(SPRINGFIELD, Ky.) – Several new faculty members have been hired for the 2016-2017 school year in our school district. We asked each of them one question – what do you hope to accomplish this year as a new teacher in Washington County? Here are their responses:

Rhonda Horn, English and Pre-AP English 9 Teacher, English Department Chair, Head Academic Coach, Washington County High School: Growing up in a small community similar to Springfield, I’m so excited about working with students and parents to improve college and career readiness and put students on a pathway to discover their gifts and create their own future story.”

Hannah M. Hicks, 10th Grade English/Language Arts, Washington County High School:  “I hope to have an exciting adventure as I begin my first year teaching. I would like to establish meaningful relationships with my students. I also would like to help them in any way I can to achieve goals needed for the college or career of their choice. It’s my aim to get to know the staff not just at my school, but also at other district schools and the Central Office. Here’s to an excellent year of learning for students and teachers alike!”

Theresa Burns, Music, Washington County Elementary School and Washington County Middle School: “I want to create a passion and love for the arts (music, dance, drama and visual art). I want all my students to explore their talent and bring out their talent in the arts. The students will learn through hands-on experience to create the arts in a safe and loving classroom.”

Mary Agee, First Grade, Washington County Elementary School: “I plan on making a difference in the lives of my students. I want to create a positive learning environment where my students feel safe to learn and share ideas. My goal is for every student in my class to feel loved and accepted. Bullying will not be tolerated in my classroom. I also plan on raising test scores.”

Shanna Hale, Special Education, K-5, Washington County Elementary School:  I hope to be a positive influence in my community, by providing support, instruction and a love for learning to my students. I hope my students will be motivated and inspired to do their best and that they will understand the importance of education.”

Anna Scott, Special Education, K-5, North Washington Elementary School:  As a new teacher in Washington County, I hope to not only become part of the community, but also a part of the family. I am excited to work with so many talented educators and students. I hope to be a positive and influential teacher to my students at North Washington.”

Adam Blair, Special Education, Washington County High School: As a new teacher, I hope to make an impact on the educational needs of my students in several different ways. After attending a conference entitled, “Why Try”, I have discovered a resource to use within my classroom to help students excel and to reach and achieve their goals in their life. I look forward to this new school year and watching my students grow each day.”

Reece Grubbs, Alternative School Head Teacher, District: “I would like to change the direction and mindset at Commander Academy. I hope to use my character building and growth mindset activities that apply to both classroom and real life. My deepest hope is to change the outlook my students have toward education and their futures into something positive.”

Heather Sothen, Special Education, Washington County High School: “I hope to inspire my students so they feel successful and confident. I want my students to strive for excellence in everything they do. I’ve taught all grades and I’ve always believed that my students can succeed as long as I give them the tools necessary to do so. Washington County is experiencing positive change and I’m so thankful that I get to be a part of it.”

Mickenzie Wells, 5th Grade Social Studies and Science, Washington County Elementary School: “My goal as a first year teacher was to have the students gain a deeper understanding of the social studies content, to teach them to take ownership of their learning, and to find out for themselves why social studies is important and the impact that parts of history has had on the lives they live today. That is still my goal, but after teaching for a few weeks it has changed a little.  Now it is to not only help them get that deeper understanding, but for me as a teacher it is to learn from my team and students on what it takes to be a successful teacher.  In the past few weeks I have grown more than I could have thought possible, just by watching my students to see how they learn and what it takes to make sure that every one of my students are successful in the content. They amaze me every day at what they are accomplishing and how much they are growing in such little time. So what I hope to accomplish this year is to make sure my students understand the why in Social Studies and Science, but to also sit back and realize that I am also a student in my own classroom.”

Laura Piasecki, Arts and Humanities, Washington County Elementary School:  “While not new to public education, I am thrilled to be teaching again in Kentucky, and for the first time in Washington County. I am overjoyed to be able to share my passion and love for the fine arts of music, art, drama and dance, while exploring how the arts impact culture from all over the world and how that relates to our own great country. My hope is that the children in Washington County will be inspired to discover more about the arts and about people from other places, finding the similarities among the differences, thereby becoming equipped to communicate, interact, relate to others and expand their thoughts in a meaningful way throughout their lives.”

Kendall Yates, Speech-Language Pathologist, District: As a seasoned Speech-Language Pathologist, but new to the district, I hope to build many fantastic relationships between staff and students. I love what I do and hope it shows daily.”