Back Row: Mr. Larson, Mr. Swensen, Mr. Noffsinger, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Ruud - Middle Row: Mrs. Bruinsma, Mrs. Larson, Mrs. Kuntz - Front Row: Ms. Rieff, Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Stratton
Ms. Cathee Bruinsma - Science
Hi—my name is Cathee Bruinsma—this is my seventh year at Harrisburg Middle School. I have taught kids from kindergarten through senior 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 four kids of my own, two kids-in-law, six grandchildren, and two grandbabies on the way. My husband, Scott, and I enjoy walking, working on our house and garden and spending hours of time playing with the grandchildren and our puppy Blaze!
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 first year in 7th grade math and look forward to many more.
Mr. Craig Swensen - Geography
Hello, my name is Craig Swensen. I teach 7th grade Geography. This will be my third year teaching but my forth 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 record and stream varsity sports online.
My wife, Kristen, and I have been married for over three 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 2nd 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. Last September, 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.
Mrs. Kristin Larson - English Language Arts (ELA)
Hi, I am Kristin Larson and I teach 7th grade ELA here at North Middle School. Last year, I taught both 6th and 7th grade ELA, so some of you (or your children) might be lucky enough to have me two years in a row! I am originally from Wisconsin, but have spent the last several years living and teaching in western South Dakota in and around the Black Hills. Prior to moving to Harrisburg, I taught with the Rapid City School District and the Hot Springs School District. Before becoming a teacher, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management and spent several years working various training and administrative roles for companies involved in technology, patents, trademarks, and copyrights. I went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education through Chadron State College, and I am now currently working on my Masters in Educational Administration. I am married with one daughter, who just turned two this summer. In my free time I love to travel and I am an avid photographer. I also coach 8th grade volleyball at HNMS.I am looking forward to meeting all of you (or seeing some of you again) this year!
Mrs. Nicole Ruud - Science
Hello and welcome to HNMS! This is the start of my 13th year of teaching; 11 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!
Mr. Cullen Noffsinger - Math
I am Cullen Noffsinger. This is my third year teaching Math at Harrisburg North Middle School. This will be my 23rd year of teaching in total. In my 22 previous years of teaching I have taught from 6th grade to High School seniors. In addition to Math I have taught ELA, Science, and Weight Training. I have also coached football at the high school and middle school level for over 20 years and I have coached high school baseball.
I am married to my wife, Mary and I have one son, Zach, who is 21 and is playing college football at Trinity in North Dakota. In my free time I enjoy reading and sports. During the Fall, I am often on the road on weekends traveling to watch my son play football.
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 new 6th and 7th grade ELA teacher to the Harrisburg School District this year. 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 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 first year teaching in the Harrisburg School District!! I am so excited to be a part of this great community and district. This is my 8th 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 4 the beginning of October. Our son will be 2 at the end of September. They keep us very busy, but they are so much fun! I graduated in May of 2016 with a Masters in Teaching and Learning from Northern State University. I also coach 7th grade volleyball for Harrisburg South Middle School. I am excited for the year ahead.
Ms. Jennifer Rieff - 7th Grade Tutor
Hello! My name is Jennifer (Jenn) Rieff and I am the 7th grade tutor and Moby Max Coordinator. I have been with the Harrisburg School District for five years. I have had a variety of hats with my tenure here at North. I was the 6th grade tutor for three years as well as the administrative assistant. Last year, I taught Moby Max, the supplemental math and reading program. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education along with my Kindergarten and English as a Second Language endorsements from Augustana University. I love to privately tutor students outside of school in the summer as well as be the Reading Bridge, summer tutoring program site coordinator for Harrisburg. I have two children who are in high school. I look forward to helping your child along their journey to be successful in their learning.