USD 410 has four new staff members this fall: one counselor and three classroom teachers.
Autumn Hardey is the counselor at Hillsboro Elementary School and will oversee all after-school activities.
Hardey earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and has nine years of experience in the classroom. She plans to complete her master’s in school counseling at Fort Hays State University in May.
“Having worked with (USD 410) while at the Learning Center, I knew how they cared about students,” she said. “The staff has always been professional, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that if given the opportunity.”
Hardey and husband Eric have three children: Maylee, 8, Caycee, 6, and Addison, 19 months.
Heather Corby teaches music and art at HES, and English for other-language speakers at Hillsboro Middle High School.
Her past teaching experience includes four years with fourth grade at Haviland and two years of ESL for elementary students in Emporia.
Corby earned her bachelor’s at Emporia State University and her master’s at Baker University. Her husband, Clint, is HMHS principal, and they have a son, Emerson.
“Clint and I were attracted to the small town for our son to grow up,” Corby said about their decision to work at USD 410.
Devin Metzinger teaches math and Project Lead the Way classes at Hillsboro High School as well coaches football.
He grew up in Arkansas City and earned his education degree at Southwestern College. He previously taught two years at Bluestem High School.
“I want for my students to leave my classroom or football program with lessons learned that can make them successful in life,” said Metzinger, whose wife’s name is Madison.
Tamara Cassidy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Emporia State University. She has nine years of teaching experience, having taught fifth grade in Hesston, Manhattan and Arkansas City.
Cassidy teaches sixth-graders reading and math at Hillsboro Middle School. She also will serve as sponsor for Student Council and the Renaissance Club.
“We have lived in Hillsboro for three years,” she said. “And I’m thrilled to be teaching in the town we live in.”
Cassidy and husband Tim have three children, ranging in age from 2 months to 5 years.
USD 419 has six new faculty members this fall, ranging from elementary school to high school.
Cara Duell teaches English for grades nine and 10 at Canton-Galva High School and serves as activity director for Canton-Galva Junior High School.
Duell graduated from Tabor College in May with majors in English and special education at the secondary level.
She said she wants her students to become “good communicators and problem solvers that can work together as critical thinkers.”
Duell and husband Nate live in Hillsboro, coming from Aurora, Ill. They have four children.
Steven Glover, a 25-year classroom veteran, teaches vocal music for kindergarten through grade three, and grades seven through 12. He also will direct this year’s school musical.
Glover, whose hometown is Peabody, earned his bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University and a master of arts in teaching from Friends University.
“I was missing working with multiple age levels in music and was excited for the opportunity to do that again,” he said about teaching at USD 419.
Glover has taught previously at Ingalls, Peabody-Burns and Newton. He and wife Donna have two sons, Johnathan and Jefferson.
Crystal Holmes grew up in Littleton, Colo., and taught at McPherson last year. A Tabor College grad, Holmes teaches special education for kindergarten through grade three.
She said the small town and friendly faces drew her to USD 419.
Holmes said her goal this year is to help each student become the best they can be.
Jennifer Taylor brings four years of teaching experience to Canton-Galva Elementary School, where she will be the special education teacher for grades four through six.
Her hometown is Lindsborg, where she earned her bachelor’s degree at Bethany College. She also holds a master’s from Fort Hays State University.
“I was very excited to be placed in this district,” said Taylor, adding that she anticipates having a successful year in her new position.
Nicholas Vogts is teaching science courses at CGHS, including biology, anatomy and physiology, plus monitoring chemistry.
Vogts, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Emporia State University, is in his first year of teaching.
“This is my hometown and they needed help with the position,” he said. “I felt like I had the skills to help out.”
Vogts said his desire is to be a positive influence for students.
Carly Weisbeck, also an ESU grad, teaches seventh- and eighth-grade special education.
“I’m a brand new teacher,” said Weisbeck, whose hometown is Hillsboro.
“(USD 419) is close to parents and grandparents,” she added about her decision to teach at Canton-Galva. “I was also drawn to the small class sizes.”
Four new teachers have joined the teaching faculty at Peabody-Burns this fall.
Tyson Kendrick comes to USD 398 with four years of classroom experience. He will teach physical education classes at the elementary school and serve as activity director the middle and high schools.
“Peabody has great administration staff that make you feel welcomed from Day 1,” said Kendrick, a Tabor College graduate from Arkansas City. “The energy of the school is positive and makes you want to contribute to the district anyway you can.”
Kendrick and wife Shelby live in Hillsboro.
Shari Thiessen will teach math to grades seven through 12, coach Scholars Bowl and serve as junior class sponsor. Prior to coming to Peabody-Burns, she taught in Newton and Wichita high schools.
Thiessen, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Wichita State University, completed her teacher licensure for secondary math and adaptive special education at Bethel College as well as her certification in English for Speakers of Other Languages from Newman University.
She said she was drawn to USD 398 because of its size and emphasis on personal accountability.
Peggy Shortridge, who grew up in Prairie Village, will teach Spanish I and II at Peabody-Burns High School in the mornings, and Spanish I, II and III at Goessel High School in the afternoons.
Shortridge earned her bachelor’s in Spanish and a master’s in applied linguistics at the University of Kansas.
“The flexibility and imaginative practicality of all four administrators in the two districts is what ensured that I accepted the position when they offered it,” she said about the combined position.
“My personal goal that encompasses all others is simply to ensure that all my students in both districts can use more Spanish at the end of the school year,” she said.
Shortridge has taught at schools in the Kansas City, Kan., area as well as Junction City and Centre districts.
Mary Miller, who grew up in Rosehill, will teach social studies to sixth graders and PBHS business classes. She also will serve as sponsor for the student chapter of Business Professionals of America.
She has 17 years of experience, having taught in Wichita and Winfield districts.
Miller earned bachelor’s degree in education at Newman University and a bachelor’s and MBA degree at Friends University.
“Having just earned my MBA, I was looking for an opportunity to teach high school business and was really interested in a small town similar to where I grew up,” said Miller, who lives in Andover.
“I am very close to my parents and a sister and nephew who are very supportive of my endeavors,” she added.