People to Know: Mr. Ostrander


photo courtesy of Luke Ostrander

Mr. Luke Ostrander is one of the newest faces at Apple Valley and a hard one to miss. He stands at over six feet tall, the tallest in the English department. (Sorry, Helgeson.) But Mr. Ostrander is much more than an English powerhouse;  the majority of his time outside of class is spent with the speech team.

During his time in high school in central Iowa, Ostrander was involved in theatre and speech. He competed in a little category called ‘acting.’ But first, some background with speech for those of you who are unfamiliar: in Minnesota there are thirteen categories that range from humorous to informative that all have their own special elements. Ostrander describes the category of ‘acting’ as “humor and dramatic combined…and you had a table and a chair to use. It was so weird. I would have gotten killed if I competed against any of you kids.”

photo courtesy of Luke Ostrander
photo courtesy of Luke Ostrander

After he graduated high school, he advanced to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. “I did my undergrad in English and I started my masters in education right afterwards.”

He taught language arts and history in a middle school for four years after college, before moving on to Marian High School, an all girls’ college prep school. At Marian, Ostrander delved right into their speech community, coaching nationally recognized competitors alongside Mr. Bryan Hagg until 2015, when he started teaching at Apple Valley.

Ostrander’s first contact with Apple Valley was “long before I started working here.  It was on the speech circuit through Mr. Hagg. I knew (Apple Valley) as a powerhouse.”  In fact, Mr. Hagg is the reason Mr. Ostrander is at Apple Valley today. Recruited from Nebraska this summer, he’s teaching English 9, Comp 10, World Literature, and he’s also a new coach of the Apple Valley speech and debate team.

Ostrander says “After Hagg was offered the job, I knew about it and told him if there’s ever an opening, let me know.” And the rest is history.

photo courtesy of Luke Ostrander
photo courtesy of Luke Ostrander

Now finally here at Apple Valley, Mr. Ostrander’s day starts at 6:50, with breakfast duty. “Then I teach, then I stay after school for speech practices with poetry, prose, and storytelling. I normally go get food real fast, then come back for night practices until 9.” And we thought we stayed here long! A teacher’s day never ends.

In such a short time, Mr. Ostrander has had an amazing impact on our community. Senior Stephanie Kahle says, “Ostrander is the type of teacher you stay friends with after high school. He honestly cares about each student and makes you feel like you belong. Plus, he is probably the most hilarious person in my life.”

In his short time at Apple Valley, he’s impacted the lives of countless students. Mr. Luke Ostrander might be extremely tall but he’s got a big heart to match his height.

Finally, here are some fun facts about Mr. Ostrander:

  • Favorite board game: Stratego
  •    Favorite TV Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  •    Favorite color: Blue
  •    Favorite food: Pizza
  •    Favorite vacation: France
  •    Favorite store: J. Crew
  •    Worst job: Greeter at Abercrombie. “I had to ask everyone right as they walked in the store, ‘Have you heard how great our jeans fit?’ And the truth was they fit terrible.”
  •    Family: two brothers, mom and step-dad
  •    Life Lesson: Teamwork makes the dream work
  •    Personality Type: ENFJ