New teachers receive a warm welcome from Heritage

in Features by
With the new school year coming up, the high school teacher departments are thrilled to welcome new teachers. An informational meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 24 in the 2500 Lobby allowed the newcomers to get familiar with the school and learn their way around. “My first impression seeing Heritage from the inside was just “Wow,”’ said Tabatha Ogden, a new teacher in the law department. (Photo/Kayra Dayi)

Heritage welcomed more than 20 new staff and faculty members into their team. In the lobby, the teachers had bonding time with lunch from Panera and a bunch of snacks. They got to share their work experiences, goals and who they are as a person, not a teacher, outside of school.

(Photo/Kayra Dayi)

For some of the new teachers it’s just another year of teaching, for others, not so much. Working in Heritage’s pre-professional marketing program, Maria Harrison has a very solid background in teaching this field. “I have been a marketing professional for 25 years,” she said. “I wrote the curriculum for the University of San Francisco’s digital marketing program for over five years.” 

Michael Rotschild, who will be teaching in the law department, is very experienced with how things work in courts. “I am actually a circuit judge in Broward County,” he explained, “but this will be my first year teaching as my primary job is ‘judging’ so I hope my students will be patient with me. ” Heather Weissman, a new business teacher, is also in the same boat, being very involved with her work but never teaching a class of young adults before. Nonetheless, these teachers are excited to teach their students about the wonders of their field as much as they can. “I want to be able to expose my students to the real world of business,” Weissman said.

(Photo/Kayra Dayi)

However, while the teachers may vary with their experiences, they all have something in common in wanting to help their students become the best versions of themselves. Jason Bank, who will be working in the business department, is excited to positively influence his future students. “I want to shape the minds of young professionals to become better speakers, individuals and help them be more confident in themselves,” Bank said.

(Photo/Kayra Dayi)

Sydney Herman, the new JH Academic Advisor, wants to become someone who students can depend on.“I want to be the best academic advisor there is,” she said. She is glad to have the opportunity to be able to support the students at Heritage.

“The new teachers, just like the students, are nervous about their first day of school,” high school principal Mrs. Elise Blum said. She explained that they are all incredibly happy to be able to be a part of Heritage. “Being a teacher at American Heritage is very exciting for me as a teacher,” Ronald Hutchins, the new dance teacher said.

 (Photo/Kayra Dayi)

A few of the teachers revealed some of the hobbies and activities that they participate in outside of their school life. Haeyeon Kim, a new pre-calculus teacher, excels in sports along with math. “I am actually a black belt in martial arts,” she said.

 David Jones, an AP Physics teacher, has quite a long list of things he is talented in. “Although it may be hard to believe, I can dance salsa, speak Spanish and run long distances,” he said. “I think that these things are big parts of me nobody could’ve ever guessed in a lifetime.” 

Other teachers, specifically Jared Lemole who will be a new teacher at the English department, are looking to add on to their knowledge during their free time. “In my spare time I read about science and medicine for the purpose of biotech investing,” he said.

“Although the process of finding and keeping teachers was made much harder this year due to COVID, I feel blessed to have found such amazing teachers,” Mrs. Blum said. She is very excited herself for the students to meet the new teachers. “I am confident that we gathered a very dedicated and strong team this year.” 

Kayra is a rising junior who is passionate about art and journalism. She loves expressing herself and the issues she cares about through her writing and artworks. She holds officer positions in Newspaper, Quill&Scroll, and the National Art Honor Society. When not studying, Kayra loves to read nonfiction books, hangout with her friends, cook healthy meals, listen to music while creating art, and spend time with her cat and family. She is looking forward to her junior year as she prepares for AP Art and new articles to write.