HINESBURG -- A new teacher orientation was held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Champlain Valley Union High School, in preparation for the upcoming school year.
The CVU family welcomed in 13 new faculty members, including a number of former CVU students.
Sean McMannon, the principal of the high school, said that everyone is looking forward to entering the school year with this diverse group of new teachers.
This group comes in with new eyes, said McMannon. They have a tremendous diversity of experience and will certainly enrich our environment here at CVU.
McMannon said that he and his colleagues were careful to select candidates that both fit into the standards and curriculum of CVU but who could also add something new.
Through our hiring process, we select people who are creative, collaborative, and compassionate, said McMannon. We wanted people that would fit our high academic expectations and into our close-knit community.
The goal of new teacher orientation day is to allow the new faculty members to get to know each other and get to know both the physical and academic environment that they will be working in.
We try to continue the work that begins during the hiring process, added McMannon. We want to get the teachers together and get to know each other, get them to understand CVUboth our instruction and our relationships, and finally we want to figure out all of the logistics.
Three of the thirteen new faculty members took some time to sit down with the Times-Sentinel and share some personal information.
Michaela ONeill, 25, is a 2005 CVU graduate who hails from Columbia College and previously taught math on an island off the coast of Maine.
Im very excited because of the students, said ONeill. Im also excited to work with educators whom I know and respect so much. Im also looking forward to teaching some new classes.
ONeill will teach 11th and 12th grade math, specifically A.P. Probability and Statistics and Trigonometry Pre-Calculus.
Ive always been really interested in education, she added. Ive done a lot of work in education, but I decided that I wanted to be in the classroom about three years ago.
Diantha Francis, 37, previously worked in the special education department at Proctor High School before arriving this summer at CVU. Francis is excited about coming to a much larger school system.
Its a progressive and extremely student driven environment with a lot of support systems and opportunities for students and faculty, said Francis.
Francis will work as a reading instructor for special needs students.
Jeff Hindes, 35, is another returning CVU graduate and a teacher who may see some familiar faces in the classroom.
Hindes has taught social studies for 10 years at the Shelburne Community School, and will begin teaching U.S. History and Economics for 11th and 12th grade students this fall.
Im looking forward to re-connecting with former students and working in a larger school with a lot of terrific colleagues, said Hindes. Im also just looking forward to something new, a new challenge and exploring different avenues.
As a teacher, Hindes also hopes to bring something special to the classroom in his approach to history.
I want to help students look at history through a local lens, he said. I want them to see how their region has influenced national and international events and vice versa - show them how national and international events have shaped the area we live in.
Physical Changes, Curriculum Changes
Several new courses have been introduced into the curriculum for the 2007-08 school year.
New courses include: Media in Society, Literature, Film and Writing, Global Literature, A.P. Chemistry, Personal and Business Law, Business Seminar, and Design TASC Engineering.
McMannon said that there are some new programs for the upcoming year, and he also expects other changes to come as time goes by.
Every year there are some new clubs, but they usually arise from student need, he said. We added staffing last year to create a literacy exam.
Few physical changes occurred over the summer. McMannon noted that a student took on a project over the summer to build a press box for the football field. Furthermore, a some work on the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system in the annex.
There will also be a number of late-start
days during the year. Teachers will come to school early and participate in various projects, and regular school will commence later in the day. Parents should consult their school calendars for such days.