|Seven new teachers begin school|
|Written by Jes-c Brandt and Chris Lee|
Seven new teachers began the 2009-10 school year in Holyoke this week as classes began in the Re-1J School District on Tuesday, Aug. 18. New teachers reported on Aug. 12.
New to Holyoke Elementary School are Shelby Lingbloom, David Bloemker, Mandy Krause and Kate Shoemaker. Holyoke High School welcomed Troy Mayfield, Carla Mayfield and Heather Bieber to its staff.
Beginning as a new kindergarten teacher is Shelby Lingbloom of Julesburg. After graduating high school in 2004, she planned on attending Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb. After speaking with friends, the choice to go to Colorado Christian University in Lakewood was made.
Lingbloom originally attended college to become a nurse but after two years decided to look into teaching. When she was younger she told herself she wanted to become a teacher. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with elementary education.
Lingbloom is continuing her education and currently is working on obtaining her master’s in curriculum and instruction through Colorado Christian University. She plans on finishing the degree in May 2010.
“I’ve always wanted to teach kindergarten so I’m excited to meet the kids and get started,” Lingbloom said.
David Bloemker grew up in Brush and joins the elementary staff as a fifth grade teacher.
He graduated high school in 2004 and attended college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Both of his parents are elementary teachers in Brush. He said the fact they are teachers was one of the contributing factors to his decision to become a teacher.
Bloemker majored in history and Spanish on his way to a bachelor’s degree. After finishing school in 2008 he went through the post-baccalaureate licensure program for elementary education.
During school, he was involved with the Catholic church campus organization. In his free time he enjoys traveling and reading.
Bloemker is anxious to get to know the kids and the community the most.
He wanted to teach in a small town and he really liked Holyoke the first time he visited.
“People are friendly here and it seems like a very supportive school,” he said.
Bloemker describes himself as an enthusiastic and dedicated person.
Mandy Krause, a 2004 graduate of Chatfield High School in Littleton was hired to be a new resource teacher for the 2009-10 school year.
Krause attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in hopes of becoming a biology teacher but lost interest in it. She turned her concentration toward history. She also concentrated on special education.
She student taught in Berthoud and enjoyed the smaller town. She and Bloemker are engaged, so making the move to the same school was a plus.
Getting to know the students on a personal basis is something she is looking forward to as well as meeting their needs.
“Since it’s my first experience it will be a learning experience for me and the kids,” Krause said.
In her free time, Krause enjoys bowling, riding dirt bikes and is involved with the Catholic church.
A new fourth grade teacher from Grover is Kate Shoemaker. Graduating as part of a nine-person class in 2005, she went to the University of Northern Colorado where she obtained her bachelor’s degree of interdisciplinary liberal arts with an emphasis in history in 2009.
She grew up on a ranch with her three younger brothers. She spent the first part of this summer and last summer in Texas working at a Christian summer camp teaching kids how to ride horses. Describing herself as a cowgirl, she enjoys spending time on the ranch working cattle and reading.
Shoemaker landed in her current position after her resume was passed to Holyoke from the Merino superintendent.
She was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and was able to travel to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina clean-up. She was also a resident advisor for two years at college.
After speaking with an FFA state officer who was planning on becoming a teacher, Shoemaker decided to volunteer in classrooms and at Sunday schools and along the way decided she wanted to become a teacher.
Troy Mayfield began teaching this week at Holyoke High School in the vocational agriculture department. His classes include ag mechanics, ag welding, ag carpentry, ag business, animal science, intro to ag and an eighth grade exploratory class.
Excited to get back in the classroom after summer vacation, Mayfield shared he is particularly looking forward to the coming year. One goal, he said, is to use a strong science foundation as the base of his classes. He also hopes to incorporate finances and business planning, exploring the various aspects of agriculture.
In addition to his role as ag teacher, Mayfield will act as FFA advisor. Through his time spent in the area, Mayfield has observed a long tradition of leadership in the FFA chapter, and that’s something he hopes to see continue with current members.
Mayfield moved to Holyoke, returning to an area he is already familiar with. He spent one summer here working. He also attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, where he received an associate of arts degree in agriculture education. Following his time at NJC, he studied at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture education.
Before Mayfield and his wife Carla, an English teacher, accepted positions at HHS, their family lived in Boise City, Okla., where Mayfield taught agriculture. He was also an ag teacher and superintendent/principal in Branson.
“I really enjoy being around kids and teaching them, being involved,” said Mayfield. He is glad to be teaching and looks forward to his first year in Holyoke.
Carla Mayfield is one of the new junior high English teachers at Holyoke. In addition to teaching sixth and eighth grade English and Response to Intervention (RtI) English, Mayfield will be taking over the high school speech class.
A woman passionate about literature, communication and theatre, Mayfield looks forward to all the classes she’ll be teaching. One of the most exciting things, she shared, is the chance to teach a sixth grade class for the first time. It is her hope that she can cultivate and encourage a love of reading in the younger students.
Mayfield will also be directing the high school play and musical this year. Having directed plays in the past, she is thrilled to be directing again. She is especially delighted to direct students who have had the benefit of working with the experienced directors previously at HHS.
A graduate of Adams State College in Alamosa, Mayfield has a degree in journalism. In the past, Mayfield has taught English/Language Arts for a combined eight years in Keyes, Okla. and Branson.
Teaching in Holyoke, she believes, will be different than the other schools, as it is larger. She is, however, glad to see Holyoke still has a small school feeling, and class sizes that enable relationships to be formed to tailor the classes to fit students’ needs.
Mayfield will be working right down the hall from her husband Troy, the new ag teacher. Both are happy to be working so close to each other, and to be living in Holyoke. The Mayfields have three children, Ross, a freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans, La.; Skyler, a sophomore; and Wilson, a first grader.
Heather Bieber has completed the first days as a new English teacher in Holyoke Junior High and High School. Her classes are seventh, tenth and twelfth grade English.
Bieber is looking to have a strong focus on writing in all of her classes. It’s an area in which students seem to struggle nationwide, she noted, and she’s excited to work with other teachers to help her students become great writers.
In general, Bieber is excited about the enthusiasm she’s seen in the other staff at the school. She is fortunate to work with many people who are passionate and dedicated to teaching the students.
Bieber has returned to her alma mater, where she is working with many of the teachers who taught her through her 2003 graduation from HHS. It came as a relief, she shared, that she already knew many of the people at the school and didn’t have to take long adjusting to the setting. Commenting on teaching in the school she attended as a student, Bieber noted it’s different, but fun. Everyone has made her feel very comfortable there.
For the last two years Bieber taught 9-12 grade English at Wray High School. She also did her student teaching at Wray in 2007. Bieber is a 2007 graduate of Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, with a bachelor of arts degree.
Although neither is new to the area, Bieber and her husband Brett are glad to be living in Holyoke, and she noted she looks forward to a new experience as she begins teaching at Holyoke.