Phone: 651-293-8770


Degrees and Certifications:

I grew up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, graduated from Aquinas High School, attended UW- LaCrosse, and Valley City State University, ND. I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with minors in Early Childhood and Reading. I earned my Master of Science Degree at Minnesota State University-Mankato

Ms. Apel-Christianson

                                                                                                                                                                               Welcome to First Grade!

I'm Ms. Lisa Apel-Christianson and I teach 1st grade.  I'm excited to be at our awesome IB/PYP school! I love teaching the IB /PYP Program. I believe in working closely with families and staff here to help our students have an excellent, well-rounded educational experience. It's very powerful when all adults are working together to help our children be successful. I have taught many grades in my 33 year career, and here at HPE I've taught 1st grade the most. I'm excited about the 6 Units of Inquiry we teach in 1st grade! Please check out the unit titles and central ideas your child will be encouraged to delve deeper into learning about and inquiring about. First grade is a very important grade for learning how to read and write, and also for better understanding the world around them. We do this by asking questions and searching to find the answers to those questions.  New questions and new understanding occurs, which invigorates children to want to learn more. Wondering about the world around them and asking questions is a motivating and empowering part of IB learning.  "Taking action" to make something better is also encouraged.  It's a vital part of of the IB/PYP. I absolutely LOVE how young people learn how each and every person has has the power to make a big difference in this world. Young children CAN and DO things that make a positive difference, however small they might seem. 

We'll have fun working together to affirm, encourage and support your child's growth to reach his or her full potential.I'm hoping that we will be able to have parents come in to be part of our days, to also share experiences, read or help tutor students, or just volunteer to help our classroom in some way. Keep your fingers crossed, due to the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic and Delta variant, I have not yet heard the status on visitors.

 Please come to Open House! It is wonderful to meet and greet students before the beginning of the first day of school . We cannot bring supplies into school then this year, however We need and begin using supplies on the first day of school, especially those wide lined composition notebooks! We start reading, writing and math routines right away. Thank you for getting these items right away to help your child start on the right foot.

Here is a little about me. I grew up in a family of 6 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. An interesting story in my family history is that my mother's parents emigrated from Germany. and she grew up on a farm, one of 8 children. After college when she went on a return visit to Germany with her parents to see family, she was introduced to my father. ♥️❤️♥️He emigrated to the USA, and they got married. I'm the 3rd of 4 sisters. I graduated from Aquinas High School, then attended UW- LaCrosse, and Valley City State University, ND where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with minors in Early Childhood and Reading. I earned my Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education at Minnesota State University-Mankato.  I love to learn, and read, and my goal is to help children unlock the mystery and excitement of learning. I strive to inspire all of my students be good readers, and to enjoy reading, so that they are able to learn about the world around them. Becoming a good reader is imperative for success in all other subject areas. Making progress is the key, and celebrating those baby steps along the way is important. Children are all different, and they do not all learn at the same speed but takes practice every night. Being read to at home by parents and guardians is still an important part of the equation! Parents, being involved by signing the daily planner and talking positively about school, having your child read and practice reading the word wall words, looking over your child's homework and catching errors, volunteering when you can either at school, or doing projects at home, ensuring regular bedtime, explaining how things work, encouraging your child to do their best, letting me know with a note in the planner or email if your child is struggling with something, and having a positive belief in school and the daily expectation of doing homework are all ways you can support. Thank you in advance for all you do!

I've experienced this important school/home commitment relationship when raising our 2 daughters, with my husband, Tom. I know it is not easy. Our Gretchen and Annalena are now college graduates.❤️ Gretchen works as a recruiter and Annalena is nannying and scuba dives at the aquarium at Scheels while searching for an Environmental Sciences degree job. She is living at home. We have a Cockapoo puppy who is just 5 months old, and she still keeps ALL of us incredibly busy! 🐶 Our family enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, and cabin time together and with extended family. Looking back at some family pictures from this summer reminds me of how fast the time goes and how fast things can change. Helping my husband recover from a broken leg after a horse kicked him while we were on a family trail ride on Memorial Day weekend, also reminds me of how situations can always be worse. We got through this together as a family, and it was difficult. He is just now back to work at his job at Scheels as a Fishing Department manager.  Just like the pandemic. Families really had to work hard together to get through. I'm trying to always find the positive and appreciate the good in those small moments! 🌞 Life sure throws us some challenges. In education we call it "productive struggle", which builds resiliency and confidence to apply to new situations and learning. Thankfully, we have each other to lean on and work together! 

 I look forward to a wonderful new school year together!  First grade is an amazing year in a child's life! I'm excited and grateful to be part of it! Keep in touch should something come up in family life or if there is a struggle with learning in school that affects your child.  I can support better being in the loop, to support, help problem solve or give extra attention. Social and emotional connections are very important for children to see themselves positively to grow and develop.

Thank you in advance! I'm looking forward to an exciting, rewarding in-person school year!