Schools of Chinook’s Edge School Division in Sylvan Lake resumed classes Tuesday, with plenty of new people walking school halls.
Of those, a number of them belonged to new school staff and teachers, who spent time at their respective schools last week preparing for the new year.
With the most additions this year is École Steffie Woima Elementary School, with four new teachers and a new family school wellness worker.
Occupying the latter position is Dee Peterson who arrives at the school from Penhold School. She’s worked as a family school wellness worker with Chinook’s Edge School Division since 2011.
Peterson has a bachelor of professional arts degree and a master’s degree in human services, and lives with her partner Brad and their four children.
Susannah Groves is the school’s new Grade 3 French Immersion teacher. She spent four years teaching Grade 2 French Immersion at École James S. McCormick School in Lacombe.
She has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Alberta collaborative program at Red Deer College, BJuris from University of Oxford, and bachelor of arts from McGill University.
Groves is married and has two children. She lives in Red Deer.
The new Grade 4 French Immersion teacher is Lara Odermatt, who has experience teaching Grade 7 and 8 French Immersion, math and science in Nova Scotia, and a variety of different subjects at Innisfail High School.
She has a bachelor of arts and bachelor of education from Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia.
Odermatt grew up in Sylvan Lake, before moving to Nova Scotia for five years. She returned to Sylvan Lake last year.
In the past, she has volunteered coaching with Sylvan Lake Skating Club and various committees during her time at university. She also led the community service team at Riverside Education Centre.
Anessa Kaban is the school’s new Grade 1 French Immersion teacher.
She is originally from Red Deer, and has spent the last two years teaching Grade 2 French Immersion in Airdrie.
She has a bachelor of arts degree in French, and a bachelor of education degree from University of Lethbridge.
Matt Merkley is starting his role as the school’s new Grade 5 teacher. He is in his first year of teaching, and graduated from University of Alberta in June.
He has lived in Sylvan Lake since he was ten years old, and is married. He and his wife Kelsey have an 18-month-old son.
Previously, Merkley coached Sylvan Lake Lions bantam football.
École Fox Run School has two new teachers joining its classrooms this fall — Sonia Hand and Debbie McKinlay.
Hand will teach Grade 8 humanities.
For the past three years, she has been a substitute teacher with Chinook’s Edge and Red Deer Public and Red Deer Catholic school divisions.
Prior to her time as a substitute teacher, she spend over three years with Penhold School, and one year at C. P. Blakely School.
She has a bachelor of arts in psychology and a bachelor of education from University of Calgary.
She has lived in Sylvan Lake since 2011, and has three children who attend C. P. Blakely School.
She is frequently involved with various school activities, and is vice president and a coach for Sylvan Lake Blizzard Soccer Club.
McKinlay will teach Grade 7 social studies, mathematics, language arts and options.
Between 2000 and 2009, she worked with Wolf Creek School Division, Chinook’s Edge, and Red Deer Public, with a focus on middle school education.
In the past four years, she ran the knowledge and employability program at Delburne School.
She is a graduate of University of Alberta middle years program through Red Deer College, and is originally from Caroline.
She lives in Red Deer with her husband Grant and her two teenage daughters.
She enjoys coaching basketball.
École H.J. Cody School is welcoming two new teachers this year.
Amy Austin is a University of Lethbridge graduate from Red Deer, who holds bachelor of science and bachelor of education degrees.
She has taught as a substitute teacher in the past, and will teach math 10C and science 9 and 14 at H.J. Cody.
Jennifer Smallman is originally from Nova Scotia. She holds a bachelor of arts English literature degree and a bachelor of education degree, both from University of Prince Edward Island.
She has six years’ experience teaching Grade 6, and at H.J. Cody will teach Grade 9 language arts and social studies and Grade 10 English.
There is just one new teacher starting at C.P. Blakely School this fall.
Jaleesa Hallgren will teach kindergarten, having taught Grade 2 at Bluffton School, and most recently, Grade 2 at Eckville Elementary School.
She has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Alberta’s middle years program through Red Deer College, and lives in Eckville with her fiancé Jay.
In Eckville, she coached senior high school girls volleyball, and was involved with the leadership team at Eckville Elementary School.
This year, she will be involved with various school activities and committees.