Meet the new teachers

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Editor's note: Students won't be the only ones finding their way through Moffat County schools on Monday morning. Fifteen teachers also will make their debuts. The Craig Daily Press asked each a series of questions about their experiences and expectations. What follows are their responses.

Name: Dawn Bolstad
Where and what will you be teaching? Language arts at Craig Middle School.
Experience: Six years in the greater Phoenix area and 10 years in Moorhead, Minn., teaching language arts at the high school level.
Where did you move here from? Fargo, N.D.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? As long as I enjoy my job. So far, Craig is wonderful.
What is your philosophy about teaching? The best teacher is the one who talks less and listens more. Everyone has a story to tell.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Anything that has kids so engaged in learning that they forget I'm nearby.
What are your goals while here? Professionally, to be one of the top five best teachers my students will every have. Personally, to have my lifestyle reflect my interests.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Creating a sense of trust and honor between a teacher and a student and among students themselves.
What are your hobbies? Hiking and home improvements. I research and create historical photo albums.


Name: John Bolton
Where and what will you be teaching? High school and middle school band.
Experience: Eight years teaching K-12 music.
Where did you move here from? Walden.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? I hope to retire here.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Segmented rehearsal and analogous imagery.
What are your goals while here? Build a huge, successful band program.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Student placement in classroom environments where they are not prepared to be
What are your hobbies? Tae Kwon Do, backpacking and shooting.


Name: Linda Davis
Where and what will you be teaching? Fourth grade at East Elementary School.
Experience: I moved her from Nevada where I taught fifth grade.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Make learning fun.
What is your favorite classroom technique? A hands-on learning environment.
What are your goals while here? To learn more about Colorado.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Reaching all levels of students.
What are your hobbies? Walking, reading and cooking


Name: Eric Hansen
Where and what will you be teaching? Social studies at Moffat County High School.
Experience: Graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in May.
Where did you move here from? Englewood.
What is your philosophy about teaching? The classroom is the best place to learn real-life skills.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Using technology.
What are your goals while here? Become a successful educator while becoming a part of the community.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Being able to reach all different levels of students.
What are your hobbies? Photography and camping.

Name: Courtney Jenison
Where and what will you be teaching? Eighth-grade social studies at Craig Middle School.
Experience: This is my first teaching job.
I graduated cum laude in May 2003 from Colorado State University.
Where did you move here from? I grew up here and graduated from Moffat County High School in 1998.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Every student is capable of learning; the key is teaching them the way they are able to learn.
What are your goals while here? To do what it takes to help students receive a quality education.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Engaging the students, creating lessons that relate to and are relevant to my students' lives.
What are your hobbies? Camping, hiking, playing sports, bike riding, coaching volleyball and traveling.

Name: Chad Johnson
Where and what will you be teaching? Music at East Elementary School.
Experience: This is my first teaching job. I have a bachelor's in education from Black Hills State University.
Where did you move here from? I moved here from Spearfish, S.D., but I'm originally from Newcastle, Wyo.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Music should be taught, not only as its own discipline, but as an integral part of the other disciplines and core subjects.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Cooperative learning.
What are your goals while here? To continue the legacy and tradition of East Elementary music and to introduce new ideas and challenges to the children.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Ensuring that all students are given an equal opportunity to learn and grow at proficient levels in all academic areas.
What are your hobbies? Sports and outdoor activities.
Name: Jennifer Langely
Where and what will you be teaching? I'll be working at the preschool and the elementary schools and will serve on several committees as the school psychologist.
Experience: Undergraduate degree in psychology from Michigan State University. In between undergraduate and graduate school, I was a substitute teacher and a children's counselor/advocate for a domestic violence and sexual violence program. In 2002, I received my M.S. and in 2004, my education specialist degree.
Where did you move here from? Colorado Springs.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? Until I retire.
What is your philosophy about teaching? All children will learn.
What is your favorite classroom technique? A transition activity called "Tooty Tot."
What are your goals while here? To provide best practice services to all and to disseminate knowledge on researched-based interventions.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Parent and community involvement coupled with teachers implementing differentiate instruction in their classrooms.
What are your hobbies? Hiking, fishing, swimming, camping, playing ball with my black lab, Frankie, and playing board games with my husband, family and friends.


Name: Bettina Magas
Where and what will you be teaching? Algebra I at Moffat County High School.
Experience: BS in business and finance. I've worked as a substitute teacher in the Moffat County School District for 10 years.
Where did you move here from? I grew up here, went away to college and came back 12 years later to raise our children in a small town.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? As long as they will have me.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Students come first and I strive to make their learning positive and successful.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Hands-on activities to reinforce a concept.
What are your goals while here? All student will pass Algebra I and continue in another math class next year.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Keeping all students on task.
What are your hobbies? Exercise, home projects, sewing and reading.


Name: Kristi Shepherd
Where and what will you be teaching? I'll be teaching fifth-grade math and science at Craig Intermediate School
Experience: I have a B.A. in physical education through the Regis University Masters of Education program.
Where did you move here from? I was born and raised in Craig.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? Many years
What is your teaching philosophy? The kids are active learners and I am the facilitator.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Working as groups and expanding ideas.
What are your goals while here? To meet the needs of all learners academically, emotionally and socially.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Teaching at all levels.
What are your hobbies? Yard work and reading.

Name: Brynna Vogt
Where and what will you be teaching? Seventh-grade science at Craig Middle School.
Experience: I just graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in middle childhood education.
Where did you move here from? Delaware, Ohio
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? Indefinitely.
What is your philosophy about teaching? A well-planned lesson involves very little lecture and a lot of student activities, discussions and projects that are meaningful and challenging.
What are your goals while here? I would like students to enjoy and feel as though they understand science and life a little better. I would like to help students grow as compassionate, critical-thinking citizens.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? How to choose? Too little time, too many non-learning activities taking up learning time.
What are your hobbies? Skiing, hiking, biking, reading and ultimate Frisbee.

Name: Katie Whisnant
Where and what will you be teaching? Sixth grade math and science at Craig Intermediate School
Experience/education: I graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn.
Where did you move here from? Minnetonka, Minn.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Every student can learn, though they may learn best in a different way.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Cooperative learning and peer teaching.
What are your goals while here? To have fun, relate to students and get experience.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Inclusion and adaptation.
What are your hobbies? Slow pitch softball, horseback riding and reading.

Name: Jane Williams
Where and what will you be teaching? I'll be working as an occupational therapist at East Elementary School.
Experience: 20 years of occupational therapy in geriatrics, rehabilitation. This is my first year working in a school.
Where did you move here from? I'm originally from Michigan, but I've been in Colorado for 15 years.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? I'm looking forward to working in the Moffat County School District for many years.
What is you philosophy about your position? Be open to all different disciplines and treat a child as a whole.
What are your goals while here? Learn as much as I can, to provide an optimal level of occupational therapy and be able to see lots of progress from the students.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Dealing with students who have different levels of function and knowledge.
What are your hobbies? Hiking, mountain biking, skiing reading and cooking.

Name: Seth Young
Where and what will you be teaching? Science and math at Craig Intermediate School as a student teacher.
Experience/education: Mesa State College
Where did you move here from? Conifer.
How long to do expect to be in Moffat County? A year.
What is your philosophy about teaching? Interdisciplinary teaching methods.
What is your favorite classroom technique? Group and hands-on learning.
What are your goals while here? To learn all I can.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in today's classroom environment? Connecting with all of the students' learning styles.
What are your hobbies? Mountain biking, snowboarding and soccer.

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