CHOICE is a staff led school.  Interested in who serves on our committees and what they do?  Click here to see our Committee List

Pic of name for Marrissa Johnson.PNG

Marissa graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. She taught remedial English courses for one summer at the Valley View Learning Center in Dover, MN. She also spent two years teaching high school English at Don Bosco Catholic High School in Gilbertville, IA. Marissa is looking forward to becoming an active member of the Owatonna community and sharing her passion for learning with the students and faculty at CHOICE.


Shari Carlson has been a part of the Owatonna community for over 28 years. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato and has over 20 years of administrative professional experience. She also spent 4 years as a substitute teacher and a chaperone for the Owatonna High School Marching Band. She is an active volunteer in several organizations within the Owatonna community as well.

Pic for name for Sam Bultsma.PNG

This is Sam's second year at CHOICE. She is 24 years old and lives in Lakeville. She earned her associates degree in Human Services from Century College in 2015. Before coming to CHOICE, Sam worked as a tutor and summer camp counselor at Lifetime Fitness and the Lakeville School District. She also worked as a sports coach and youth worker at the YMCA, as well as a special education paraprofessional in the Faribault School District. Sam enjoys working with the students at CHOICE.

Pic for name for Cleyden.PNG

Courtney Leyden is 26 years old, and has been living in Owatonna since 2007. She has been working at Timberlodge Steakhouse as a server/bartender for 4 years now. In the spring of 2016 she earned her associates degree with an emphasis on Elementary Education through Riverland Community College. She plans on continuing her education in order to obtain her bachelors degree in Education through Winona State University.

Courtney is hard working and a tremendous people person. She is looking forward to working with many students at the CHOICE Technical Academy.

Ashley M.jpg

Ashley Mosser - School Social Worker

Ashley, LSW, graduated from MSU Mankato with her Bachelors of Social Work degree in 2016. Ashley has experience working with people from infant to adulthood. She has interned as a county social worker as well as a school social worker and has worked in many different daycare settings. Ashley will work with groups of students as well as individually on many different issues, including; social skills, communication, peer pressure, depression, good sportsmanship, coping skills, anxiety, appropriate boundaries and family issues. Ashley will be available to students and parents to talk about any issues or concerns that may be present in their lives. 

Ashley is married and has a 13-year-old step-daughter and 3 cats. Ashley and her husband are expecting their first child this summer. She enjoys watching MN Twins baseball, traveling, camping, playing co-ed softball, biking, fishing, being in the sun...etc; basically anything outdoors in the summer but dislikes the cold winter months. 

Ashley has a passion for helping others and is excited to join the CHOICE team in hopes of making a difference with assisting students in learning and improving their lives.

Elise Pic.jpg

Elise Hageman- Advisor

Elise graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2014 with a degree in Social Studies Education. During her college career, she studied abroad and taught in an International school in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Elise loves to learn about different cultures and the world that we live in. 

This is Elise's first year at CHOICE. Previously, Elise taught in St. Peter, MN where she helped implement History Day and AVID in the Middle School. 

Elise is looking forward to connecting to students at CHOICE and helping them grow as learners. 

In her free time, Elise likes to cook, bake, spend time outdoors, and knit.


Matthew Doyle- Advisor

I grew up in St. Paul and graduated from St. John's University with a degree in English and Secondary Education. My parents live in the cities with my brother, and my sister is off in Nicaragua working at an orphanage. My bride-to-be lives in the cities as well. She is a counseling psychologist who got her bachelor's degree from the same school as me (that's how we met) and her master's degree from Pacific University in Oregon.

Now that that is out of the way, I enjoy reading, playing old video games, weightlifting, running, Frisbee, and eating, (according to my fiancee I also have annoying obsessions with suits, professional wrestling, European continental philosopher Slavoj Zizek, and weird comedy shows like Rick and Morty. I find that my interest in these things is healthy. Which of us is right? I suppose you will find out.).

Lastly, I will say that my grandfather and grandmother lived in Owatonna their entire life together. All of my uncles and aunts from their side grew up there and I have visited Owatonna frequently throughout my life. I'm so excited to be able to work there and I look forward to meeting all of you.

Sara Pic.jpg

Sara Baird - Advisor

This is Sara's third year at Choice Technical Academy. She lives in Owatonna, and loves spending time outdoors with her husband, children and dog.  

Sara previously taught at Vermilion Country School in Tower, MN where she worked to develop the project based learning curriculum and served on the school board.  She has experience working with learners aged preschool to adult in settings ncluding Montessori, traditional schools, and community classes.  She will continue to work towards a Master's of Education this fall. 

Sara enjoys hiking, camping, reading, agility with her dog, Crossfit, and fermenting food, and she is looking forward to another exciting year as our Lead Advisor, at CHOICE!