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Districts welcome new teachers

With a new year comes new teachers, and the Hillsboro and Goessel school districts are no exceptions to the rule.

Below is a list of questions provided by the Hillsboro Star-Journal, and the teachers’ responses.

Goessel (USD 411)

Tonya Bartel

Q. This is your first year teaching at Goessel Junior High, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. I taught fifth grade at Blue Valley in Overland Park for four years.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. BA from Bethel College

Q. What will you be teaching at Goessel?

A. Junior high English.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. I live in Hesston.

Q. Who are the members of your family?

A. Husband, Ryan and three-year-old daughter.

Q. What brought you to GMS?

A. Goessel is a unique community of exceptional schools and families.

Q. What is something interesting others may not know about you?

A. I’ve been a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune.”

Susie Bedford

Q. This is your first year teaching at Goessel High School, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. Thirty-fourth year in education.

I taught home economics and business before going into special education.

I taught resource K-12, and was a school psychologist.

I’m glad to be back into my original field of study.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. BS in home economics from the University of Nebraska.

MS in special education from Pittsburg State University.

EDS in school psychology from PSU.

Q. What will you be teaching at GHS?

A. FCCLA. I also will work on the student intervention team and the at-risk team one period a day.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. Yes, Hillsboro.

Q. Who are the members of you family?

A. Daughter and son-in-law, Dustin and Kelli Meritt.

Son, and college student, Nick Bedford.

Q. What brought you to USD 411?

A. The reputation of Goessel (community and school), a job in my favorite field, and my children.

Q. What is something interesting others may not know about you?

A. I love to spend time with my family, read, and quilt (can’t wait to investigate quilting in Marion County).

I ride a 49cc motorized scooter, and I take lots of walks; sometimes with my daughter and sometimes with my little, fuzzy, white dog.

Joe Biggs

Q. This is your first year teaching at Goessel Elementary School, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. This is my first year teaching, I have worked at a mental health center for the past year.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. I graduated from McPherson College in 2006, and attended Lincoln Jr./Sr. High School in Lincoln.

Q. What will you be teaching at GES?

A. I will teach K-5 health and P.E.

I also will teach middle school computers along with helping at the grade school with computers.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. I currently live in McPherson.

Q. Who are the members of your family?

A. Mother, Pat; father, Mike; brothers, Bill, Josh, and Nick.

Q. What brought you to GES?

A. I student-taught at USD 411 and had such a great experience in the district that I wanted to come back.

The support of the community is unbelievable as well.

Q. What is something interesting others may not know about you?

A. I will be an assistant junior high volleyball coach and head junior high girls’ basketball coach while at Goessel.

I really enjoy basketball, both playing and coaching while at McPherson College.

Marvin Nance

Q. This is your first year teaching with Goessel High School, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. No answer.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. AA Palomar (Calif.) Junior College; BSE Emporia State University; MSE ESU; graduate linguistic classes from University of ND and University of Texas.

Q. What will you be teaching at GHS?

A. I will be teaching high school Spanish at Goessel and Canton-Galva high schools.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. I am renting an apartment in Marion County, but my residence is in Emporia.

Q. Who are the members of you family?

A. My wife is Rebecca Nance.

We have two married daughters in Lawrence and Cottonwood Falls; and seven grandchildren between them.

Our son teaches and coaches at Florence, Ariz.

Q. What brought you to USD 411?

A. My interview made me feel very welcome. What I know about the community has been all positive. The small school setting adds a personal and friendly touch.

Q. What is something interesting about you other may not know.

A. I am the oldest of six children.

My dad pastored small churches in California and Kansas until we left for Costa Rica and then Panama, where my dad began working on a translation of the New Testament into a tribal language.

When I was 13 years old, we were the only English speaking family in the first town we moved into at Panama.

The town was very rural with no electricity or running water, but none of that mattered much to my younger brothers and I as we soon discovered that good riding horses could be purchased for $10 or less.

After teaching high school for eight years, my wife and I returned to Panama for two years during which time our second daughter was born.

