Elwood welcomes new staff

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The Elwood Union Free School District welcomed five new part-time and probationary teachers, as well as a new guidance counselor, at a new teacher orientation on Aug. 27.

Held at Elwood Middle School, incoming educators had an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 4.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert kicked the morning off by welcoming incoming guidance counselor Janine Ferrante, music teacher Alexa Gottesman, first grade teacher Christine Messina, mathematics teacher Annette Tekverk, science teacher Kaitlyn Tuna and art teacher Joellyn Tuohy, all of whom will be integrated throughout the district’s four schools. 

Following their introductions, Director of Humanities Pam Fine and the district’s director of math, sciences and technologies, Eileen Kelly Gorman, led the new hires through several presentations, designed to help familiarize them with the district’s policies, procedures and culture. 
“Today is about giving them the nuts and bolts for success,” she said.

The teachers learned from Executive Director of Special Services Dianne Wilkinsen how to integrate special needs students into their classrooms. Additionally, Technology Integration Specialist Krista Albrecht and Executive Director of Technology and Transportation Gene Tranchino taught the new hires how to access their Google account and create a website.

While it was an important introduction, the orientation is just the first of many opportunities for the new hires to get acquainted with the district. 

Rather than host a two-day orientation, as was done in the past, administrators plan to host four additional workshops throughout the school year to help tackle topics such as engaging students, curriculum and instruction, lesson planning and how to handle challenging situations. 
“It becomes a support team that builds camaraderie among the staff,” Fine said. 
“It’s nice to be surrounded by people in the exact same boat,” Tekverk added.