HUGO — As of July 1, students and staff at Oneka Elementary will see a new face in the office, classrooms, cafeteria, halls and out on the playground.
Lori Mosser will fill the shoes of Teresa Dahlem, who held the position from when the school opened in 2006 until she retired this year. This will be Mosser's 21st year in education.
"Lori has extensive teaching experience at the elementary level and has served in instructional leadership roles as well," said Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak. "We are excited for her to step into this role, serving elementary families on the north end of our district."
Mosser, a resident of Lakeville, is originally from Bemidji. Her grandmother, who was a third grade teacher, inspired her to pursue a career in education. “She was just the happiest person. I remember thinking, 'why can't she be my teacher?'”
Mosser received her elementary education degree from Bemidji State University and her master's degree and administration licensure through St. Mary's University.
Her career began in Dallas, Texas, where she was a fourth-grade teacher for several years. In 2000, she moved back to Minnesota and became a Title I and a longterm substitute teacher for a middle school in the Minnetonka School District. She also spent a short time working at a small school, which no longer exists, for at-risk youth in the Mounds View area.
From 2003-2017, Mosser worked in the Eastern Carver County District (Chaska), where she taught third, fourth and fifth grade and also served as an instructional coach. Most recently, she became the dean of students at Central Middle School in White Bear Lake in 2017.
“I've always been an elementary person. That is where I have lived my life. I love the kids, the curriculum, it is so wonderful to see how kids grow from kindergarten all the way up to fifth grade,” Mosser explained said about why she wanted the position. “I wanted to have a greater impact. In teaching you touch so many lives. I have had (the chance to know) thousands of children in my career, but that was just in my one classroom. I wanted to have that impact across an entire building.”
The fact that Mosser had heard great things about the staff at Oneka, the school itself and the city of Hugo also made the position attractive. “Oneka already has such a strong group of staff. Teresa ran such a wonderful building,” she said. “I want to bring my knowledge, expertise, skills and experience here to share.”
Mosser is most looking forward to building “deep and strong” relationships with the students, parents and the entire community. She said she plans to get involved with the Parent Teacher Organization, the Hugo Business Association and the city of Hugo.
“It does take a village to raise our kids and I am excited to be a part of that and see how many voices we can bring to the table to enrich their lives,” she said. “I am thrilled, humbled and beyond excited for my new role.”
Mosser and her husband Tony have two daughters, Olivia, 16, and Svea, 12. The family enjoys spending time at their cabin in Bemidji and playing tennis. Mosser is also an avid runner and qualified to run next year's Boston Marathon. That will mark her sixth marathon.
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com,