Returning to PV: from student to teacher


Brett Ahlgren

Pleasant Valley teacher, Brett Ahlgren, in high school five years before returning to the district.

Carly Lundry, News Editor

Pleasant Valley graduates have returned to their alma mater as staff members and shared the most influential changes since their time as students.

The biggest physical change teachers reflected on is the expansion of the building. The new addition has provided more classrooms and space. 

Emily Jorgensen, Pleasant Valley graduate, is now in her first year teaching here. Jorgensen, located in the center of the school, said, “I feel lucky to be in the main part of the building because it is still familiar to me from when I was a student.” 

An improvement for athletics is the weight room expansion. After graduating nine years ago, Brett Ahlgren returned to PV as a physical education teacher and also works with athletes in the weight room. 

Ahlgren participated in basketball and baseball and said, “The weight room was in the same spot and there were only ten racks but we also had circuit weight machines.” 

The current weight room has over 30 racks with equipment such as treadmills and iPads for every athlete. The lifting program has made substantial changes and athletes have benefited from the recent updates.

Many staff members at Pleasant Valley have had long, successful teaching careers and had opportunities to educate hundreds of hopeful teens. Jorgensen teaches Honors English 10 with Jenni Levora and revealed that she took the same class when she was a sophomore in high school. Her former teacher is now a coworker. Ahlgren was also coached in baseball by current principal, Darren Erickson. 

Technology, especially cell phones, has greatly changed the culture of high school. Instead of using cell phones to access the internet, many classrooms are equipped with Chromebook carts for students to use. Jorgensen mentioned that the chromebooks are a new addition to classrooms that allow all students to do their schoolwork in class using the internet.

For many, returning to their high school to pursue a career may seem unnecessary. Ahlgren, however, saw a good job opportunity in a respected school and said, “I saw a way to connect to the community and it feels good to give back to the school.” 

Both Jorgensen and Ahlgren enjoyed their time as students at Pleasant Valley and experienced both athletic and academic success. As teachers, they will pass on knowledge to their students that they once resembled.