By Ely Schosek
SGI Student Reporter
Every year, there are teachers who reach the end of their teaching career and retire. New teachers must be hired to replace such teachers. These new teachers may be continuing their career in education or possibly just starting out. Sometimes, new positions are added to accommodate more students or unique student needs.
Overall, Springville GI welcomes 11 new teachers to the district this school year who come from various backgrounds. Springville Elementary, Middle, and High Schools will be receiving these new staff members, and special education, Academic Intervention Services (AIS), English as a New Language (ENL), Speech Services and First Grade Education are excited to welcome these new educators.
Jennifer Brawn grew up in Hamburg and attended Frontier High School. She is now a part of the Special Education Department at the high school and is in charge of the Resource Room, which has a purpose of addressing Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) goals and others that are more general. IEPs are plans developed for students that are legally disabled to ensure that their education is as specialized for that specific student’s benefit and success as possible.
When asked why she became a teacher, Brawn said, “I had always wanted to be a teacher since I was little. I just never considered anything else.”
She started her teaching career at West Seneca East Elementary where she taught for two years before it closed. After that, she moved to Virginia where she taught at two different high schools for a total of six years before moving back to Western New York.
Brawn stated that she was excited about “being in a small town and being able to get to know the people more.” The last school she was in had over 2,000 kids — that’s nearly four times the size of Springville High School!
Heather Koch graduated from SGI and grew up in Springville. She has been teaching in the Springville School District for the past four years. She taught sixth grade English for a few years before moving to Springville Elementary this year to be a part of their Special Education Department, more specifically fourth and fifth grade special education.
“I love being around the kids and being able to inspire them and teach them new things,” Koch said. She said that she worried she may sound ordinary in saying that but in order to be a great teacher, it’s important to want to teach and enjoy it. “The students and staff are so nice, welcoming, and helpful,” she stated in regard to Springville Elementary.
Ashlee Oakley grew up just outside of Springville and will be a Child Associate for kindergarten and first grade.
“I will be doing observational and data collection work while my students play individually, in a structured environment,” she said. This will help her colleagues to “customize the student’s learning experiences to better fit their needs.”
Oakley has been a substitute staff member in the district for the past two years. She is excited to be starting a grant position that is being tried for the very first time this year.
“I was what may be called an ‘at risk’ child growing up, and my grandparents were often raising me,” Oakley said. “My teachers were my absolute rock, and I always felt loved and good and smart at school. I want to help pass that on! Shoutouts to Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Szpaicher in particular.”
Although they will each have a different job within the Springville School District, they are all very excited to be a part of our community. Stay tuned to next week’s Springville Times to meet even more new staff members.