August 8, 2018
As I write this, teachers and students are already back in school for Math Camp. During the next few weeks, eight teachers and three high school students will work with over 50 students in 1st through 8th grade to strengthen skills, deepen understanding, and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and engineers.
Earlier this summer, I shared the exciting news that Adam Bullard accepted the job as the new Instructional Administrator. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce some new teachers and provide updates on staff who are moving to new positions.
New Staff or New Position
• Silvia Carrier was recently hired as the Title One Teacher. As the Title One Teacher, Silvia will provide interventions for students who are having difficulty in math and reading. Silvia spent last year as a long-term substitute in our Title One Program working closely with Kitty Maynard who recently retired as the Title One Teacher. Silvia was trained as an architect, taught German and Art for over seven years at North Haven Community School, and has been involved in adult education since 2004. She is a quick learner, dedicated professional, and has a strong commitment to students.
• Amy Hufnagel will serve as the new School-wide Behavior Interventionist providing intensive supports for students with social, emotional, and behavioral needs. She will work directly with students, consult with classroom teachers, and provide staff professional development in areas such as trauma-informed education practices. Amy will act as a point-person for our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system, which uses evidence-based practices to help all students develop social, emotional, and behavioral competence, which supports their academic engagement. Amy worked at South School last year where she provided direct services to students with emotional and behavioral needs. She has also worked as a clinical consultant at Wayfinder, a school-based social worker with Sweetser, and a social worker in the Intensive Foster Care Unit at Cambridge Family and Children’s Service in Massachusetts.
• Christine Miller will be teaching 5th Grade next year. For the past two years, as the Instructional Coordinator, Christine supported students, teachers, and teacher teams as we focused intensely on curriculum development and meeting the rigorous standards to become a certified EL Education school. As an exceptional educator committed to the school and community of St. George, with experience teaching at multiple grade levels, and with a deep understanding of EL Education, she moved our school forward as a learning organization. Christine will return to the classroom next year to do what she does (and enjoys) best – working directly with students.
• Angela Nilles will be our new Early Elementary Response to Intervention / Special Education Teacher. In this role, Angela will collaborate with regular education and special education teachers to ensure that our students receive the most effective interventions at an early age. Angela received her Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education from Penn State and was formerly a special education teacher at the Janus School, which is a school in Pennsylvania for students with learning differences such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD. Angela grew up in Waterville and is excited to return to Maine and be part of the St. George school-community.
• Meghan Smith will be teaching one of our two 1st grade classes next year. After graduating from the University of Maine Farmington in 2016 with a major in Early Elementary Education, Meghan joined the St. George staff and excelled as a 2nd grade teacher. She is a member of the PBIS Committee and has helped the school build a behavioral intervention system that supports all students. A standout basketball player at UMF, Meghan coached several St. George School teams and led summer clinics through the Parks and Recreation Committee. Last year, she was the assistant coach for the Oceanside High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team. She is a talented educator who is deeply committed to our students and community.
Finally, I learned recently that Kit Harrison will be leaving St. George School and moving on to new opportunities. Through talent, dedication, and creativity, Kit helped establish a strong World Language program at St. George School. Her commitment to global education enriched the lives of our entire school-community through programs that ranged from day-long events with Malian drummer Sidy Maïga and dancer Seydou Coulibaly to visits from Tibetan monks who shared their traditions and culture with students.
We are committed to continuing the World Language program and providing our students with access to foreign language, cultural diversity, and opportunities to learn from and about our neighbors in Maine, the United States, and across the globe. We have advertised for a language teacher and will be organizing a group of staff, parents, and community members to look at our World Language program and how it can grow and move forward. If you would like to be part of this group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.372.6312.
I am excited for us to begin our fourth year as an independent, community school district dedicated to the success of every student and the vitality of the Town of St. George. Thank you for all you do – and all you have done – to make this possible.