A New Place, New Teachers

Mrs. Leaver Photo Courtesy Aaron Mcleod
Mrs. Leaver
Photo Courtesy Aaron Mcleod

This 2013-2014 school year there are nine new teachers at Central Bucks South. Some are relieving teachers on maternity leave, others replacing teachers who retired this past year.

House Principal Mr. Miles said, ” Sometimes teachers retire, or we have had South veteran teachers who have left the area for different reasons, so usually that’s the case. Also, if enrollment would go up or if student selection of courses increase that would facilitate the need to add additional staff members.”

Mr. Miles has been in education since he’s been out of college. Mr. Miles said he received an English and Education degree from Lasalle University and went on to be a teacher from 1987-2000.

“Then I became an Administrator and have remained one the last 13 years,” he said.

Mrs. Leaver, who is new to South but not to the district and is teaching various FCS courses like Global Gourmet and Young Child describes the building as being, “a little isolating.” Mrs. Leaver most recently taught at Tohickon Middle School where although she had more class periods, she’d “see more teachers around the building and would know more faces.”

“I am actually not filling in for anyone,” she explained.” The positions in FCS have changed around because of the changes of electives at the middle school level. There are less courses available in middle school so I moved from middle school to high school.”

“Miss Potena was the teacher who previously taught these classes; she is a Special Education teacher at South now,” Mrs. Leaver continued.

Mr. Wilson, a new English teacher at CB South said, “Being new to the school and block scheduling as a teacher was a whole new experience to me.  The whole [first] day seemed to move so quickly that I barely had time to even to settle in.  It was a very exciting day and great to meet new colleagues and classes.” He added, “At the start of the school year coming into this large building was slightly overwhelming, and I am still figuring out my way around the building.  The building is great though, and I am very happy to be here at South.”

Mr. Miles weighed in on the new teachers. “Everybody is doing a fine job. Specifically I supervise Mr. Wilson as part of my responsibilities as an administrator, and I think he is doing a fine job connecting to the students.”

Mr. Wilson said, “My favorite aspect of South would be the sense of community within this school.  Everyone is extremely welcoming and helpful.  It is apparent that everyone is striving to make this the best school and learning environment that they can.”

One of Mrs. Leaver’s students, Amanda Dedieu said, ” She really connects with the students. She shows interesting PowerPoints about the countries we are learning about.”

“The only significant change for me is that I am teaching different courses, new courses are a lot of work,” said Mrs. Leaver. However, she added, “I really like how I can cover things in more detail and depth. That’s a real benefit in this building.”

In January of 2005, CB South opened it’s doors to students and became the third high school in the district. Mrs. Leaver has now taught at all three of the high schools and said, “We don’t slum it.” She added, “This school is beautiful and very uplifting.”

Mrs. Leaver loves that, “kids are generally well rounded,” and that she has a good friend and colleague like Mrs. Howard who has been really “helpful.”

As well as teachers new to the building, some return from leaves and some move to different subjects.

Two English teachers, Ms. Serena Jimenez and Ms. Sarah LeClair, each returned from their maternity leaves.

“I believe Pennsylvania law gives a mother about 12 weeks of family leave but many opt to stay out for a whole semester or the remainder of a year,” Mr. Miles said.

According to Mr. Miles other reasons for new teachers coming to South could be “elective changes” as Mrs. Leaver mentioned. Also “if enrollment goes up, student generated interests could change,” he said.

“That is why we do intensive program planning well before the start of the school year, to build a firm understanding,” he continued.

“We as administrators had a very good hiring season,” Mr. Miles said.