BACK TO SCHOOL
CCPS welcomes over 100 new teachers to the county
PERRYVILLE — In less than two weeks, Yasha LezamaHart will start teaching preschool at Thomson Estates Elementary School after working in the New York City school system for many years.
But the transition from one of the country’s biggest cities to a more rural setting won’t be the only change for the veteran teacher. In New York, she was only given a $75 stipend meant to cover a full year of school supplies for her classroom.
So, as she looked through tables and tables of free school supplies laid
out for new county teachers on Thursday afternoon, Lezama-Hart found herself almost overwhelmed by all the options.
“When you begin the school year, it can get a little hectic,” she said. “This makes it feel like someone’s there to help you.”
Lezama-Hart was just one of more than 100 teachers new to Cecil County Public Schools who came to the Iron Master’s Mansion in Perryville on Thursday for a welcome party hosted by the Business and Education Partnership Advisory Council (BEPAC). Representatives of the Cecil County Classroom Teachers Association and other organizations were also on hand to help the new teachers sort through all the free school supplies for their classrooms.
The new teachers who will start their jobs when schools open on Aug. 29 are a mixture of veteran educators and those teaching for the first time. Some are Cecil County natives while others have come to the school system from across the country.
Danielle Moore, who will teach kindergarten at Charlestown Elementary School, did her undergrad- uate in Ohio and got her master’s degree from the University of Virginia before moving to the area for her first teaching job when her husband got a job at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
As a first-year teacher, Moore said she didn’t realize until a few weeks ago how many school supplies she would need for her classroom.
“I was like ‘Oh, I have to get all this stuff,’” she said. “But it’s all here.”
Gretchen Paris was also enjoying looking through all the supplies as she celebrated her return to Cecil County. Paris graduated from Bohemia Manor High School and taught for a few years in Virginia before accepting a job to teach third grade at Gilpin Manor Elementary School this year.
“It’s good to return home,” she said. “It’s where I always wanted to teach.”
Julie Stephenson, who will teach fifth grade at Bayview Elementary School this year, appreciated the free school supplies too but also enjoyed the chance to meet other new teachers. Stephenson previously taught in Pennsylvania but has had her eye on a job with CCPS for a while and is excited to start the school year.
“We might be isolated in our own schools, but things like this bring us together,” she said.
Julie Stephenson, right, looks through some free school supplies during the BEPAC new teacher reception on Thursday.
The Business Education Partnership Advisory Council held a welcome party for new teachers and supplied many free school supplies for them to choose from.
New teachers pick out school supplies for their classrooms during a welcome party held on Thursday.
Gretchen Paris selects some new school supplies during the BEPAC new teacher reception on Thursday.