Q+A: Meet the New Staff!

Photo by Amber Wright
https://prhsbeartruth.org/6033/features/qa-meet-the-new-staff/

Welcome to all our new teachers! This year, Palmer Ridge has seventeen new staff members, so the Bear Truth asked all of our new Bears a few fun questions to get to know them. We’re excited to have so many new faces in our school!

Dr Adam Frank, Principal

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Photo by Luxe Palmer

Why did you choose Palmer Ridge?

I chose them and they chose me. We have family in Colorado so we’ve always kind of considered moving out here and then when this job opened up, it just seemed like the perfect place to be. I was just super excited about the opportunity. It’s a district and a school where it made sense for us to make such a huge move across the nation for. I was really impressed with the superintendent, I was really impressed with the interview process, it showed me that this is a district that is about excellence and that they desired someone who is student-centered and relational and is big on communication, and I am those things. So, it just seemed like a good match. And then when I walked the building and was around the students, I just was really, really impressed with the student body and the staff here, and so it was kind of like a perfect situation.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to meeting all the new people, and becoming part of the family here. So students and staff, but then also the larger community. We’ve chosen to live in this community to become even more a part of it. So yeah, just the people. Obviously, with Covid and everything, I’m looking forward to a more of a normal school year where students are here, feeling that they belong and learning. And teachers are teaching. So I’m definitely looking forward to that.

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

I don’t usually eat breakfast, which I know is bad, and I probably haven’t eaten cereal in close to two decades.

Kelly Atnip, Receptionist

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I applied for a job… I’ve always wanted to work in the school district because I have two girls who are actually at Lewis-Palmer High School and I’ve just always wanted to have the same schedule as them and I had the opportunity this year to apply for this position.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to just being a part of the district and… interacting with the kids and the teachers, helping out wherever I can. 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Cookie Crisp!

Diana Ramirez, Spanish teacher 

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

Well, Palmer Ridge is home. My girls went to this school district, we live around here. My two girls graduated from Lewis-Palmer High School, not Palmer Ridge. And I used to be a paraprofessional here, in Special Ed for four years [at PR] and one year at Lewis-Palmer High School. Now I decided to become a teacher! 

What are you looking forward to this year?

To get to know my students. I know I have a big list of students that I will love to get in contact with, every one of them and make a difference- try to support them in any need or challenge, whatever they have, and make them love Spanish! [Spanish is] my first language, because I’m not from here, I’m from South America, Venezuela. 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

I didn’t grow up eating cereal, it’s not part of my culture. I grew up eating arepas, that’s a Venezuelan bread, every day before going to school. And my grandma used to say, ‘You need to eat before going to school!’ And then I ate arepas every day until the last day of high school! 

Andrea Korn, Math teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I live in the area, this is a fabulous school from what I hear. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

Getting to know my students, for sure, and not to feel so new anymore!

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Something chocolatey! Not the healthiest, but, yeah! 

Molly Bair, Social Studies teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I have a one-year-old, and so working every other day is ideal for me and my family, but also I heard about D38 and how lovely everyone is and that is so true, and my last name is Bair, so why would I not want to work at a school that is the Bears, right? So I’m going to be really em-bear-assing about that… 

What are you looking forward to this year?

I taught middle school before this and I think I’m really excited to teach high school kids. Everyone I’ve met, including the kids, are lovely, so I’m really really looking forward to working with my students and getting started and doing some history nerdy stuff, that’s my thing. 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

I’m old school, I really like Cheerios. But, if they made the Trix are for Kids in the fruit shapes again, that would be my favourite. The colours, that’s just not cool, but the fruit shapes- that’s everything.

Becky McGlinchy, English teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I’m coming from central Virginia, by way of southern California. My parents live in Fountain, Colorado, and so my family and I decided that we should move to Colorado to help them out, and Palmer Ridge just sounded like a great place to be. I interviewed at three different schools and I felt the best connection with the teachers and staff in my interview here!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Honestly, I am looking forward to having all my students in class and being able to see all of their faces and being able to interact with them. 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

I eat Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds every day.

Tom Harder, Math teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I taught at Lewis-Palmer High School a number of years ago, and I know the district to be a really good district. I have a couple of friends who teach here and they say that the families and the students are incredible. I had an opportunity to come and I jumped in.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Being with the students. And being in person, right? 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

I’d like to say something very exciting, but the truth is, it’s Raisin Bran. In my cabinet in my pantry, I’ve got like twelve cereals where the first ingredient is sugar, right? You know, Fruit Loops, all of those, but it seems that I can go through ten boxes of Raisin Bran before I can go through ten boxes of all the others combined. 

Ron Lugbill, French teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

It’s a nice community with good students and it’s a good school. I’m glad to be here.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I kind of have a special project that we’re hoping to do. [We’re going to] try to work towards doing online language exchanges so that the students can have some kind of conversation with native speakers.

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Granola.

Elise Stone, German teacher

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Photo by Amber Wright

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I really like Colorado, actually! I had been living in Colorado Springs, temporarily. I like German, I really wanted to teach German, and I was really excited to find a job here in the area. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m just looking forward to doing lots of fun things in class. I think in foreign language, you get to do lots of fun things. I just moved back from Germany, so I think it will be a fun thing to share my stories, pictures, and help people get to know what life is like in German-speaking countries! 

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

We’ll go for a junky option, I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I usually eat it as a snack, not breakfast!

Richard Gallina, Broadcasting and Graphic Design

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Photo provided by Mr. Gallina

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

I applied to teach at Palmer Ridge because of the excellent reputation here.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to meeting all of my new students and hopefully finding my place in the excellent culture that already exists.

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

I don’t eat cereal but I am a fan of the occasional breakfast burrito.

Michael Theemling, Computer Science teacher

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

Because they needed a Comp Sci teacher and it was a great opportunity to teach more D38 high school students. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

Getting to know the students and staff.

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Cracklin Oat Bran.

Pascale Hartmetz, Health Clerk

What brought you to Palmer Ridge?

 Both my children are graduate Bears and I wanted to be one as well. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

This year I am looking forward to getting to know new colleagues and seeing the students back in school full-time.

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

My favorite breakfast cereal is Honey Bunches of Oats.