By Ely Schosek
At the end of every school year, there are almost always a few teachers who retire or move away, which means changes are in store for the next school year. The vacant spots have to be filled with new teachers.
At Springville-Griffith Institute Schools, there are a total of five new teachers throughout all four buildings.
After the high school physics teacher retired last year, the position was left open and needed to be filled. Mr. Andrew Senseney was more than happy to take the position.
Senseney grew up in Derby, N.Y., and graduated from Lake Shore High School. His class list encompasses more than just physics, including AP Physics I (Algebra Based), Regents Physics, Cosmos and Science of Body Language. Prior to Springville, he taught at a small school in Binghamton.
His answer to the question, “What made you want to be a teacher?” was a bit of a long story. Upon graduating from high school, he began his college journey at SUNY Fredonia with general credits. He realized that he really enjoyed Psychology and changed his major, but quickly decided that was not what he wanted to do with his life.
An evaluation of his strengths showed him that he would make an excellent teacher due to his affinity for kids, sociability and sense of humor. This realization was surprising since he’d never considered being a teacher due to his own struggles in elementary and middle school.
“Overall, school was touch and I never considered going back to be a teacher no less,” he added.
Physics was his chosen direction since he had enjoyed it in school, noting that “it always made me see the world in a whole new way that helped me understand how it works.”
“I’m most excited about finally being back in Western New York with my family and having Tim Hortons again,” Senseney mentioned. “There are no Tim Horton’s in Binghamton — only Dunkin Donuts. Very disappointing.”
Similar to Physics, the Agriculture Department was left without a teacher after a retirement last year. Tanya Nickerson, who grew up in Arcade on a dairy farm, and will be filling the position.
The specific classes she will be teaching are Introduction to Agriscience, Leadership and Development, Agribusiness, Animal Science and Horticulture. Nickerson loves working in the agriculture industry and in youth development through 4-H because she says, “I enjoyed the time I spent teaching people.”
“I am also passionate about helping students become good people, find their passion and learn about agriculture, which I love very much,” she noted. For the last two years, Nickerson taught agriculture at Fillmore High School. Prior to teaching, she worked in 4-H.
“I am excited to be working in Springville because there is a lot of agriculture in and around the district with that comes students who are excited about being in classes and a member of the FFA,” Nickerson said. “In addition, the community is extremely supportive of everything that is happening through agriculture classes.”
Overall, each and every one of the teachers who joined the SGI staff this year are sure to be excellent additions to the team. Come back next week for more interviews with the other new teachers in Springville this year.