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30 new teachers join school district

Sweet Home School District is adding 30 new teachers this year, well above the usual number of new licensed personnel for a new school year.

Some, such as Hawthorne Counselor Julie Harvey, who was a longtime counselor at the high school, are not new. Some are alumni of the district themselves.

Here is a list of some of the new arrivals, with details as provided by them:

Jarid Adams, Teacher on Special Assignment – Engagement Specialist at Sweet Home High School, grew up in Sweet Home and graduated from SHHS in 2014. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2019 with a bachelor's of science. He will work as a re-engagement specialist this year at the high school. This is his first year of teaching.

Brittany Brownell will teach second grade at Foster. This is her first year of teaching.

Abby Burns, who will teach fifth grade at Foster Elementary, moved to Oregon in April after graduating from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. "I am so excited to get to know the Sweet Home area and have a great school year," she says. This is her first year of teaching.

Tynan Cardwell is a native of Albany who will be teaching P.E. This year at Sweet Home Junior High. He recently bought a home in Sweet Home. This is his first year of teaching.

Christie Chapman is a native of Southern California who moved to Oregon in 1994. She received her teaching license in 2012. She worked as a substitute Life Skills teacher for Lane Educational Services District for 10 years, then as a special education teacher in different school districts before accepting a position this year as a Life Skills teacher at Sweet Home Junior High. "Sweet Home offered me the opportunity to return to Life Skills and I am pleased to be here," she says.

Maggie Collins-Beairsto has served as substitute teacher in the Sweet Home School District for several years, and now will teach math and science at Sweet Home Junior High. "I am excited," she said of the opportunity to work full-time in the district.

Will Coltrin will teach construction technology skills at Sweet Home High School. A graduate of Roseburg High School, he served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic before earning a bachelor's degree in general agriculture and an M.S. in agricultural education. He has 14 years of teaching experience, including 10 years in metals/welding/woods and mechanic shop classes, nine years in agricultural education and three as a science teacher.

Leslie Curran graduated from Boise State University in May with a degree in elementary education, and an endorsement in literacy. She will be a Title 1 teacher at Foster Elementary. This is her first year of teaching. She says she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and their two dogs. "I'm excited to be part of the Sweet Home community," she says.

Hope Fears graduated in 2020 from Corban University with a bachelor's degree in secondary language arts education after graduating from Sweet Home High School and lives locally. She will begin her teaching career as a seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher at Sweet Home Junior High.

Jennie Gilbert comes to Sweet Home High School with eight years of experience teaching life skills classes. She will be teaching job and independent living skills to transition-age students.

Sarah Harkin moved from California to attend Western Ore-gon University, where she earned a master's degree in special education. She will teach special education at Foster School. This is her first year of teaching.

Julie Harvey will serve as counselor at Hawthorne School. She has 18-plus years experience in education.

Pam Hayes will teach first grade at Foster School. She has five years of experience in teaching.

Tiffany Irwin comes to Sweet Home from Lewis County, Wash., to serve as school counselor at Sweet Home Junior High. "I am so excited to be a part of this community and the growth in every student," she says. This is her first year of teaching.

Shayna Kennedy will teach at Oak Heights Elementary. She has three years experience in teaching.

Elizabeth Mann will teach fifth grade at Hawthorne Elementary. This is her first year of teaching.

Hannah Mather is a 2014 graduate of Sweet Home High School, and graduated from Oregon State University. She is currently earning a master's degree at Pacific University. She will be a school counselor at Foster Elementary. This is her first year of teaching.

Laura Parrish grew up in Albany and moved to the Sweet Home area 16 years ago. She will teach science at Sweet Home High School. This is her first year of teaching.

Alexxus Shelton is from Milton-Freewater and just graduated from Oregon State University. She will teach fifth grade at Hawthorne Elementary.

Richard Smithson will teach special education at Sweet Home High School. He has four years of teaching experience.

Kaitlyn Tesdal is a West Albany High School graduate who earned her bachelor's degree at Western Oregon University and her master's degree at Concordia University. She comes to Hawthorne Elementary as a sixth-grade teacher after eight years of teaching in Colorado.

Lori Tuter is a 1987 Sweet Home graduate who comes to her alma mater with 26 years of teaching experience after graduating from the University of Oregon, 15 of that in music, 12 in language arts.

Ashley Wardrop graduated from North Salem High School and Corban University. She currently resides in Albany with her fiancee, their dog and cat. She will teach physical education at Hawthorne Elementary.

Leah White comes to Sweet Home High School to teach art. Originally from DC, she comes to Sweet Home with three years of teaching experience in Kotzebue, Alaska, and in Lakeview.

Marissa Zimmer is a 2014 graduate of South Albany High School and finished at Western Oregon University in 2020. She will teach third grade at Foster Elementary.

 
 
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