Teacher vacancies filled

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Sandra Mitchell, 9th grade German teacher working at her desk

Nine new teachers joined the faculty this year.  Two more positions are waiting to be filled in November and two teachers are filling in during long term absences.

Kristin Fazio, Sarah Janser, Sandra Mitchell, Shannon Elder, Todd Pesavento, Shawn Trout, Eric Kincaid, Mackenzie Wilber and Christine Henderson are new staff members.

Mitchell is a new teacher on the ninth grade floor who has expressed a great interest in her new teaching job; she is not only a teacher at the junior high but a teacher at the high school.  Mitchell went to school and grew up in Germany.

”My schools were separated into three sections by skill level,” Mitchell said.

“I grew up in Indiana, PA and attended Indiana Area School District. The district upon the time of my graduation was approximately one half of the size of Altoona’s current graduating class. Indiana is slightly more rural than AASD as some of my peers grew up on farms. The districts are comparable in several aspects as they take pride in technology, athletics, and perusing post-secondary education. With having Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) very close in proximity, taking college courses while in high school was a valuable resource available. IUP also allowed for many opportunities such as PSU Altoona’s branch campus does,” Trout said.

The teachers are looking forward to the school year.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new faculty and staff and getting to know the kids,”  Wilber said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s finished projects,”  Kincaid said.

Students may not know what to expect from new teachers.

“I think the qualities of a good teacher are to care about the students and make sure they understand what they are doing,” Mitchell said.

“I’m looking forward to see student’s growth projects,”  Henderson said.

“I like to see student’s accomplishments in and out of school,” Fazio said.

Janser has joined the faculty as an eighth grade guidance counselor.

“I’ve always been interested in behavioral health and a school position seemed like a good fit.  I really enjoy getting to know the kids and want them to know my door is always open,”  Janser said.

Some teachers joined the faculty after the start of the school year or are here on a temporary basis.

“The hardest part of filling in is coming in and trying to get kids adjusted to a new teaching style.  This is my first year, and I am trying to become a better teacher,”  permanent substitute Mackenzie Wilt said.

Two more faculty members are leaving in November.  The school is currently seeking applicants for the seventh grade principal position and a Spanish teaching position.

“We have a candidate for the seventh grade principal’s position that will be recommended to the Board at the Nov. 16 meeting.  Additionally, we have interviews scheduled for our Spanish position this week and hope to have a person to recommend to the Board for the same meeting,”  Principal Lori Mangan said.

 

Sandra Mitchell, 9th grade German teacher working at her desk
Sandra Mitchell, ninth grade German teacher, works at her desk. Photo by Kathryn Wible