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Harvard schools welcome eight new teachers | The Harvard Press | News | Press articles

As summer vacation draws to a close, a new school year is fast approaching. In the hallways and in their classrooms next week, students will notice new faces among the faculty. Eight new educators will join Hildreth Elementary School and Bromfield School this year, five at HES and three at Bromfield.

Beth Robinson. (Courtesy picture)

As the new English Language Arts Specialist at HES, Beth Robinson will oversee the entire Elementary Language Arts teaching plan. The job description for her position emphasizes identifying current best practices in language arts and helping teachers put those practices into practice in the classroom.

Children’s language skills, she says, develop in a sequence: listening, speaking, reading and writing. She noted that children need a strong foundation in the first two to successfully transition to literacy skills of reading and writing. By the fourth grade, their reading begins to include more difficult and unfamiliar words, and students need the skills to cope with this higher level of literacy.

Teachers are inundated with new research right now on how to teach reading, Robinson said. She sees her job as bringing “a very open and curious mind” to see what HES is already doing successfully and then moving forward from there. One of his responsibilities will be to recommend professional development opportunities to help teachers integrate the latest research.

Robinson began his career teaching elementary grades, then quit to raise his own children. Since 2016, she has worked as a reading specialist in several nearby neighborhoods, most recently in Westford. In 2018, she completed a master’s degree in education as a reading specialist at the University of New England in Maine.

Evan Woodworth. (Courtesy picture)

Evan Woodworth, a former student teacher at the HES in 2016, is delighted to return as the school’s new physical education teacher. Woodworth graduated from Bridgewater State University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and is currently working on his master’s degree in physical education at Westfield State University. For the past six years he has taught in Billerica Public Schools.

Woodworth describes himself as a child at heart. He said he grew up playing whiffle ball with a hairbrush and a ping pong ball and learned to adapt classic games with creative twists. “Bringing in cartoons like Pokémon or Mario, and tying games to those, helps me get to the level of kids so they can have fun and be active,” Woodworth said.

Looking ahead to this school year, Woodworth said he was excited to host his first field day for students and reconnect with the HES faculty he met as a student teacher. . “It’s like coming home to a family,” he said.

Claudia Owens. (Photo by Lisa Aciukewicz)

Many elementary school students say art is their favorite class, and new art teacher Claudia Owens rejoices in their enthusiasm. “They love any type of creativity,” she said, adding, “They especially love clay.”

Owens taught art for seven years, most recently in Salem, New Hampshire. As an undergraduate, she majored in fashion design at Framingham State University. Later, she earned a Masters in Art Education from Lesley University. She is delighted to teach at Harvard where, she says, the art curriculum seems strongly supported.

Travis Parisi. (Courtesy picture)

Travis Parisi will serve as a part-time school counselor for grades K-5, a position in which he says he “wears many hats” – mentor, advocate and a kind of “big brother” at school. The purpose of a school counselor, he says, is to try to make sure children really want to be in school. He will work closely with full-time counselor Lynne Dumas.

Parisi said being an educational counselor involves helping children develop the life skills needed to deal with others. Sometimes, he says, it’s just a matter of giving them a short break from whatever situation is stressing them out, a time to regain their balance. But the main part of his job, he said, is “You just have to worry about the kids.”

Parisi earned his Masters of Education with a concentration in Counseling from Springfield College in 2013. Afterwards, he moved to the Midwest for a while, then returned to Massachusetts. He worked part-time as a counselor last year at both Overlook Middle School in Ashburnham and Westminster Elementary School. He is also a firefighter in the city of Auburn.

Angela Steed. (Courtesy picture)

As the new and first health teacher at Bromfield College, Angela Steed will oversee courses and programs that are separate from the previously combined physical education and health curriculum. “I’m going to step in and teach them things that they might not have been exposed to before,” Steed said. Students will begin the school year with classes in mental and emotional health, followed by nutrition and physical health. Steed explained that lessons on sex education, safety, and drug, alcohol, and addiction prevention will vary by grade.

“I love providing students with a safe and welcoming environment because those are the types of teachers that stood out to me the most when I was a student,” Steed said, adding that she was poised to transform the assigned science class. health classroom with twinkling lights and plants. Steed is looking forward to getting to know his students through their first project. Students will create a Padlet, similar to a Pinterest board, and showcase their interests and health habits.

Steed is a recent graduate of Worcester State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in health education and a minor in psychology, communication, and education. Last spring, she was a student health and physical education teacher at Sutton Middle School and a long-term substitute physical education teacher at Worcester Public Schools. Steed plans to continue her education and is working on a master’s degree at WSU.

Tyler Wachtelhausen. (Photo by Lisa Aciukewicz)

Teaching is a family tradition for Tyler Wachtelhausen, both of whose parents were teachers. And he says he always wanted to teach physical education. He will teach physical education in grades 6, 7 and 8 at Bromfield.

Wachtelhausen enjoys teaching middle school kids, he said, because they’re starting to put together some of the physical skills they learned in grade school, but haven’t specialized in a sport yet. “They are open to new experiences,” he said in a phone interview.

Wachtelhausen comes to Bromfield School after 15 years teaching physical education and wellbeing from grades six to eight at Newton. Her background includes adaptive physical education for students with special needs. He also coached men’s soccer and women’s soccer at Newton for several years, but his longest coaching experience was 13 years with both women’s and men’s basketball teams.

Wachtelhausen earned his bachelor’s degree from Keene State College and his master’s degree from Plymouth State University, both located in New Hampshire. He has lived at Harvard for seven years.

Kae Pieron. (Photo by Lisa Aciukewicz)

Katharine (Kae) Pierron returns to Bromfield as a college art teacher after being hired in January. This year, she is shaping her program around Teaching Artistic Behavior (TAB), a method that emphasizes practicing art in the same way as practicing sports and music. “It’s a studio environment where students are expected to do self-directed learning with a different set of workspaces,” said Pierron, explaining that painting and drawing are two available spaces. Through the TAB program, students will be encouraged to champion themselves and the type of art they wish to experience.

Pierron said she loves her annual clay project, in which students can choose to make a variety of clay objects, such as tic-tac-toe boards or pencil holders. She enjoys learning about what her students are passionate about and helping to develop their artistic spirit. “I love college kids because they’re so original and creative,” Pierron said.

Pierron received his bachelor’s degree in art education from Bridgewater State University and is working on a master’s degree at the University of Art Education. Previously, Pierron was an art teacher at Normandin Middle School in New Bedford for 2 and a half years.

The press could not reach Shaye VanDyne, who will join HES as a new special education teacher.