My last trip to Panama was in June when I returned with my son and the elementary art teacher from Emporia, whose grandfather is Panamanian.

Needless to say, things are changing. Ten dollars might buy an old rooster, but no longer a horse.

Claire Overstake

Q. This is your first year teaching at Goessel Junior High, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. My first teaching job was in Johnson City at Stanton County Middle School where I taught one year.

Then, we moved to Florida where I taught at Silver Lake Middle School in Margate, Fla.

I taught there for five years and my next teaching job was in Iowa for one year, then back to Kansas where I taught at Oswego (one year), Stafford (two years), Easton (one year), Fort Schott (seven years), and Hillsboro (two years).

Q. What is your educational background?

A. I have a bachelor’s of science from the University of Kansas.

I have graduate hours from Friends University, Pittsburg State University, Baker University, and SUNY-Brockport in New York.

Q. What will you be teaching at Goessel?

A. Seventh and eighth grade math and sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. Yes.

Q. Who are the members of your family?

A. My husband is Grant, the former editor of the Hillsboro Star-Journal and the current communications director at Tabor College.

Our children are Jillian, Garrison, Bethany, and son-in-law Joe Dixon.

Q. What brought you to Goessel?

A. An opportunity to move back to the middle grades.

Q. What is something interesting others may not know about you?

A. My husband and I participate in the Master’s Track and Field together.

This year we did the Sunflower State Games together, bringing home nine gold medals (and yes there was competition), and we will participate in the Kansas Senior Olympics (you have to be at least 50) for the first time, in September.

In June, I participated in a heptathalon in Joplin, Mo., against the British team. There was no one in my age group so I won by default, but I am ranked in several U.S. events in the 50-54 age group.

Susan Saunders

Q. This is your first year teaching at Goessel High School, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. I previously taught for six year and have been working as a chemist in McPherson the past 15 years.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. I have a BS in mathematics and chemistry education.

Q. What will you be teaching at GHS?

A. High school mathematics: Algebra I; Algebra II; applied math; advanced math; geometry.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. Yes, my family lives south of Lehigh.

Q. Who are the members of you family?

A. Husband, JC; daughters, Jessica, 5, and Samantha, 4.

Q. What brought you to USD 411?

A. I lived in Goessel for many years and knew of the great reputation the school district has.

I decided that when my children were going to start school I would look for a teaching position.

I am appreciative that Goessel has hired me for the mathematics classes, and I look forward to doing a great job for the district.

Q. What is something interesting others may not know about you?

A. My husband and I enjoy shooting shotgun events: sporting clays, skeet, and trap.

Every now and then we set up traps at our house and gave a fun shoot.

We also are avid hunters, so we stay busy in the fall and winter.

Hillsboro (USD 410)

Charla Heddin

Q. This is your first year teaching with USD 410, but how long, and where, have you taught before?

A. I have taught for eight years: one year at Santa Fe Middle School in Newton; three at Goddard High School; one at Newton High School; one at Butler High School; and two at Parsons High School.

Q. What is your educational background?

A. I earned a bachelor’s degree in mental retardation and psychology, and began teaching in a special education room for students with severe emotional disturbance.

I earned a master’s degree in emotional disturbance and behavioral disorders, and recently earned another master’s for building level administration.

Q. What will you be teaching at HHS?

A. I will be teaching students who have special education needs.

Q. Do you live in Marion County?

A. I live on a small farm north of Hesston.

Q. Who are the members of you family?

A. I am married to Dan Heddin.

We have three children: Max, 14; Veronica, 11; and Ruth, six.

Q. What brought you to USD 410?

A. I wanted to have a job closer to home than Parsons.

Hillsboro is much closer to Hesston. I really like it so far.

Q. What is something interesting about you other may not know.

A. We raise chickens and turkeys.

We also have a horse, two dogs, some geese, and guineas.

We sell the eggs from the chickens and turkeys.

Last modified Aug. 20, 2008

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