New teachers at Gilford High School this year: from left to right: John Allein, Jaedyn Bassett, Chris Soule, Bethany Allen, Ali McEvoy, and Brant O'Hara. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2020Some new faces will be in the classrooms this year at Gilford High School with seven new teachers getting to know the students and the community.
With a number of retirements at the end of the school year, a number of new teachers have come on board for the 2020-2021 school year.
Chris Soule is a new social studies teacher. He came to Gilford after teaching seventh and eight grade social studies at the Paul School in Wakefield.
Soule said the Gilford community has been "very welcoming" and clearly puts the students as their number one priority.
Soule said he was looking forward to teaching high school history with older, more mature students. He said it will be a nice opportunity with his background.
Ali McEvoy teaches English. She originally taught at Westwood High School in Westwood, Mass. She moved from the Boston area to New Hampshire and said she is really happy to be here.
"I'm definitely looking forward to having discussions with the students about current topics that are happening in our world today that relate to literature from the past," McEvoy said.
Bethany Allen is the new Ninth Grade Case Manager, coming from Auburn High School in Hudson where she was a special education teacher. She moved from Manchester to Moultonborough, where she is building a house.
She said she wants to support the kids as best as she can. She said she wants to get to know them in person and learn about their lives, helping them to be successful and independent.
Brant O'Hara teaches phys ed, his first ever professional teaching job. A graduate of Plymouth State University, he did his internship at Gilford Middle and High Schools. When school went remote he needed different ways of showing his professors what he accomplished in the classroom.
He said he's excited to be teaching in Gilford.
"Definitely got my foot in the door and I'm excited to be here," O'Hara said.
He's also coaching football and said he's happy to see everyone face to face and working to meet students' needs. He said he wants to bring in a new flair and come in with.
"Just kind of build on a new era of PE," he said.
Jaedyn Bassett is a new school counselor and relatively new to the teaching profession. Last year she was covering two teachers on maternity leave at Rochester Middle School. Given the temporary nature of that position, she sought a position at GHS. Bassett said ideally, she wanted to work in the high school level.
"I'm really excited to get to know the students and develop these relationships with them," Bassett said.
Given how everyone's going through "some really weird times," she said she wants to build positive relationships with the students.
John Allwein will be teaching math. He came to Gilford from Excel Academy Charter High School in East Boston, saying he has been looking around for a new opportunity.
"I think it's so fun to meet new students," Allwein said. "It's really fun, all the students have been so nice. It's been really fun being in person so far."
He said he's excited to build new relationships with the students and he's looking forward to teaching in person.
Sherry Evans is a new 10th grade case manager, coming from Pittsfield Elementary School where she taught special education for three years. She has family around Gilford and grandchildren who attend Gilford Elementary School, saying she heard Gilford has an excellent team ethic.
She's looking forward to meeting everyone, learning about her students, and helping them.
All the new teachers said they love the Gilford community and it has been extremely welcoming.
"It seems as though the community is very supportive of one another with the focus on students," Soule said.
McEvoy said the students seem to be happy to be back in the building.
"It's just how welcoming the community has been and supportive in this really challenging time," Bassett said.
Allwein said he enjoys being in the area
"It's a great community, the whole Lakes Region community is pretty tight," Allwein said.
Evans said she loves the community.
"Coming here is amazing, everyone has been really helpful and welcoming and kind," Evans said.