When Watonwan County’s new Public Works Director, Teal Spellman was in high school she visited New York during a church trip.

After seeing the beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Green Bay, Wisconsin native decided that she one day wanted to become an engineer.

Fast forward a few years after the high school trip and Spellman earned her degree the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Civil Engineering.

Out of college Spellman joined MnDOT team in WIllmar where she eventually earned the rank as project manager for five years.

A few months ago Spellman decided to pursue a chance in a different role this time working as the Watonwan County Public Works Director.

The job  became open after Veteran county engineer Roger Risser took a job with MnDOT.

Spellman heard about the job opening and decided that it was a good opportunity to pursue another angle of the public sector.

After getting hired earlier this summer Spellman was officially sworn in as the County Engineer/ Public Works Director and is looking forward to doing what she likes most about being a public engineer.

Helping the public.

While her duties are different in her new role Spellman said that the knowledge she has gained from MnDOT will help her greatly with her new County role.

One of those things she pointed to is understanding how MnDOT funding works and knowing what they look for in projects.

Because roads can be very expensive to maintain and or to repair their is a great importance on being able to get different projects funded through MnDOT.

Another point that Spellman noted was her experience when it comes to federal funding for projects.

By being familiar with that source of funding Spellman said she will have an advantage of feeling comfortable to apply for some of those different funding sources which would be extremley beneficial to the county.

Ultimately Spellman said her favorite part about being a public engineer is being able to improve the roads that people have to drive on for their work commutes or in their communities.

She said that when people have less problems with their roads their quality of life is improved.

With about a month on the job so far Spellman is looking forward to learning more about the different issues that different county residents and taxpayers face and encourages people to reach out to her so they can work on any issues.

Spellman can be reached at 507-942-2200 or by email Teal.Spellman@co.watonwan.mn.us.