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Tom Pantera | Johnson Publications

Staci Applegarth, a 2004 WP graduate, now teaches math in the same room in which she was a kindergarten TA during her junior year here.

New math teacher back where she started

When Staci Applegarth returns to her roots, she doesn’t mess around.
    Applegarth, 34, is one of four new teachers this year in the Wauneta-Palisade School District. She teaches math, and the room in which she works now is the very first one she ever taught in.
    A Palisade native, she was a 2004 graduate of WP High School. As a junior, she was a teaching assistant for kindergarten teacher Keri Sutherland.
    “A lot of the teachers that taught me are still here, so that’s a little strange,” she said with a chuckle.
    Applegarth is teaching algebra 2, pre-algebra, two math intervention classes for students who need extra help, and two classes that carry dual credits from both WP and Mid-Plains Community College — algebra and statistics.
    She comes to Wauneta from McCook, where she taught high school math for 12 years.
    She and her husband Matthew, a farmer and rancher, live near Palisade and have four children — Kaia, 9, Myka, 8, Broden, 5, and Huxon, 1 — and coming here was largely a family decision.
    “My kids attend school here,” she said. “We decided it would be nicer to be around their activities and not be 45 minutes away.”

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