Maranda Olson

Blunt Elementary first grade teacher Maranda Olson is in her second year of teaching for the ABO School District. “I taught second grade last year,” said Olson. “Second grade I was used to. I student taught in second grade and was already aware of all the curriculum. This year, when I went to first grade I thought, ‘Oh! This is a challenge.’ It’s definitely different, but I’m loving it.”

The Riggs High School graduate says when she left for college “I always thought I would never come back, but family and everything else drew me here.” She enrolled at Northern State University in pursuit of a biology and chemistry degree. “I decided that was not for me.” She transferred to the University of South Dakota, but it wasn’t until her third year of school that she landed in the elementary education program. “I don’t know why I chose what I did when I graduated high school,” said Olson. “Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher.”

She took a position with the Sioux Falls School district as a substitute teacher where she experienced some diversity. “Then I applied for this job and I got it.”

Used to classroom with twenty students, the small class sizes in the Blunt Elementary were a surprise to her. “I have five students, all boys,” said Olson. “We do a lot of hands on learning. We love to do science experiments.”

The students rotate between Elizabeth Bourk’s classroom for reading and Olson’s classroom for math, “so I get to work with my kiddos from last year.”

Olson’s first graders “get their brains thinking about things” through Mystery Doug YouTube videos. “We talked about how to be an inventor.”

Blunt Elementary students recently went on an apple picking field trip, and Olson says she’ll use the apples in her classroom for science experiments.

Olson has a second job at Walmart which is “where a lot of kids know me from.” Through Walmart, she is pursuing a second Bachelor’s Degree in business administration with an emphasis on management. “I have two classes left, and I’ll have that degree, and then hopefully go on to a Master’s in Education.”

Olson recently closed on a home in Pierre, and her mom and her brother and four-year-old niece live in Pierre as well. She has two dogs, “Sadie and Shadow, two little pugs who were born in July.”

In her spare time, Olson volunteers in the Pierre community and serves as an umpire. “Umping is fun,” said Olson. “I played fast pitch through high school. I was a pitcher.” She says that she also enjoys camping, playing softball, bowling, and “throwing darts with my brother.”