SHELBY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

2017-18 New Teachers Around Shelby Schools

Four new teachers joined the Shelby Team this summer and below is a little bit of information about these new staff members.

 
Kristen Cruze
I grew up and attended school in Cascade, MT. I graduated in 2010, so yes I did go to Cascade when they used to be in the same class as Shelby and rival in sports. I am a 2015 graduate of the University of Montana Western, where I received my bachelor of science in music education.  I taught in Lima, MT the past year and a half and started a music program from scratch as well as a pep-club. I have interests and support for all fine arts and I am eager to become a member of the Shelby community.
 
Robyn Skillman
I am excited to start my first year teaching science at Shelby High School. I graduated from SHS in 2007 and it feels good to be back in this wonderful community. After graduating high school, I attended Carroll College and received a B.A. in Biology in 2011. A couple of years later I went on to Montana State University to get a B.S. in secondary education in 2017. However, I still root for the Griz! I enjoy hiking, camping, reading, golfing, traveling, friends, family and my pug, Maximus. We have a great community with awesome kids and I am looking forward to help steer them in any direction they want to go.
 
Mark Ayers
I was born and raised in Fort Benton.  I grew up in a large family of 9 children, 8 boys, and 1 girl.  I became a teacher because of my high school wrestling coach and received my Bachelors of Science Degree from Western Montana College and received my Master’s Degree from the University of Idaho.  I taught 6th grade in Cut Bank for 15 years and spent the last 7 years a Hidden Lake Colony.  I am the new teacher out at Camrose Colony and looking forward to the opportunity to meet a new group of students.  Outside of the education field, I am a passionate Oakland Raiders fan and a complete Star Wars nerd!
 
Ceilon Aspensen
It is with great pleasure that I anticipate beginning the new school year as the new art teacher in Shelby! 
 
I have lived in Montana for 28 years, but was born in Verdun, France and spent the first ten years of my life in Europe as an Army brat because of my dad’s work in Army Intelligence. My gene pool is in Alabama, where I spent every summer of my childhood working on my grandparents’ farm. 
 
I have been an artist my entire life, have a BFA in Drawing from Mississippi State University, a master's degree in Native American Studies from Montana State University, and am currently a doctoral candidate in American Studies finishing my dissertation on Contemporary American Indian Art. I write and make art daily. 
 
In addition to working as a full-time studio artist and being a perpetual graduate student, I was also an adjunct instructor at Montana State University where I taught NASX-551 American Indian Art Survey from 2009-2015. I also taught art full-time in grades 9-12 in Baltimore City Public Schools in Baltimore, Maryland for five years from 2006-2011, and taught art as a volunteer and served as an art mentor in the Bozeman area for many years prior to earning my PreK-12 Art teacher certification. While working on my doctorate I ran my own after-school art and summer art camp program for K-6th-grade students: BozeArts. Last year I taught K-12 Art in Brockton, Montana on the Fort Peck Indian reservation.  In May 2006 I was awarded the College of Letters and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for my innovative and outstanding teaching. 
 
My husband works for MSU-Bozeman as a Custodian and is just six years from retirement, so we have a commuter relationship. Bozeman is home-base for us, and we take turns doing the drive to see each other on the weekends. During the week he lives in our house in Bozeman with our two cats, and I have an apartment here in Shelby with my little Pomeranian, Chewey (short for Chewbacca, for reasons that become obvious when you meet him). He may be small, but Chewey has proven himself to be a formidable bodyguard on my weekly commutes across the state. My husband and I have enjoyed getting to know Shelby as I looked for a place to live and used my new apartment as a staging area for several forays into Glacier National Park (our favorite!). In the past, we've only been able to spend time in Glacier about once a year, but we've already been there five times this summer, with one more trip planned just after school starts. We love the Shelby area and are thinking we might like to retire here. 
 
My only child lives in Bozeman and is married to a Churchill farm boy. She just informed me that she will be making me a grandmother in February of the coming year. I have already started knitting and crocheting baby things and am planning my next summer around my new grandbaby. 
 
You might think being an artist and art teacher would keep me plenty busy, but I do also have hobbies. Summertime finds my husband and I kayaking rivers and hiking mountains, and wintertime finds me knitting, crocheting, and occasionally doing some Nordic skiing. 
 
I am very much looking forward to my first year teaching in Shelby. So far my time here has been very enjoyable, and the people have been welcoming. I am grateful to be part of such a friendly and vibrant community.