BACK TO SCHOOL

CCPS wel­comes over 100 new teach­ers to the county

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Julie Stephen­son, right, looks through some free school sup­plies dur­ing the BEPAC new teacher re­cep­tion on Thurs­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

The Busi­ness Ed­u­ca­tion Part­ner­ship Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil held a wel­come party for new teach­ers and sup­plied many free school sup­plies for them to choose from.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

New teach­ers pick out school sup­plies for their class­rooms dur­ing a wel­come party held on Thurs­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Gretchen Paris se­lects some new school sup­plies dur­ing the BEPAC new teacher re­cep­tion on Thurs­day.

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