(507) 582-3568 ext. 4362
Welcome to another school year!
My name is Jessica Fraser. I am looking forward to being your teacher this year. This is my fifth year teaching Language Arts at Southland.
I earned an Associate of Arts degree from Kirkwood College in 1999, and I graduated from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in English and Education.
I have over seventeen years of experience as a teacher, working in many different Minnesota schools, including Friedell Middle School, Apple Valley Area Learning Center, and Faribault High School. Most recently before I came to Southland I spent four years at Rochester Off Campus Charter High School, now called Rosa Parks.
To keep up-to-date with my professional knowledge and my teaching skills, I go to workshops, conferences, in-service meetings, college classes, and seminars. I read professional books and collaborate with my fellow teachers. I am currently enrolled in the Master's of English program at Minnesota University, Mankato. And I love to teach! I enjoy teaching, and I am proud that I am a teacher. So you can relax. You are in good hands this year with me, Ms. Fraser.
How I Got Here
This is me at age ten. When I was growing up I was a lonely kid. Books were my escape; I lived in the worlds authors created with their words. I lived in a Little House on the Prairie with Laura Ingalls, and in The Chronicles of Narnia I met talking animals and used magic to win battles against evil. I explored The Secret Garden and shivered in an attic with The Little Princess, and I traveled across England to rescue The Hundred and One Dalmations.
During high school, I was always reading ahead in English assignments, or reading a novel in class. My teachers were surprised when they called on me; even though it looked like I wasn't paying attention, I knew the answers. My teachers believed in me. They told me, "You can do anything." I remember many of them, and I am grateful for what they did for me and all of their students.
When it came to deciding what to be when I grew up, teaching, and teaching words, was the natural choice for me. I graduated in 2002 from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Education. Since then I have taught students of every age, from preschool to twelfth grade. I have taught in big schools and small ones. I have worked and lived in the same community, and I have commuted up to eighty miles each way to reach my classroom.
I am not lonely anymore, and I can help kids who struggle like I did. Today is a lot different from when I was ten...books aren't the only form of escape. Now most kids have mobile devices, with music and games and videos and social media sites. I want to make sure they don't get lost, so I'm going to be someone who tells them, "You can do anything," and teach them the skills they need to do it.
Home & Family
I grew up in Algona, Iowa, and all of my parents still live in Iowa. My mom and her husband live in Algona, my dad and his wife are in Forest City, and my stepdad and his wife live in Waukee. I have several siblings: Gabe, Mike, Jenny, and Jeremiah. My youngest brother, Zach, passed away in 2005. I also have a bunch of nieces and nephews. I have a grown-up son named Blake who is 25. He lives in Petoskey, Michigan, where he is a manager at Wendy's. My first year teaching at Southland, I lived in Faribault, Minnesota, and I drove eighty miles to school each morning and eighty miles home again each evening. That was A LOT of time in the car. I moved to Adams in 2016, and to LeRoy in 2018, where I live with my sweetheart, Ben, and his two kids. Max is in sixth grade and Ayla is in fourth grade. We have two cockatiels named Petey (a.k.a. P.T. Barnum) and Jasper.