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New Teachers Introduced At Suffield High School

Suffield High welcomed 11 new teachers to the staff for the 2012-2013 school year.

Justin Amenta joins the Technology Education Department after teaching as a long term substitute at Windsor High School. He is a graduate of the Art Institute, Fitchburg State, and CCSU.  His first career in television broadcasting allowed him to travel, work on independent films, make commercials, and bump shoulders with some notable Hollywood figures. 

Katie Forbes, who joins the Science Department as a biology teacher.  She graduated from Siena College and then earned her Masters’ Degree from SUNY Albany.  Katie taught middle school students for two years outside of Albany NY.  She has lead travel adventure trips for teens in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  Additionally, Katie worked as a marine ecology researcher in San Salvador. 

Nisha Pickett is a chemistry teacher.  She graduated from UCONN with her BS and MPH.  After working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, Nisha earned her teaching certificate through the ARC program and then taught general science and biology at Shelton H.S

Ali Fowler joins the English Department after teaching for three years at Hillhouse High School in New Haven.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCONN and recently completed her Masters’ Degree at Quinnipiac University.  

Giselle Genece has come to the high school as a reading specialist and teacher.  She began her career in literacy over a decade ago as a journalist for the New Haven Register.  Then she returned to school to earn a Masters’ Degree in English, a post-graduate degree in elementary education, and a sixth year reading certificate as a reading consultant.  Giselle worked as a reading teacher at Enfield High for the past four years. 

Julie Ives recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Michael’s College.  She has completed multiple internships in alternative classrooms ranging from a self-contained, behavior management classroom to a project-based, service learning school to even serving as an English language tutor to refugee students from around the world.

Brittany Whitely joins the physical education department after working as a long term substitute at the high school this past spring.  She graduated from ECSU last December and was a four year member of the women’s basketball team in which she was appointed captain her junior and senior years.  Brittany was the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Holly E. Zimmerman Award based on loyalty, thoughtfulness and academic determination.  She is excited to share her passion about the benefits of being physically active and leading a healthy lifestyle.  

Agriscience teacher, Celia Wagner, comes from New Milford.  She earned a BS in Animal Science and a minor in Equine Business Management and Dairy Management from UCONN.  Celia student-taught at Trumbull High School. 

Three new teachers joined the World Language Department as Spanish teachers.  Amanda Furie graduated Optima and Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College and then taught English in rural Spain.  She has since substituted in Windsor Public Schools.  Aside from Spanish, Amanda knows Italian and Wolof and is learning French and Portuguese.  She is a world traveler and demonstrates the importance of learning world languages and cultures and the endless opportunities they create.  Next is Charley Faria, a native of Brazil, who grew up in southern New Hampshire after moving to the U.S. at four years old.  He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Geography and International Affairs, minoring in Spanish, History, and Italian.  Charley speaks four languages:  Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian.  He spent two years studying in Spain and Mexico and has traveled to Italy, England, Gibraltar, France, and Switzerland.  Charley has taught at Epping H.S. in New Hampshire for the past four years.  The third new Spanish teacher is Laura Gordon, who moved to Connecticut from Utah at twelve years old.  She earned her Spanish degree from Brigham Young University in Utah and has lived in southern California, as well.  Laura has been teaching in one form or another most of her life.  She has previously taught at Rockville High School and has been a choir director for ten years, a Cub Scout leader, and an assistant administrator at a group home for the mentally challenged.  She enjoys working with young people and says she has learned everything she knows from her four children and from working with other children.  

Suffield Taxpayer October 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Thank you for the update and the bio on the new teachers at the high school. I am alarmed to see such a large number of new teachers at SHS this year. This is a high percentage of new teachers for a relatively small district. Does this point to a larger issue that needs to be addresses by the BOE and administration? Why are so many teachers leaving SHS? Is there a plan in place to properly mentor this large influx of new teachers to the district?
Trudy W. October 02, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Suffield Taxpayer, You make a valid point. That does seem to be a very large number of new teachers at SHS. I trust that the proper questions are being asked and information is being gathered to ensure that all children succeed at SHS. Best of luck to all the new hires at SHS!
Ben Rodriguez October 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I'm not sure this is a problem or at least one specific to Suffield. We've heard/read for years that teacher attrition is a problem nationally. Many teachers move on to other opportunities and quite a few leave the profession after a few years.

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