New teachers welcomed to Northampton

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2008

JACKSON – For approximately 20 new teachers they will forever remember Northampton County not only as the place they began their career in education, but for their first taste of eastern North Carolina style barbecue.

On Wednesday, Northampton County Schools (NCS) welcomed a group of new teachers at a “pig picking” meal held at the Northampton County Cultural Arts and Wellness Center.

The get-together, sponsored by NCS, Northampton County Chamber of Commerce and Roanoke Electric Cooperative, was a restful stop on the new teachers’ three-day orientation program.

According to ILP Coordinator/Education Meetings Director Susie Johnson, during the three-day orientation the teachers learned about the community, resources available to them, curriculum and getting settled in their classrooms by setting rules.

“We’re glad they’ve chosen Northampton County,” said Johnson.

The new teachers will be dispersed among Northampton County High School (NCHS)-East and West, Conway Middle School and Rich Square W.S. Creecy Elementary.

Northampton County Board of Education members, central office administrators and principals chatted with the newcomers who are part of the Teach for America (TFA) and Visiting International Faculty (VIF) programs.

Board Vice Chair Bill Little said he was happy with the “well grounded” teachers he had the opportunity to chat with.

“I’m very pleased to have this group of young teachers,” said Little. “They’re very anxious, which seems to be a good sign.”

The teachers hail from all over the nation and the world, from Oregon to Florida to Jamaica and even India.

Amanda East, who will be teaching a tenth grade civics class at NCHS-East, said she is excited to be teaching in a small, rural area and NCS was among her top three on her TFA list.

“For me it’s like coming back home,” said East, who is originally from a small town in Oregon and is part of the TFA corps.

East said she is looking forward to working with NCS faculty, meeting her students and being a part of the community.

VIF teacher Rosanna Daitao of the Philippines will be joining East at NCHS-East and teaching an algebra class.

“This will obviously be a new experience for me,” said Daitao. “I’m definitely looking forward to new experiences and making new friends.”

Daitao will be adding the “pig picking” to the list of her new cultural experiences.

“We have these at home, but we call them lechon,” she said.

Ellie Wolf, originally from Seattle, Washington, will be teaching algebra as well at NCHS-East.

“(I’m looking forward to) meeting my students and getting involved in the community,” said Wolf.

She added she is interested in getting involved in the community by attending baseball and basketball games.

Bertie County native Nelson Veale, who is with TFA as well and will be teaching a calculus class at NCHS-East, said he was anticipating to meeting his students the most.

“What I’m looking forward to is experiencing being a new teacher, preparing them for the real world and having a good time with it,” he said.

TFA is a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit to two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools, while VIF is a cultural exchange program for teachers and schools. Teachers in VIF are allowed to stay three years in the United States on a J1 visa.

The first day of school for teachers and students is August 25.