Left to right are Scott Laliberte, Anthony Sperazzo, Elisabetta Fiore, Danielle Bolduc, Kimberly James, Melody Chase, Nicole Conner, Jillian Egan, Beth Haddock and Peter Sawyer. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
August 29, 2012With the new school year come new teachers to the Gilford School District, who met for teacher orientation Thursday, Aug. 23, and agreed they were excited for the upcoming school year.
Eight new faces prepared for the upcoming start of the 2012-2013 school year.
New members of the district's administrative staff include Danielle Bolduc, former Oyster River School District Director of Instruction, as the new Elementary School Principal. Bolduc said she wanted to get students interested in several topics through the year, ranging from the Gilford Bicentennial to nature. She said one of her passions is for hands-on, active learning, and she hoped to integrate technology such as GPS for geo-caching adventures and integrating I-Pads in the classroom. She said one of her goals is to work with Elementary School and Middle School students to better utilize the natural features of the area, like the nature trail around the Elementary School.
"I would like to work across grades with the nature trails," said Bolduc.
Bolduc said she also encouraged students and parents to read "The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs" by Betty G. Birney to set the tone for a community connection she hopes to encourage through the year.
Joining Bolduc at the Elementary School is Elisabetta Fiore, the new guidance counselor, who said she was glad to be able to focus on students at one school after she worked at two schools in Maine at the same time.
"I'm looking forward to working with Danielle and putting all my energy into one school," said Fiore, adding that working at one school would help her better get to know students. "I love working with kids."
Melody Chase, the new Elementary School physical education teacher, said this will be her first year teaching and hoped to inspire students to be "life long movers" and integrate health concepts into her class. Chase said she preferred alternative lessons to promote team building and cooperative learning experiences.
Interim GES Principal Kara Lamontagne returned to her former position as Middle School Assistant Principal.
New to the District is Kimberly James, sixth grade social studies teacher. James said she was a student teacher in the Rye School District and long-term substitute in the New Castle District.
"This is my first full time teaching job," said James. "I'm looking forward to having my own classroom, and teaching students for a full school year."
Nurse Beth Haddock worked at the Elementary School as a one-on-one nurse taking care of a student, and though she is not new to the District, said she will get used to looking after more than 360 students at the Middle School.
Haddock said her job is more than dealing with sick students. It also involves "keeping them well and promoting health, wellness and happiness in the district."
Interim Middle School Assistant Principal Anthony Sperazzo took the position as High School Assistant Principal. Sperazzo said he been a part of the Gilford School District for the past eight years and said he really appreciated how the community embraced and supported the schools.
"It's great to be in a district that is supported by the community," said Sperazzo. "They want what's best for students."
Former High School Assistant Principal Peter Sawyer moved up to Principal, replacing Interim Principal Bob Peterson. Sawyer said he was glad to take on the added responsibilities of the Principal position and thanked his staff for making the transition as easy as possible.
"I'm looking forward to working with everyone," said Sawyer, a Gilford graduate with the class of '84. "It's neat to be the principal of my alma mater."
New to the High School are Nicole Conner, teaching math, and Jillian Egan, teaching science.
Egan said she is new to the school, but not the district, as she taught at the Gilmanton School and substituted in the Gilford District. Egan said she too is looking forward to having her own classroom and learning from other teachers in the science department.
"She came highly recommended," said Sawyer, knowing Egan's prior work in the Gilford and Gilmanton schools.
Conner said she has done a lot of substitute teaching at Pittsfield Elementary, and this will mark her first year teaching at the high school level. She said her goal is to work with other teachers in the math department and get to know the high school aged students.
New in the SAU office is Curriculum Director Scott Laliberte. Laliberte said he would spend the year getting each school curriculum up to the new state and federal standards required by fall 2013.
Laliberte said one unique aspect of his job is that he gets to see students as they go from kindergarten through their high school graduation.
All said they were anticipating the first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 29.