Brendan Yu
Curry Coastal Pilot

New faculty for 2017-18 school year

Britt Ballance, Daniel Barrett, Shaun Bavaro, Jennifer Bietschek, Lei’la Bryant, Caleb Crotzer, Angela Crum, Darrin Dailey, Annie Denham, Shannah Dongelmans, Charles Keady, Kristina Martinez, Alexis Saunders, Cindy Schofield, Gary Suter, April Thorson, Marco Thorson, Allen Walz, Sescenne Webb, Ashlie Pieren, Lisa Romer, Lisa Wendel, Charlene Willis-Blunt, Mallory Darger, Angie Merritt, Brandy Spier.

Thirty-one teachers and staff, 25 of whom are new to the Brookings-Harbor School District, received a welcome Wednesday morning during the 34th annual Back-to-School Community Breakfast at the high school.

As a welcome gift, each new employee received two sizable goodie bags that included gifts from various local businesses.

Students also received gifts in the form of free school supplies provided by donations collected during the annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign.

Sharon Tovey from KURY Radio, which sponsored the annual effort, announced that they had received $1645.50 in donations as well as school supplies.

Donations included 225 backpacks — 192 of which were donated from the Salvation Army.

In his opening remarks, District Superintendent Sean Gallagher welcomed the new hires, and added that the district still had job openings.

“We’d love to employ local people to help out with our kids, and we certainly need the help,” he said.

Principals Helena Chirinian (Kalmiopsis Elementary), Nicole Medrano (Azalea Middle) and Lisa Dion (BHHS) formally introduced the new hires to their respective schools.

With a poster emblazoned with the district’s motto “Every student can succeed” posted high above his head, Gallagher re-emphasized the values and goals of the district for the upcoming year.

“That motto was created the year that I came here, and it has a lot of significance for who we are and what we’re doing, and I’m going to show you why,” Gallagher said. “We believe that every student can succeed in graduation, achievement, in closing the achievement gap, at readiness, we believe that every student can benefit from really high quality staff, as well as really good quality communications.

“Those are our district goals, and that’s how it relates to what our motto is.”

He cited a 2006 study conducted by Columbia University professor and education reform researcher Henry Levin, who noted that graduation from high school was linked to improved quality of life, employability, life expectancy, and dependability on social services.

Gallagher said he was looking to make more career technical programs available to students to open up additional career pathways for students. To achieve this, he has been closely working with Curry Campus Southwestern Community College Executive Dean Leslie Balsinger.

“Two years from now, we’re going try to graduate five high school seniors from this high school with an associate degree,” Balsinger said.

Gallagher then turned his attention to the impact the Chetco Bar Fire had had on the school district. He asked that parents inform teachers if their students were sensitive to the air quality so they could closely monitor their health in class.

Gallagher said he and school officials were working as hard as they could to communicate everything they knew about the fire to the community.

“We are doing the very best we can in this event, and we’re always going to be communicating,” Gallagher said.