New teacher on St. John’s staff

Kaja Kaste is the new first grade teacher at St. John’s Elementary, Wahpeton. Raised in Wahpeton, she’s excited for her first year of teaching.

Kaja Kaste loves St. John’s Elementary so much that she had no desire to work anywhere else.

Kaste, 34, is the new first grade teacher at St. John’s, Wahpeton. Raised in Wahpeton, Kaste is excited for her first year of teaching.

“I always wanted to be a teacher, from the time I was a little girl,” Kaste said. “My mom would always talk about me playing school with my brother of having something set up.”

Fifteen first graders are taught each day by Kaste. The class has spent over 10 days together so far.

“They’re a great group of kids. Fifteen is a great number of students to start with. It’s been fun to jump into the material for this year,” Kaste said.

Kaste and her students are currently reviewing what was learned in kindergarten while transitioning into first grade-level learning. Recent classroom topics include bar graphs and using the interactive Mystery Science program.

“I really like when the kids can play,” Kaste said. “I know the desk work is so important, but I like that they can explore through outside activity and with experiments in the classroom.”

Saying she’s someone who likes to have a lot of fun, Kaste also enjoys sharing music with her students and having an energetic day.

“I am a mom. I have my own family. Although my journey to being a teacher has been a little unconventional, having been at home with my own children for 10 years, I’m excited to be back in the workforce,” Kaste said.

Kaste and her husband Kory have four children, fifth grader Gracin, 10, fourth grader Nolan, 9, second grader Isla, 7, and pre-kindergartener Declan, 4. The Kaste children have been attending St. John’s all their lives, Kaja Kaste said.

While St. John’s was Kaja Kaste’s parish growing up, she went to Wahpeton Public Schools and Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota.

“I have known the teachers here for a longtime and feel like I’ve been here for a long time already,” Kaste said.

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