Eleven teachers join staff


Ben Blacke

Connor Chywski, a new addition to the staff for the 2017-2018 school year, teaching two of his ninth grade English students, Eryka Moss and Nick Santone.

Mychenze Alberts, Reporter

In the 2017-2018 school year, there have been several new additions to the staff. Some of the additions include Kristina Rose, Nick Caminiti, Connor Chywski, Christy Harrold, Cameron Kyle, Keith McFarland, Adam Walstrom, Makenzie Wilt, Jen Herr, Kim Rieg and Tyler Elvey. 

This is Kyle’s first year as a full time teacher.

“It’s different for me because I’m in behavior modification, but last year I was just subbing any curriculum they would give me in all subjects, any grade,” Kyle said.

Kyle also participates in two extracurricular activities.

“I participate in the coaching of wrestling and baseball. I’ve made a great connection with the students also participating,” Kyle said.

Rose worked at her most recent previous school, Homer Center High School, but was furloughed due to budget cuts.

“I did love my last school, but unfortunately it wasn’t a long term position. I am so thankful for my position at the school, I came from a very small rural school district, so coming to an urban school like this with thousands of students was a change in environment,” Rose said.

Rose worked at Homer Center from 2006-2011, where she taught ninth-twelfth graders.

“Fortunately, I wrote the curriculum at my last school, but coming to Altoona Junior High they have a variety of FCS courses, and I’m very impressed with their curriculum,” Rose said.

Teachers joined a variety of other departments and give their talents to many extra curricular areas and clubs.

“My favorite experience so far that I enjoyed was volunteering with the spring musical. I really liked working with Mrs. Hetrick and the talented students who take part in that. They did a tremendous job. Now that’s only one major event, but it’s amazing to teach incredible students, and I look forward to it every day,” Chywski said.

This school year is Chywski’s first year as a full-time teacher, he was a student teacher at his previous school.

“If anything is to change next year, it will depend on my students because their needs come first. My teaching style is usually contingent on how my students best learn,” Chywski said.

Chywski likes to put his students first to ensure they are working to their full potential.

“I learned everything. I’ve learned that every student is capable of doing something incredible, and it’s having the commitment and the patience and the willingness to work with all of them so they can succeed. I definitely learned how to manage my time better because I’m always busy,” Chywski said.

Many teachers transitioned from other schools or teaching experiences.

“I taught high school at West York high school, ninth and eleventh grade, for one school year and I left because this is my hometown. I wanted to teach in the school district that I went through and I had family and friends in the area,” Wilt said.

Wilt loved her previous school but just felt far from home.

“I coach junior high girls’ volleyball and basketball, high school boys’ volleyball. I also volunteer with high school girls’ volleyball in the fall,” Wilt said.

Wilt loves that she’s made a great connection to all of her players and plans to coach for a long time.

One staff member transitioned from a teaching position to a technology coaching position.  Caminiti also made the jump from elementary to secondary.

Next year I would like to focus on more instructional technology and materials for the teachers and to provide more practical workshops for the teachers and bringing more technology materials in the junior high,” Caminiti said. 

Caminiti looks forward to finding more efficient ways of teaching for the next school year.

I have learned that there are dedicated, hard working teachers at this building, and we have innovative twenty first century technology and that the school lunches are awesome,”  Caminiti said

Caminiti is really grateful to have this position and to learn new things from students and co-workers.

” My favorite experience so far at the junior high was participating in the seventh and eighth PSSA pep rally. Also, my second favorite favorite at the junior high was participating with the drama club,” Caminiti said.

No retirements are official yet for this school year although some have been taken into consideration.  Those retirements would open up more positions for the next school year.