AAJHS welcomes new staff members.

Sixth grade teachers transfer from multiple elementary schools to join the AAJHS staff in 2020.

Many sixth grade teachers from elementary schools in the Altoona Area School District have transferred to start teaching at AAJHS. For some teachers, the process has been a lot of work. Lauren Rhodes, a former teacher at Juniata Gap, said, “I packed my entire classroom in two days back in May. It took me about three days to unpack everything over the summer. I had over 30 boxes of books that needed unpacked and organized!”

Sixth graders were moved into the Junior High this year in 2020. This has affected sixth grade teachers in many different ways. “I’m still teaching the same curriculum, but my drive is much shorter,” Mary Ellen Lang, an ELA teacher, said.

Teaching and learning virtually hasn’t been the easiest. Whether it be technical or something at home, teachers have experienced issues while teaching. “This has certainly been a roller coaster of a year so far…The biggest challenge has been trying to work at home with my wife and daughter. Also, being at home  and having everyone on the same Wi-Fi network poses some challenges too. Overall, I’m trying to stay as positive as I can for my students,” Ryan Baranik, one of the math teachers at AAJHS, said.

This year has been very rough for a lot of the staff members at AAJHS. Students can only continue to support them as they try their hardest this year to educate us with all of these changes.