Front, l-r: Allison Price, counselor at Grandview, Mattie Churchill, counselor at Emerson, Jo Underwood, High School math, Melissa Heupel, special education at Grandview. Back, l-r: Jodi Crile, third grade at Grandview, Sherry Belford, multimedia at Alliance Middle School, Sydnie Jeffrey, High School science, Doraly Roynaga, English Language Learners, Josi Failor, fifth grade at Grandview, and Misty Weare, fourth grade at Grandview.
APS Welcomes New Teachers
By SHAUN FRIEDRICHSEN
With school back in session, students and parents have likely noticed a host of new teachers in classrooms throughout the district.
Alliance Public Schools welcomed a total of 10 new teachers at the beginning of the new school year: Misty Weare, fourth grade at Grandview, Josi Failor, fifth grade at Grandview, Doraly Roynaga, English Language Learners, Sydnie Jeffrey, High School science, Sherry Belford, multimedia at Alliance Middle School, Jodi Crile, third grade at Grandview, Melissa Heupel, special education at Grandview, Jo Underwood, High School math, Mattie Churchill, counselor at Emerson, and Allison Price, counselor at Grandview.
Jodi Crile said she is excited for the start of the new year. She said she has wanted to be a teacher for a long time. She draws on a variety of experiences that she plans to help guide her throughout the year.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade,” said Crile. “I’m literally living the dream, which is really, really cool. I previously taught six years in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and absolutely loved it. I’m really looking forward to becoming part of this close community that Alliance has.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is meeting my students,” Crile said. “Even though there’s so much prep work, the school year doesn’t really start until you get to be in your class and building those connections and growing those relationships.”
Mattie Churchill said she has always been interested in becoming a counselor. This is Churchill’s fifth year in education.
“I love working with elementary students and seeing how they grow from start to finish,” said Churchill. “One of my biggest things this year is creating an environment that students are going to feel welcome and they’re going to want to come to school every day. They can come to my office for anything they need. I just believe it’s going to be a great year. Mr. (Steve) Folchert (Principal at Emerson) has been great to work with, and I’m excited to meet all the staff members at Emerson, and all the kiddos.”
APS Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker is looking forward to the year ahead. He noted the district is in the final stages of facility-improvement projects, such as installing the HVAC system at Grandview and sprinklers at Alliance High School.
Unzicker said it is going to be a busy fall sports season, with a total of six activities ongoing.
With the new educators beginning the 2019-20 school year, Unzicker said he is excited to have them at Alliance Public Schools.
“We’ve got some brand new people, we’ve got some who have moved in from other school districts, so there’s a good mix of people. We’re excited to get the year up and running,” said Unzicker. “There’s a lot that’s been going on, so we’re excited to get the year started.”
Unzicker offered some advice for the new teachers to help them be successful.
“A lot of times, new staff members are afraid to fail—they’re afraid to try,” Unzicker said. “Within reason, try something new. You haven’t failed just because something fails, you’ve just learned how not to do it. I would say be in constant contact with your principal and run ideas past them. Don’t be afraid to try new things. For me, some things might work that might not work for other people. I don’t think there’s a one size fits all philosophy for teachers, so I would encourage them to think outside the box a little, and don’t be afraid to try new things.”