Tuesday, August 20th was the first day of school for the eleven new teachers at the High School. There are twenty-five newly hired teachers across the whole district. Maria Coleman, Director of Human Resources welcomed the group and shared that the newly hired teachers in the room represented ‘The top 5% of our applicant pool of 550 applicants.’ She also shared ‘Sitting among you, valedictorian from Wilton high school, a Fulbright scholar and a professional musician whose music was featured at the Sochi Olympics. You are the best of the best and you should feel very proud to be here. We hope Wilton will become your forever home.’
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith spoke next, he encouraged all new staff to search for the twitter hashtag #WiltonWayCT. “I challenge and invite you to visit it and post to it, it will make your day.” In what has become an annual tradition in the Smith Family, Dr Smith asked his own children for their advice for the new teachers. Dr Smith’s five children range in ages from 3rd grade to a High School Freshman and their wise words were:
- We know how hard your jobs as teachers are.
- Get to know your students.
- Be creative.
- Play lots of games, smile and give out lots of candy.
Chris Finkelstein, Chair of the Wilton Board of Education spoke next:
‘As you begin your work, you are joining a community that enthusiastically embraces its teachers and supports it schools. Wilton teachers develop strong relationships with families. In our family, we frequently exchange stories about teachers who mean a lot to us. Our community shows support through schools in many ways – investing in them, supporting them on the football field, attending music and drama performances. This is an exciting time to be starting your tenure, teachers are the center of everything’
Chuck Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Andrea Leonardi, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services also spoke reinforcing the days theme of fostering relationships, increasing student engagement and helping students to take risks to meet their goals.
‘Success is when students come in smiling, telling you stories and relating something you taught them to something that happened to them in the world outside of the classroom’ said Leonardi.
The meeting ended with Dr Smith presenting each new hire with their Class of ’19 Wilton shirt. New teachers then returned to their own school to continue their orientation day.
The new teachers are:
- Denise Arnauckas – Special Education
- Cathryn Duemmler – Science, Wilton High School Class of 2012
- Anna Fernandez – P.E.
- Jody Harkins – Special Education
- Matthew Kelly – German
- Megan Kounnas – Art
- Kathryn Lynch – Science
- Sara Roberge – English
- Sara Scully – Family and Consumer Science
- Catherine Spadaro – Special Education
- Monark Trivedi – Math