(Left to Right) Jodi Larson, Amanda Kari, Jen Fordahl, Joni Obert, Felicia Wizykoski, Hallie Kocer, and Teresa Peterson (not pictured Bethany Greff) are the new staff joining Hettinger Public School.
Frank Turner/Adams County Record
It wasn’t just the kids excited for their first day of school this week. Eight new faculty members also had their first day at Hettinger Public School. The high school, elementary, and support areas of the school are all benefitting from the new help.
Both Superintendent Ryan Moser and Principal Darin Seamands said they were excited to have the new staff join the school.
“Each one of these members showed something that caught our eye,” said Moser. “We felt that they were a good fit into what we are trying to accomplish, and we are excited to see them grow professionally.”
Many of the incoming staff are from all over the state with varying degrees of teaching experience. The new staff are as follows:
– Joni Obert, Librarian
– Jen Fordahl, Grades 7-12 Paraprofessional
– Amanda Kari, Grades 7-12 Paraprofessional
-Bethany Greff, Grades K-6 Paraprofessional
– Jodi Larson, 1st Grade Paraprofessional
– Teresa Peterson, Elementary SPED/Title Teacher
– Falicia Wizykoski, Kitchen Staff/girls C Volleyball Coach
– Hallie Kocer, 4th grade teacher/student teacher
Before moving to Hettinger, Librarian Joni Obort worked in Taylor as both a paraprofessional and librarian. Obort said that she was excited to jump into the new school year.
“My favorite part about being a librarian is getting reluctant readers to read,” she said.
In addition to a new librarian, the school has four new paraprofessionals: Fordahl, Kari, Greff, and Larson. The paraprofessionals will be both be assisting in the classroom and helping students in a more one-on-one setting.
Hallie Kocer is starting the year as student teacher and then teaching 4th grade in the second half of the year. Kocer recently graduated from Black Hills State
“I love the people that work here,” said Kocer, “I wanted something new, but close to home, and Hettinger has been amazing.”
The new special education teacher, Teresa Peterson, is also from originally from Lemmon and new to Hettinger. Before moving to Hettinger, she taught in Dickinson, and she has over 20 years of experience teaching in the special education field. Peterson said she was excited to get back into teaching at a small school.
“I know some people over here and they said that this school is a really good school,” said Peterson, “I’m just excited to get back into a small school.”
Lastly, Falicia Wizykoski, the new kitchen staff, is also new to the area and is excited to begin coaching the Women’s C Volleyball Team. Although she has never coached volleyball before, she said that she was excited to get involved.
With the first days of school in the rearview mirror, both Moser and Seamands said that the new school year has started strong thanks to both new and existing staff members.
“It’s been a good start to the year,” said Seamands. “The new staff is doing a great job, and our existing staff is always doing a great job.”
Moser added, “I think that a lot of the success of the new hires, we have to credit to our existing staff members just taking them under their wing. They have been extremely helpful making the transition into our school successful.”