and Secondary Education. Two years ago, I married my husband Dan, and we have one adorable dog named Penny. She’s a cockapoo. Your kids will hear about her all the time. When I’m not teaching ELA, I might be found playing strategic board games with my husband, reading, wandering aimlessly through the aisles of Target, hand-lettering, or watching The Office for the hundredth time. Thus, I will leave you with this: “Everyone said to Vincent Van Gogh, ‘You can’t be a great painter! You only have one ear!’ You know what he said? ‘I can’t hear you.”—Michael Scott, The Office.
Ms. Elizabeth Anderson - English Language Arts (ELA)
Hello! My name is Miss Elizabeth Anderson and I am a new 7th grade ELA teacher! This past May, I graduated from Augustana University with degrees in English and Secondary Education. I’m so excited to begin my first year teaching in the Harrisburg School District! I am from Sioux Falls, SD and currently reside there as well. I enjoy doing anything to stay active and get outside, I love to cook and bake, and I enjoy spending time with family and friends! I strive to take life with a positive attitude; that being said, I cannot wait to see what this year brings!
Mrs. Nicole Ruud - Science
Hello and welcome to HNMS! This is the start of my 14th year of teaching; 12 of those years have been teaching middle school science. My husband and I moved to Sioux Falls in 2012 and I’ve been with the Harrisburg District since then. We have two sons, Marek and Carson. I am a self-proclaimed science geek as I absolutely love all things science and always have. Learning how the world works and how science is a part of our everyday lives has always interested me. I think I literally took every science class I possibly could in high school.
My hope is I can spark some of that curiosity in each of you this year in life science. Also, I’m originally from Minnesota, so I bleed purple and gold no matter how good or bad their season is going. #SKOLVikings #thisisouryear In addition to watching the Vikings, I love to spend time with my family at the lake, read, scrapbook, and just hang out. My boys are growing up too fast, so I take every free minute I can get with them
Mrs. Kathleen Martin - Math
I was born and raised in southern Ontario Canada in a town called Grimsby with a population of 20,000. I started my post-secondary education at the University of Windsor for psychology my first year and then social work my second. I met my husband online in 2004 whom come with me to the University of Windsor for his last two years of his business degree. Upon graduation, he decided he didn’t want to live in Canada so we packed up our apartment and moved to the US. I then finished my Bachelors in Human Development and Family studies in Sioux Falls through SDSU. It wasn’t until I took a position as a preschool teacher that I truly found my calling as a teacher. After having my twin daughters at the end of 2013 I took that break in my professional career to go back to school. I graduated May 2017 from USD and am excited to be starting my second year in 7th grade math and look forward to many more.
Mr. Christopher Larson - Geography
Hello, I am Chris Larson and I teach 7th grade Geography and 8th Grade U.S. History. I will also be coaching 7th grade girls basketball this year. This will be my 8th year of teaching and my 2nd at HNMS. I previously taught 4 years in Hot Springs teaching high school and 2 years before that at Bennett County Junior High. While in Hot Springs I organized two trips to Washington D.C. through the Close Up Foundation in which I took a total of 60 students to learn about government at our nation's capital.
I received my teaching degree from Chadron State College and my Masters degree from USD. I have been married to my wife Kristin for 4 years. We have a daughter named Kennedy who turned two this summer. We also have two dogs, Gizmo Cornelius and Perseus George. This summer I had the opportunity to represent South Dakota at the Street Law Supreme Court Institute, where I took part in a week long in depth seminar about the Supreme Court. I am very excited for this school as we have some awesome stuff planned for the 7th grade this year.
Ms. Randi Johnson - English Language Arts (ELA)
I'm Miss Randi Johnson, a 2nd-year 7th grade ELA teacher in the Harrisburg School District. I'm from Sioux Falls, SD, originally from Canton, and recently graduated from USD. Now I live in Sioux Falls with my significant other, Lyndon, and our two cats, Artemis and Osiris. I come from a fairly large, very loving family with two younger biological siblings, one adopted little sister, and two younger step-brothers. I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, Marvel comics geek, and cat-lover. I am excited to see what the year brings and for all the fun we will have!
Mrs. Amanda Kuntz - SPED
Hello! My name is Amanda Kuntz and this is my second year teaching in the Harrisburg School District!! I am so excited to be a part of this great community and district. This is my 9th year of teaching all together. I was in Huron for the first 7 years teaching Special Education Resource Room in 7th and 8th grade. I was born and raised in Colorado. I have an older brother and younger sister. I graduated from University of Northern Colorado in May of 2010. I married my husband in June of 2010 and that fall we moved to Huron, South Dakota. We have two beautiful children. Our daughter will be 5 the beginning of October. Our son will be 3 at the end of September. They keep us very busy, but they are so much fun! I also coach 7th grade volleyball for Harrisburg South Middle School. I am excited for the year ahead.