SPS welcomes 148 teachers

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Rookie teachers and seasoned teachers alike gathered in King’s Fork Middle School’s cafeteria for an orientation breakfast to be welcomed to Suffolk Public Schools.

“Some of you may be brand new and it’s your first time teaching and some of you are well-seasoned but just new to Suffolk,” said assistant superintendent LaToya Harrison. “We are so delighted that you are here.”

They spent the morning hearing encouraging words from members of the School Board and the administration, as well as receiving advice from the school division’s Rookie Teacher of the Year.

Email newsletter signup

“We know that teachers are the heart of education, and we are grateful to have you as a part of this noble profession,” said Suffolk School Board Chair Enoch Copeland. “You will likely need each other along the way. We are a big family that is dedicated to our students.”

Fellow educator and president of the Education Association of Suffolk, Sidney Neighbours, passed along some wisdom and words of comfort before the teachers embarked on their journey with Suffolk.

Neighbours told them that it’s OK to show their true colors to their students, collect far too many canvas totes and fall asleep on the couch at 6 p.m.

Both new and experienced teachers were happy to become a part of Suffolk Public Schools.

“I was looking for new opportunities, and I had such a good feeling to be the resource teacher in Suffolk,” said Ashley Green. “I’m excited to meet the kids and see what I can learn from them.”

Green has three years of experience, and she is leaving the Newport News Public School System to join Suffolk.

Some of the teachers joining the staff were products of the Suffolk Public School system, and they were happy to join the team and give back to the schools that gave them so much.

Hope Mounie is joining Hillpoint Elementary School for her first year of teaching. It’s the same school where she completed her student teaching requirement for Longwood University.

I was born and raised in Suffolk, and I just wanted to give back,” Mounie said. “Suffolk is really just one big family, and we all look out for each other.”

Mounie is looking forward to building relationships with her students in and out of the classroom.

That same sentiment was shared by the Rookie Teacher of the Year, Christopher Stadler.

Stadler is a music teacher at Northern Shores Elementary School, and his advice to all of the teachers, new or experienced, was to work on building relationships with students outside the classroom.

“It’s about more than the classrooms. You do it in the hallways and asking how their weekend was,” Stadler said.

Whether the teachers were brand-new or not, Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney was happy to have 148 new faces.

“We are just as excited for the new teachers,” he said. “They have just as much enthusiasm and new ideas.”