By Ely Schosek
Last week’s edition introduced two of the five new teachers in the Springville-Griffith Institute School District this year, Andrew Senseney and Tanya Nickerson. The other three new teachers in the district are Blair Sailer, Taylor Vanderbush and Raquel Bursee. Keep reading to learn about these other new teachers.
Blair Sailer will be teaching Elementary Orchestra at both Springville and Colden Elementary along with 6th-grade lessons at Springville Middle School. Sailer grew up in Lake View and has previously taught General Music to grades K-8 at Houghton Academy, a part of the Buffalo Public School District.
When asked what made her want to be a teacher, Sailer credited her music teachers growing up. “I think one of my main reasons for wanting to teach music is because of my elementary music teacher,” she said. “He was one of my favorite teachers!”
“I want to share my passion for music with young minds,” she added. Sailer’s main instrument is the violin. She also said that teaching orchestra has always been a dream of hers. “I am so excited to be starting my dream in this wonderful district,” Sailer said.
Taylor Vanderbush will be taking over a vacancy in the high school as a Regents Chemistry teacher, as well as being an 8th-grade science teacher at the middle school.
As is consistently true for the majority of the new teachers at SGI, Vanderbush grew up in Western New York, specifically, Holland. Before deciding to go back to school to be a teacher, Vanderbush worked in a research lab at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. There, she worked with students through internship programs which influenced her decision to teach.
Vanderbush said is excited to begin her teaching career at SGI along with getting to know the students and being able to enjoy her first homecoming at a school district with a football team.
Finally is Raquel Bursee, who grew up in the city of Buffalo and moved to Springville 20 years ago when her kids were young. Upon touring SES, her family was “sold on Springville as the place we wanted to raise our family.”
Bursee is a special education teacher who is currently co-teaching with Jayne Knierim in grade 3. She is also holding two resource classes at St. Aloysius for grades 5, 6 and 8.
“Being an inner-city kid, the one consistent, positive role model in my life was always my teachers,” she said. Bursee made special mention of her middle school ELA teacher, Ms. Cowley, stating that, “She was so vibrant, colorful and excited about every new lesson she taught — she brought everything to life!”
Prior to this year, Bursee had experience with children in various positions in the district, starting as a one-on-one aid and was “all in–hook, line and sinker!”
After completing her degree in education and a one-year long term teaching position at Springville Elementary, Bursee taught at Pioneer for three years. When a special education position opened in Springville, she applied.
Bursee said she is excited to work with students who are so eager to learn — who are funny, sweet, kind, and lovable. She is also excited to work with all the “incredibly brilliant and talented teachers” each and every day at Springville Elementary.
“I am very blessed to be a teacher and member of the community here in the Springville school district,” she said. “I hope to motivate and inspire all of the students I teach just as I once was.”
All of the new teachers joining the SGI staff this year will certainly make great additions to the team as they are all ready to take on the duties and responsibilities that come with being a teacher.