With the new school year comes the dreaded homework, the nail-biting sporting events, the timid freshmen and, of course, the new staff members. This year is especially rich as 20 new staff members have joined the Firebird family. They hold positions ranging from core classes to special education, from foreign language to music, and from administration to school aides, and they are all looking forward to something different out of this year.
One of the new teachers to join this year is Courtney Perkins, who is teaching geometry. Perkins attended the University of Dayton and interned throughout her college career. Other than the internships, the Fairmont position is Perkins’ first real job. “I’m looking forward to the hard-working students and all of the wonderful things they will accomplish this year,” said Perkins. “I’m excited about all of the important things my students will teach me this year.”
Some of the new teachers this year will be familiar faces to Fairmont, having held long-term substitute positions before taking on full-time ones. English teacher Juliet MonBeck has subbed in the English Department for over a year. MonBeck, who also taught at Stivers School for the Arts for two years, said she’s looking forward to helping with the school play and hopes to start a creative writing club.
Another new teacher, Ryan Lamb, taught 8th grade in Hillsborough for a year before moving to Kettering Middle School, where he taught 7th grade English for 9 years. Now he has brought his experiences to the high school. “I’m bringing high expectations for myself and my students and an eagerness to integrate performance and technology into English education,” said Lamb. “I enjoy teaching because I get to spend all day talking about and reading great literature with interesting, idiosyncratic people.”
Another KMS teacher who moved to Fairmont this year is severe behavioral handicap teacher Micki Ambrose. She taught at St. Albert the Great, JFK Elementary School and KMS, and has many goals for this year. “I’m looking forward to helping our student population to become successful and productive Kettering citizens,” she said. “I’d also like to help our students learn to think independently so that they may be able to make wise and healthy choices for their future.”
Last year, Ambrose obtained a second master’s degree in educational leadership and a principal licensure. She believes her background in the other schools will greatly benefit her this year. “I’ve been working with our special education population for the past nine years from various age levels,” said Ambrose. “This knowledge allows me to understand from where our high school students have come in order to help them make appropriate choices to fulfill their educational goals.”
Aside from getting to know students and taking on different teaching responsibilities, the new faculty members also have to interact with other Fairmont staff. Special Education teacher Katie Talbott has a positive view on her colleagues. “I think Fairmont is a great place to work,” said Talbott, “I have nothing but wonderful people helping me through the day.” Talbott says her favorite part of Fairmont is teaching with people who love their jobs.
The newest addition to the Foreign Language Department is Jonathan Fulton, who is teaching Spanish. “I’m really excited to be here and have had the pleasure to meet some great students and the great staff at Fairmont,” said Fulton. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of this school and an incredible Foreign Language Department.” Fulton taught at Springboro High School for the first seven years of his career and has taught all four levels of Spanish. He enjoys taking educational trips to Spain and has spent nearly a year living outside of the United States.
Even if they came from another school, these staff members are now a part of the Fairmont High School community. They might be a school favorite, the tough teacher who gets the point across, or something in between, but that is for students to decide. “I worked in a very uninviting place,” said Talbot. “There was no sense of ‘We are all in this together.’ Here, we are all in this together.”