by Susan Mueller
& Aleen Ratzlaff
The start of a new school year usually means new teachers taking charge in their classrooms.
This article, first in a series, will introduce the teachers for USD 397-Centre, USD 411-Goessel and USD-408-Marion.
Four teachers will begin their first year of classroom teaching at USD 397-Centre.
Sherri Hudson is teaching fourth grade at Centre Elementary School. She previously taught in a school south of Houston, Texas, for four years, coming from Angleton, Texas.
She holds an associate of arts and bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary reading for the middle school level, as well as additional education certificates. Reading is her area of specialization.
Hudson was attracted to the Centre district since it has a tight-knit feeling and seems driven to innovation geared to help all students be successful.
Her goals include learning more about the community and getting involved. She wants to help the district reach community-wide goals.
Hudson and her husband, Chad, have six children.
Sheldon Patton will be teaching at Centre High School and also serve as the new athletic director. He’s teaching history, government and sociology for grades 9 to 12.
He is a graduate of Emporia State University and previously taught for four years at Chaparral High School.
Patton was attracted to the Centre School District since it is closer to his hometown of Emporia. He also was interested in the opportunity to serve as an athletic director.
Personal goals Patton listed are continuing his education, starting a family and finding a place to invest his time and talents, perhaps in a church or other venue.
Patton is married to Heather.
A first-year teacher, Brenna Pavluk will be instructing middle school science classes, including biology, human anatomy and physiology and health science. She also will be the junior high/high school cross-country coach.
Her hometown is Rootstown, Ohio, and she graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She completed her teaching certificate in biology at Kansas State University.
Pavluk said she was attracted to the Centre district since she grew up in a rural school and was drawn to the close-knit community atmosphere. The focus on teamwork and encouraging moral values are visions she shares.
Asked about personal goals, she said she wants to building relationships with her students. She also hopes to complete her master’s degree at K-State.
Pavluk is married to Aj and has two dogs and two cats.
John Seibel will teach language arts in grades seven, eight and nine at the Centre schools. He also will oversee curriculum for grades 7-12 and serve as the Student Council advisor.
Currently residing in Hillsboro, he is a 1982 Tabor College education graduate. He also graduated from Emporia State with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
Seibel has 32 years of teaching experience, in both public and private schools. Some of his past teaching posts have included Atlanta, Ga., and the Gridley/Leroy Schools.
He said he returned to Kansas from metro Atlanta to escape the “rat race” and simplify life. He likes the Centre schools because it is small and rural.
Listed among Seibel’s personal goals are to remain in the education field for another 8-10 years. He hopes to remain in USD 397 to make positive contributions.
Seibel is married, with seven children and seven grandchildren.
USD 411-Goessel welcomes one new classroom teacher this school year.
Alicia Oard will be the agricultural education teacher and FFA sponsor for USD 411.
A Kansas State University graduate, Oard grew up on a farm in the Abilene community and was active in agriculture and FFA as a high school student.
Prior to Goessel, Oard taught ag education at Herington. She said she is excited to bring her training and expertise to Goessel as well as the opportunities she has with the new facility.
In addition to ag, Oard is helping to sponsor cheerleading.
Three new classroom teachers have been hired by USD 408 for the 2017-18 year.
Brook Witty, whose hometown is Wakefield, will teach family consumer science classes for grades seven to 12 in USD 408.
She also will be the adviser for Family Career & Community Leaders of America.
Witty has three years of teaching experience, having taught in Coldwater and Ulysses high schools.
Asked what drew her to the Marion-Florence district, she said teaching in a bit larger school and being closer to her family.
Lisa Wiesner will teach Title 1 reading classes at Marion Elementary School.
“I taught a couple years before staying home with my kids,” she said.
She and husband Josh have four children and live in Marion.
Debbie Allen will teach kindergarten at MES.
“I have worked at Marion Elementary with special education for five years,” she said. “I really enjoy the people I work with. Marion has a great school district and they really value providing a quality education for all students.”
Allen, who also taught special education for four years at Canton-Galva, said she has a professional license as an early-late childhood generalist and kindergarten through grade six adaptive special education.
She and husband Rusty live in Hillsboro.