New teachers in Moffat County School District share their motivations |

New teachers in Moffat County School District share their motivations

Barry Steadman/For Craig Press
New teachers in Moffat County School District gather in the district administration building.
Moffat County School District/Courtesy Photo

As the new school year starts in full swing, so too do Moffat County School District’s new faculty and staff, who bring unique perspectives about their roles as educators. There are more than 20 new additions to MCSD professional staff with many coming from various parts of the country to offer their expertise from different education fields.

Several new staff and faculty were inspired to begin their careers in education due to their own educational experience that molded them, as well as desires to make positive impacts on other people’s lives. Others began because they come from families of educators and wanted to carry on the tradition of educating the youth.

“I was inspired to be a counselor because throughout my life I realized that I wanted to be in a position that allowed me to work directly with individuals to encourage personal growth and development so they may reach their full potential,” said Erin Parrot, a Craig native who is beginning her first year at the Craig Middle School as a counselor. 

Other educators got into the field out of a passion for helping people who face steeper developmental challenges.

“I wanted to be a special education teacher because my little sister has Down syndrome, and she is who has inspired me to be a teacher,” said Danielle Herrera, a special education instructor at Moffat County High School. “It is a rewarding job.”

The value of a quality education is seldom disputed, but many of the new MCSD faculty offer different perspectives as to why it is important. Some educators offer a pragmatic perspective.

“Education is important because it give us the knowledge we need to become successful adults and functioning members of society,” said Shay White, a sixth-grade ELA instructor and head volleyball coach at CMS.

Others offer philosophical reasons as to why education is important.

“Education is the driving factor behind what we all do. Whether it be self-taught or learned through an institution, we must always be in a learning mindset. Being willing and open to new ideas and concepts is what will ultimately prepare us for life,” said special education teacher Daniel Schneider.

While some of the new staff and faculty at MCSD are fresh to the field, others have been teaching for upwards of a decade.

Moving to Craig from Kansas, where she taught for 13 years, Mary Pinkston has just started her new role as a fifth-grade teacher at Sandrock Elementary School.

“My favorite part about being an educator is seeing my students become successful,” Pinkston said. “My advice is to not give up; everyone learns differently and at different paces.”

Each instructor wants their students to walk from their classrooms with different takeaways, ranging from knowing that they are cared for to understanding the relevance of the subject matter that they are learning about.

“I want my students to leave my class knowing that science is in everything, that science is fun to do, and, most importantly, that they have the ability to become scientists,” said Kyle McQuiggan, an eighth-grade science instructor at CMS.

Nicholas Colgate, a first year physical education and health teacher at CMS, said he wants his students to never stop learning.

“I want them to walk out of my class and have the skills to keep learning. I personally want to build lifelong learners that will continue to learn when they have graduated and move on with their life,” he said.

Amid all the excitement of the first week of school, Teesha Reidhead, the new art teacher for MCHS and Sunset Elementary School, had advice for any students struggling with school

“Hang in there,” she said. “Everyone has to work hard at something, and an education is definitely worth all the hard work you put into it.”

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