Pender Public Schools held its first classes Monday. As usual, there were some new faces on the staff greeting students. Four new teachers and new guidance/counselor are part of the PPS staff for 2012-13. There are also two new paraprofessionals new to the district.

Jenny Pattee

Jenny Pattee will be providing guidance and counseling services for students in grades preschool-12th grade. She brings 25 years of experience with her to the job. She and her husband, Mike, have five children ranging in ages from four to 25.

Pattee is not completely new to the district as she served PPS as a member of the ESU #1 team in Wakefield prior to this year. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a degree in school psychology from the University of South Dakota and is currently working toward a master’s degree in school counseling at Wayne State College.

Lisa Maise

Lisa Maise joins the PPS staff  as a special education teacher for grades 7-9. She and her husband, JJ, live in Pender. She has four children, including one recent graduate. Her daughter, Jordan, was part of the class of 2012 at PHS. Her oldest son, Brody, is a senior this year. Her youngest son, Jaxon, is a fourth grader and her youngest daughter, Addison, is five.

Maise most recently taught in at South Sioux City Middle School. This mark’s the Emerson native’s 20th year of teaching. 

Ashley Bessmer

Ashley Bessmer is teaching one of two sections of first grade. The third-year teacher most recently taught preschool at Bancroft-Rosalie. The Pender native earned an elementary education degree from UNL in 2009.

Bessmer is also entering her first year as the head coach of the high school volleyball team.

Jordyn Vogel

Sheldon, Iowa, native Jordyn Vogel is starting off her teaching career at Pender Public Schools.

After earning a degree in K-12 vocal music education from Wayne State recently, Vogel will be teaching all grade levels this year at PPS in vocal music. 

Vogel is also taking on several extracurricular activities. She will be coaching junior high volleyball, girls basketball and track. She is also the sponsor of the cheerleading squad this year.

Tara English

Tara English will be teaching a section of second grade this year in addition to her duties as an assistant high school volleyball coach. English, who lives between Pender and Walthill with her husband, Mark, has three children ranging in ages from one to 13. Her oldest, Amber, is 13. Son Evan is eight and daughter Adyson is one. English’s most recent teaching job was at Bancroft-Rosalie. This will mark her eighth year as a teacher.


Two new paraprofessionals include Angie Rabbass and Trisha Wegner, both of Pender. Angie, who has two students in the district in her daughter Calie, nine, and son Spencer, eight, is married to Aaron Rabbass.

Wegner has two children, Michaela, 11 and Avery, six, with her husband, Mike. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling.