By Lynasi Gapelu
In just a few months, South will be welcoming many teachers over to fill the new positions in the freshman wing.
According to Principal Charlie Belt, over the course of time the district’s Human Resource office constructed a system to determine the teachers transferring from the Freshman Center to South.
“Last fall the district human resource office, HR, put out an email to the freshman center staff that was in the form of a survey inviting them to fill out the survey that would give some information about their years of experience, things they are involved in, extracurricular/cocurricular that they coach, sponsor, or volunteer and then their desire,” Belt said.
Many of the teachers, who will soon be joining South’s staff, have a variety of feelings about their new chapter here. Many are also looking forward to the opportunities and positive atmosphere South has. Most of them have either graduated, taught, or coached here.
Health teacher Melissa Darrah graduated from South in 2003. Although her class is only one semester long, she is excited to be included in her students’ journey of high school. Darrah is most excited to see her former students. She looks forward to joining the staff and continuing Jaguar traditions.
Kory Lower, girls basketball head coach and health teacher, looks forward to building longer relationships with his students as opposed to only having them for one year. He is excited to see them grow and develop as young adults over the course of their time in high school.
“I’m excited to be at South next year and for all of our students to be in one building. I think it’ll be really exciting to see all of the new possibilities that having everyone together can offer,” Lower said.
Business teacher Rechele White taught at South in 1996. White looks forward to working with her old friends and seeing her former students.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m very excited about the opportunities at South because I’ve had a great experience coaching there but I have wonderful friends and colleagues at the Freshman Center that I will miss.”
Girls track coach and PLTW teacher Jennifer Ewan also is looking forward to the move.
“I have enjoyed my time at the FC, but one of the things I am most excited about is the opportunity to see my students through 4 years of high school, not just one. Being at the FC limits those opportunities. The other thing I am excited about is being able to work in the same building with the guys I coach with. We have great camaraderie and it makes for a great work environment.” Boys football coach, track coach, and P.E. teacher Matthew Reynolds said.
Stacey Raouf was a student teacher at South just last year and will now be teaching language arts next year. Raouf is very excited about transferring and looks forward to working with her husband, Christopher Raouf, a math teacher at South.
According to Belt, the district is bound by the teacher’s training, education, and their certification by the state of Missouri. Therefore, it is expected that those teachers will continue teaching the same subjects. There is a possibility that some will be teaching part of the day at the Freshman Center and part of the day at South.
Other teachers, administrators, and certified staff transferring to South include Kaitlin Bartolotta (math), Kim Blevins (language arts), Chad Blosser (language arts), Tammy Cipolla (foreign language), James Clutter (foreign language), Scott Doolin (administration), Casey Enright (social studies), Courtney Haines (science), Shelly Kimsey (special education), Kate Kraybill (language arts), Susan Malick (special education), Drew Moore (math), Logan Moresi (math), Mallori Perry (social studies), Steve Phillips (science), Wesley Rush (special education), Joe Schur (counseling), Sarah Schulte (music/choir), Josh Smith (social studies), Kristin Tolentino (science), Donna Pollard (attendance), Carmen Rogers (library aide), Mary Clark (paraprofessional/interpreter), Alex Davis (paraprofessional/interpreter), Carol Kelly (paraprofessional/interpreter), Laura McEldowney (paraprofessional/interpreter), Karen Miller (paraprofessional/interpreter), and Julie Smith (paraprofessional/interpreter).