The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

New Year, New Staff

New+Year%2C+New+Staff

As the New Year Rolls in, the Staff Continue to Grow

Katie Vastola, Moira Sirois, Ginny Seidenberg

It is a whole new world of T.C. teachers and staff. This year, over 60 new people (in total across both campuses) have joined the staff. They have come from a variety of places along the east coast to educate and assist students.

Regarding their transition to T.C., Jennifer Malone, school nurse, said, “Everything’s been great! No complaints, no problems.” All of the teachers that were interviewed appreciate the community aspect of the school and the support provided to the students and staff. 

Malone has been a nurse for 18 years. She moved to Alexandria from North Carolina. She has worked in hospitals, in-home care, and as a camp nurse. Malone loves working with kids and decided to be a school nurse because she could be around kids. She wanted a chance to work with older kids, which is why she chose to work at a high school. “It was similar to being a camp nurse, but it is during the school year,” Malone said. 

“They seem to have more resources for the kids, and see you as a whole picture, like your whole life, instead of just [school] subjects. Like they have the social workers and the Teen Health Center,” Malone said. She appreciates the amount of support that T.C. provides its students, such as social work and nursing services. She has not experienced this in previous work environments. 

While working at T.C., Malone has had to do a lot more vision screenings which she has not had to do with older children before. She has also found the clinic at T.C. very helpful and is not used to having one right in the school. “The Teen Wellness Center, that’s huge. That’s a really big resource for the students here,” said Malone. The vision charts that Malone has used in the past are also different. She likes the way the tests are done here. 

Taylor Welch, the new photography teacher, has been so pleased with everything that ACPS has done to welcome her to the school. She loves the community and while it is bigger than she is used to, she loves working with kids. 

She taught middle school but wanted to go to a high school to work with older students. “In photography, we do a lot of stuff for college prep. I like being able to teach people a creative task to express themselves and how to use modern technology,” Welch said.

Welch has been in the photography business for 10 years. She has worked with darkroom photography since she was 12 years old and went to college to gain more knowledge on the topic. Darkroom is a room that allows the process of light-sensitive photographic materials to develop pictures. 

In the course catalog, photography is classified as a Career and Tech Ed (CTE) course. Welch feels it could fall under the arts as well. “It does toe the line between art and CTE, we definitely dabble in both, but there are ways to incorporate photography into the workplace readiness,” said Welch. Currently, she shares the room with Benjamin Lyon, another photography teacher who has been here for a few years. They work well together and there is no problem sharing a room. The size of the school is also something she had to adapt to. Welch also has more classes than she is used to but enjoys the opportunity to work with more students.

Mike Nemeth is a new science teacher this year. He had previously taught science at T.C. for two years before teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) last school year. He currently teaches Earth Science and Oceanography. Nemeth believes ACPS is great because he thinks ACPS has several opportunities for students that are not necessarily provided everywhere else. These resources are available to every student because there is one high school for the entire city. 

Nemeth shares both his classrooms with other teachers, but says it is not challenging at all. He gets along well with the teachers; they share very well. He enjoys the cooperation given by Ms. Christopher and says she makes sharing a room very easy.

Nemeth said he likes the Kagan tools and thinks they are “a great way to get students out of their seats.” He incorporates them into his teaching, but also acknowledges that all students learn differently, and some prefer to work individually so there are also opportunities to work on projects and other assignments alone. “I’d say it’s about a 50/50 [ratio of working alone and with pairs] in my class.” 

The new teachers at T.C. are gaining new experience and skills. Working at T.C. has given them the opportunity to work with all types of students and staff. They are settling in with few challenges and high hopes. 

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New Year, New Staff