Caro­line wel­comes new teach­ers

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­

RIDGELY — Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools wel­comed nearly 40 new teach­ers to their first day of work in the county with a break­fast Tues­day, Aug. 21, at North Caro­line High School.

The new hires ranged from those begin­ning their first jobs out of col­lege to those with decades of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der their belts.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Pa­tri­cia Sae­lens opened the break­fast by en­cour­ag­ing all the new teach­ers to stick to “the Caro­line way.”

“We col­lab­o­rate,” Sae­lens said. “In schools, across schools and with our com­mu­nity part­ners — the sher­iff’s of­fice, county com­mis­sion­ers, churches and li­braries.”

The school sys­tem’s top pri­or­ity, Sae­lens said, is to equip each stu­dent to be suc­cess­ful after

grad­u­a­tion, whether they are en­ter­ing the work­force, join­ing the mil­i­tary or go­ing to col­lege.

Stu­dents should be able to solve prob­lems, think crit­i­cally, work with oth­ers and an­a­lyze in­for­ma­tion, as op­posed to re­gur­gi­tat­ing mem­o­rized facts, she said.

Stu­dents should also learn to be ac­count­able for their own progress and that mis­takes are OK, Sae­lens said, as per­se­ver­ance is a nec­es­sary trait in life.

“We put our stu­dents first in every de­ci­sion we make,” Sae­lens said. “Every day this year will not be per­fect, but on those frus­trat­ing days, think about the Caro­line way, and reach out when you need help.

“Your suc­cess is our suc­cess,” Sae­lens said.

Caro­line County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Louise Cheek, who re­tired from a ca­reer as a teacher and ad­min­is­tra­tor in Caro­line County, re­mem­bered what it was like begin­ning her own ca­reer 40 years ago.

“I was ex­cited, but also fear­ful of what would hap­pen,” Cheek said.

Cheek said over the years, she de­vel­oped her “bag of tricks” — meth­ods that worked in one sit­u­a­tion, so she re­mem­bered them for fu­ture use.

“What­ever you find that works for you, you will need it again,” Cheek said.

She en­cour­aged the new teach­ers to lis­ten to their men­tors and school ad­min­is­tra­tors.

“They’ve been where you’re go­ing this year,” Cheek said.

Cheek said she is of­ten by asked by Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers in other ju­ris­dic­tions how Caro­line County does so much with so lit­tle money.

“The an­swer is we hire the best,” she said.

Caro­line County Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Larry Porter said he, Vice Pres­i­dent Wil­bur Le­ven­good and Com­mis­sioner Dan Franklin con­sid­ered their re­la­tion­ship with the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion and school ad­min­is­tra­tors to be very im­por­tant.

“We’re here to sup­port you,” Porter said. “Wel­come to Caro­line, and we hope you have a great year.”

Rob Willoughby, prin­ci­pal of Colonel Richard­son Mid­dle School and pres­i­dent of the Ad­min­is­tra­tors and Su­per­vi­sors As­so­ci­a­tion of Caro­line County, said the new teach­ers had made a great choice in com­ing to Caro­line.

“I chal­lenge you to end your ca­reer here,” Willoughby said.

Amy An­der­son, a teacher at Colonel Richard­son High School and pres­i­dent of the Caro­line County Ed­u­ca­tors As­so­ci­a­tion, en­cour­aged the new teach­ers to make con­nec­tions with the peo­ple around them, plan to be flex­i­ble, get plenty of sleep and keep a sense of hu­mor.

“We’re all here be­cause we want to help our stu­dents be­come suc­cess­ful fu­ture cit­i­zens of the world,” An­der­son said.

Re­turn­ing teach­ers in Caro­line County re­ported for their first day of work Mon­day, Aug. 27. Stu­dents re­turn Tues­day, Sept. 4.


Fed­er­als­burg El­e­men­tary School, left to right: Prin­ci­pal Yolanda Hol­loway; Lisa Wil­liams, kinder­garten; Melissa Pren­der­gast, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion; Michelle Wurtz, ELL; Britt Robert­son, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion; Jody Bee, third grade; and As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Todd Ni­chols.


North Caro­line High School, left to right: Act­ing Prin­ci­pal Matt Spiker; Kelly Can­non, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion; As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Erin Adams; As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Jean­nine Nec­es­sary; Michael Thomp­son, school psy­chol­o­gist; Mary Gil­bert­son, sci­ence; Erin Gray, math; Brian Curtis, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion; Colleen Kuzma, math; Court­ney Dunn, math; Su­san An­geloni, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion.


Pre­ston El­e­men­tary School, left to right: Prin­ci­pal Kari Clow; Macken­zie Tull, fifth grade; Jo­ce­lyn Vazquez, first grade; and As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Rich Pet­roske.

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