Some years, Fairmont High School sees a lot of faculty changes … some years, not so much. The latter perfectly describes this year. Fairmont, however, is not totally without new faces for 2011-12, with a new band teacher, a part-time gym teacher and one new counselor.
Gail Logan was a part-time counselor last year and has now moved to the South Unit to become a full-time counselor. She replaces Larry Lamb, who retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
Lamb wasn’t the only staff member to leave Fairmont. Although Melissa Charske didn’t retire, she did leave to go teach physical education at Oakview Elementary School. Scott Horcher replaced her and is now teaching physical education for a half-day, since Charske was only part-time, too. Horcher is also a new football coach and assists Coach Andy Aracri.
The only entirely new, full-time staff member at Fairmont this year is the new assistant band director, Andrew Carr. He replaced Tim Parker, who resigned when his wife took a new job in Florida. Carr, a Fairmont graduate, and the other final candidates for the job had to prepare and conduct several mock band classes with FHS band students. Carr was selected, and he began working with students this summer.
“Mr. Carr is awesome! He always makes me laugh and is always willing to help me when I need it,” said junior Tonnie Roberts. “I am very upset about Mr. Parker leaving because he has been my band teacher since 6th grade, but I like Mr. Carr just as much. He is a really cool guy.”
Other faces absent from Fairmont this year include Foreign Language teacher Geneva Michaels, who decided to retire last summer, and science teacher Jill Spurlin, who was transferred to Van Buren Middle School. Neither was replaced.
Fairmont Principal Dan Von Handorf said the high school and the district are trying to be frugal about replacing staff because of the difficult economic situation in Kettering and the state. “For six years, we have not replaced 10 teachers, saving the district $1 million a year, which mean 60 fewer teaching sections for kids. Our teachers and students are doing an amazing job handling larger class sizes while getting record-breaking results,” Von Handorf said.
Despite the belt-tightening, Von Handorf said he feels good about the staff members he was able to hire. “I think all of these new staff members will do a good job, and I am looking forward to a new year,” he said.