Back to School For New Teachers
Tuesday, Aug. 20 was the first day of school for Wilton Public Schools‘ 25 newly hired teachers. The district’s director of human resources Maria Coleman 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 pointed out that among the group of new educators were some very impressive talents.
“Sitting among you is a 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,” Coleman said.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith spoke next and encouraged all new staff to search for the twitter hashtag #WiltonWayCT, the running twitter feed of district-related posts.
“I challenge and invite you to visit it and post to it, it will make your day.” In an annual tradition, Smith asked his own children to give advice for the new teachers. Smith’s five children range in ages from 3rd grade to a high school freshman. 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 Board of Education spoke next, telling them, “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 addressed the new teachers, reinforcing the 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,” Leonardi said.
The meeting ended with Superintendent Smith presenting each new hire with a Class of ’19 Wilton shirt. New teachers then returned to their own building to continue their orientation day.
Wilton’s New Hires by School/Area
Wilton High School
Wilton High School administrators with the high school’s newest teachers:
Denise Arnauckas, Special Education
Cathryn Duemmler, Science
Anna Fernandez, PE
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
William McLachlan, English
Julie Toich, English
Pictured with Middlebrook principal Lauren Feltz and dean Damian Wheelan.
Erin Crowley, 5th Grade Teacher
Catherine O’Keefe, CM assistant principal
Lauren Catalano, CM assistant principal
Sara Ando, Teacher of Hearing Impaired
Ethan Bourque, School Counselor
Olivia Barbieri, 5th Grade Teacher
Beth Bakst, Music
Jen Falcone, principal
Iain Tait, Music
Megan Garcia, Special Education
Heather McGuinness, LLC
Lindsay Arcuri, 2nd Grade Teacher
Danielle Cummings, Reading Interventionist
Alison Hourani, Genesis School Psychologist