By Grace Usher
As the approaching first day of school looms, 43 new teachers are being welcomed to Lake Havasu Unified School District for the upcoming 2018-19 school year. The teachers gathered at Lake Havasu High School for a week-long training and team -building camp.
“We are talking a lot about the culture of the school district, introducing them to the community, and the specifics on rules, routines, procedures, expectations so that they feel prepared entering the classroom for students,” said Arizona Master Teacher Mentor Ginny Sautner.
Sautner operates the training throughout the year to help Year 1, Year 2, and Mentor Teachers with professional development and environment acclimation.
The teachers range in age, experience and former location. Many are new to Lake Havasu City and some are new to teaching all together.
Katie Truillo, 24, is brand-new to not only the district, but also to Lake Havasu. She graduated from King’s College in Pennsylvania and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Special Education with Grand Canyon University.
“I had heard of Lake Havasu because my family used to vacation here. I fell in love with the lake and the small town so I thought it would be a good place to start off my career.”
Truillo will be experiencing her first year teaching as a special education teacher for seventh grade at Thunderbolt Middle School.
Josh Maples, 23, is a first-year teacher and is also new to Lake Havasu. He will be teaching seventh-grade social studies at Thunderbolt Middle School.
“I have a lot of passion for history and I am excited to bring it to the kids and introduce them to that.”
Maples is originally from Wisconsin and went to college in Minnesota.
Though many teachers migrate from other places to teach in Lake Havasu, some are not only from Lake Havasu, but also went through LHUSD as students.
Rebekah Kent, 25, will teach the Classical Program for first grade at Oro Grande Elementary School.
“The classical program focuses learning on classical literature, the arts and virtues. It is bringing it back to basics. This is kind of a homeschool program to attract homeschooling parents to the district,” Kent saod.
This is not her first time in the LHUSD schools. She attended Nautilus as a child. Kent graduated from LHHS in 2012.
Charlie Stickney, 28, will be teaching eighth grade social studies at Thunderbolt MIddle School. This is not Stickeny’s first experience with the district. He was a long-term substitute for physical education at LHHS in 2012.
“I’m most excited about instilling good, solid values in the children and teaching them something that they didn’t know previously. [I want] to get them knowing more information about the Constitution and how American policies work.”
Stickney graduated from Lake Havasu High School in 2008.
“LHUSD is a one-district, one community place and we have this chance to really impact our community and students. We are a learning community and we work together,” Sautner said.
Lake Havasu Unified School District classes begin Aug. 6 for a fresh year with many fresh faces.