ALANSON — Alanson students may have noticed a few new faces in their hallways this year.
The school welcomed teacher Michelle Spies and teaching assistants Sally McKenney, Kacie Thomas and Amber Gettel for the 2012-2013 school year.
Central Michigan University.
"The most rewarding part of teaching is helping students to develop a love for learning so they can enjoy school each day," said Spies.
Spies has spent the past two years working in the Title 1 program and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, both programs that assist schools with low-income and at-risk youth. She also taught technology at Bishop Baraga Catholic School in Cheboygan.
"This year, I'm looking forward to building positive relationships with students, and once again working with an amazing staff," said Spies.
Sally McKenney is a new teaching assistant in the first grade at Alanson Public Schools. McKenney, 43, graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009, where she earned a degree in elementary education.
Since her graduation, McKenney has been substitute teaching in several intermediate school districts in the area.
"I am looking forward to seeing each student I work with become excited and successful learners," she said.
After completing her student teaching at Alanson elementary in fall of 2011, Amber Gettel, 24, is a teaching assistant for the Title 1 program and 21st Century program at Alanson schools.
"The rewarding part of the job I can tell you now without a doubt is seeing all the progress that the students have made. I am working with students I had while I was student teaching in Alanson and it is so wonderful to see the strides they have made and are still making," said Gettel.
Also starting her first year as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher assistant is Kacie Thomas, 23.
Thomas is a 2007 graduate of Wolverine High School who then attended the University of Michigan. She graduated from Michigan with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and is qualified to teach kindergarten through fifth grade and sixth- through eighth-grade language arts.
Before moving back to the area, Thomas was a substitute in the Lansing area, and worked for an AmeriCorps program that readied preschoolers for kindergarten.
"The most rewarding part of my job is getting to build relationships with the students and watching them become more confident as learners," she said.
Amy Thompson is also a teaching assistant with the Alanson school district.
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