SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new school year is almost here.

For some, it’s also a new chapter in their lives.

As a young girl, Ellie Richards knew exactly what she wanted to do someday.

“I think my kindergarten first day of school picture said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and I was holding my sign and it said, ‘teacher,'” St. Michael 3rd grade teacher Ellie Richards said.

That childhood dream is becoming a reality.

Next week, she’ll start her first full-time teaching job at St. Michael Elementary in Sioux Falls.

The USD grad will teach 15 third graders this year.

“I’m just finishing up my classroom, kind of last minute decor, the fun stuff, and then lesson planning, diving into curriculum, and just preparing for the school year,” Richards said.

Meanwhile, Maria Jackson is starting her teaching career as the academic services coordinator at O’Gorman High School.

“I just feel drawn to it. It’s kind of the higher academic rigor. I like the content better and you can get to now the students better and have a deeper connection with them,” Jackson said.

The NSU grad studied special education.

“My older brother has a disability and so I’ve always loved the special ed realm and then with teaching I just love helping people in anyway I can,” Jackson said.

Her main duties at O’Gorman will be providing accommodations to students during tests and assisting with homework.

While the two women will have different focuses in the classroom, they both share the excitement of helping students learn.

“That light bulb goes off in their head. That is so cool as a teacher to watch every student be able to experience that throughout the year,” Richards said.

The first day of school for Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools is next Thursday.

You can see more school start dates on our Back to School page.