Five new classroom teachers are starting their first year at USD 397-Centre with primary responsibilities in the junior high and high school.
? Ashley Coirier is teaching business at the high school. Coirier grew up near Topeka and graduated from Seaman High School. She went on to earn an agriculture education degree at Kansas State University.
Coirier taught ag for two years at Solomon and Council Grove, then left teaching for two years to work in banking. She said she is excited about returning to the classroom this fall.
?I?ve always enjoyed it?working with the kids and getting kids excited,? Coirier said. She also will be the faculty sponsor for the Future Business Leaders of Amer?ica organization at Centre.
?I have a really awesome group of FBLA kids,? Coirier said. ?They?re excited about FBLA and want to do it. Those kind of driven kids get me excited.?
Coirier actually applied for the opening in ag education at Centre, but she said Super?intendent Brian Smith asked if she?d teach business instead.
?I hadn?t (taught businesses before), but it does kind of make sense,? Coirier said. ?Those ag classes?Ag Communication and Ag Business?were my favorite classes (at KSU). I like teaching those things, so it kind of made sense.?
In addition to being the FBLA sponsor, Coirier will coordinate The Perk, a student-run coffeehouse.
Coirier said her primary goal is to prepare her students for the real world.
?When I worked in a bank, I had a lot of 20-year-olds coming in who didn?t know how to fill out a deposit slip, didn?t know how to balance a checkbook and didn?t understand how a credit card worked,? she said. ?That?s my goal?going with what our content is, but also getting them ready for a real-world experience.?
Coirier and her husband live near Elmdale with their dogs, cats and horses.
? Julie Keithline, math teacher for grades 7-12, grew up in Dalhart, Texas. After graduating from high school in 1988, she earned a bachelor of science degree from West Texas A&M University in 1995 and a master?s degree from Emporia State University in 2004.
?I was born a teacher,? Keithline said about her attraction to education. ?It is my destiny, not a choice.?
She sees her goals as pursuing Centre?s high academic expectations, multi?tude of curriculum options and technology rich culture. But her overall goal to show her students that ?math is fun.?
Because she has an evening teaching job, Keith?line said she isn?t able to be involved in other school activities and organizations this year.
?I am a farm girl, and living in the city was getting a little old for me,? said the Louisburg native. ?Centre offered the opportunity to both live and teach in the countryside, with many of my students being from a farm background. It seemed like the perfect fit for a farm girl looking to escape the city.?
After graduating from Paola High School in 2005, Menefee earned a bachelor?s degree in English from Ottawa University in 2008, and a master?s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from New Mexico Highlands Univer?sity in Las Vegas, N.M.
She is currently completing her doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction through K-State.
Menefee originally saw herself as a secondary education major, but while working on her master?s, she was offered a teaching assistantship ?and absolutely fell in love with teaching English.?
She got a job teaching English full-time at KSU and her enthusiasm for teaching grew even more. Menefee began her doctoral studies in education and decided to pursue her original dream of teaching high school English.
?I have so many goals for my students, but probably my primary one is to make sure they are college and career ready by the time they walk out those doors at graduation,? Menefee said. ?In order to do that, I want to help my students see the relevance of English to their lives.?
In addition to her teaching load, Menefee is co-sponsor of the freshman class and the play/drama club. One of her classes is taking on the task of creating a school and community newsletter.
?Throughout my whole life I?ve been an educator,? Trieb said, adding with a smile: ?I teach everybody about anything, and give them probably more information than they really needed to know.?
Trieb is an Indiana native who attended Catholic schools for 12 years before enrolling at Purdue Univer?sity, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in ag education.
Trieb taught school in southern Indiana for two years before she and her husband, weary of growing urbanization in the region, decided to look for a more rural setting.
They moved first to Burlington, Colo., in 1985, then came in 1988 to southwest Kansas, where her husband taught ag classes.
When he decided to pursue nursing school, the family moved to Wamego, where they have lived for the past 20 years. They have four adult children, the youngest being age 19.
Trieb was first exposed to Centre years ago when her children?s school was a member of the same junior high league.
?Wouldn?t it be great to teach at a school like this?? she remembered thinking at the time. ?I just like schools out in the country. You?re able to feel the rural flavor.?
Now that she?s at Centre, Trieb said she has two overarching goals for her students.
?I would like them to understand that the things they?re learning can help them in anything in life that they are doing?even if they don?t go into an ag career,? she said.
?The other thing I would like them to learn is just basic skills that they can teach their kids someday?like to be able to walk down a road and identify the trees that they see there, to look down and be able to tell weeds from crops.
?Those kind of basic things have been kind of lost in society today.?