School District Welcomes 24 New Teachers

Benny Westcott

Sweet Home School District welcomes 24 new teachers this year. Here is a list of the new arrivals, with details provided by the district:

-Spencer Hart, biology and physical science teacher at the high school. Born and raised in Philomath, currently lives in Corvallis but is moving to Sweet Home. Hart is a first year teacher, who says he will be spending a lot of time on Foster Lake fishing.

-Serenity Wilson, fourth and fifth grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary. Lives and grew up in Lebanon. First year teacher. Wilson is looking forward to spending days laughing and learning with her students.

-Jo Pierce, learning resources center teacher at the high school. Lives in Lebanon. “I’ve been working with neurodiverse students since 2015,” Pierce said.

-Lindsay Janzer, Hawthorne Elementary P.E. teacher. First year teacher with a bachelor degree from Corban University. Halfway through a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Janzer is an avid runner, who ran in college and has run a marathon since. “I am excited to have this opportunity to teach elementary students to love physical activity,” she said.

-Brooklyn Giles-Sanders, mental health counselor at the junior high and high school. Married to A.J. Sanders, with two children, Griffin and Ezra. “I am so excited to connect with the Sweet Home community, and I can’t wait to see what I learn,” she said.

-Breonna North, high school English and English support teacher. Recent Oregon State graduate. “I am thrilled to begin my dream job here in Sweet Home,” she said.

-Caytlin Gillespie, English and social studies teacher at high school. Will be first year teaching, but has worked for the school district as a substitute teacher and coach. 2015 SHHS graduate.

-Sheila Cremer, basic life skills and transition at the high school. First year teacher, has lived in Sweet Home for six years. Moved here from Florida. “I’m a mother to a beautiful daughter,” Cremer said.

-Emili Riggs, Oak Heights Elementary P.E. teacher. Describes herself as a proud third generation educator for the SHSD and a mother of three-year-old twins. “Health and fitness has become a huge passion in my life and I’m so excited for this opportunity to be a positive change in the community I love,” she said.

-Daniia Martyniuk, kindergarten teacher at Oak Heights. From Odesa, Ukraine. Used to work as a teacher’s assistant.

-Courtney Daniels, first grade teacher at Oak Heights. Grew up in Sweet Home. “I’m very excited to give back to the community and make a difference for our children,” she said.

-Ashley Patton, second grade teacher at Oak Heights. From Mill City. First year teaching. Western Oregon University graduate.

-Caitlin Bowen, kindergarten teacher at Oak Heights. From Abu Dhabi, but has been living in Eugene for the past seven years. First year teaching own class.

-Brittany Shamek, first grade teacher at Foster. Third year teacher. “I’m so excited to be teaching in this wonderful community,” Shamek said.

-Josie Macklin, language arts teacher at the high school. Born and raised in Sweet Home. “I am so excited to be back to serve a community I love so much,” she said. “I’ve been at the high school subbing and coaching the last few years, and I’m looking forward to really getting my career started in the district.”

-Sean McNellis, special education teacher at the high school.

-Dave McNeil, teacher at the junior high. “I’m so excited to be back with the SHSD and serving our wonderful students,” he said. “I look forward to reconnecting with the families I know from my time at the high school and making new connections with our middle school families.”

-Zech Brown, CTE-Forestry teacher at the high school. Graduated from SHHS. “I’m excited to be back, teaching students about forestry,” he said.

-Hannah Humpherys, sixth grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary. Grew up in Amarillo, Texas. Moved to Utah to go to Brigham Young University, and is now in Oregon. First year teaching.

-Rebecca Raab, biology teacher at the high school. First year teacher from Colorado. Has lived in Oregon for six years.

-Kyra Wafford, math and science teacher at junior high. Entering fifth year of teaching. Will be becoming a mother within the month.

-Isabelle Rice, kindergarten teacher at Holley. Just graduated from University of Oregon with a masters in education. “I couldn’t be more excited to start school with my kindergarteners,” she said.

-Barb Kragness, peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS) first through third grade teacher at Hawthorne. Has worked for the district for 30 years as an assistant. First year as a teacher. “I graduated from Sweet Home and live in and enjoy the Sweet Home community,” Kragness said.

-Robbie Ellis, math teacher at junior high. Coming from North Salem High School, where he taught science, NGSS patterns physics and credit recovery. “I’m excited to join Sweet Home and help build the knowledge base of the community’s future leaders,” Ellis said.