Gess Elementary has also made a few changes this year but with less pertaining to new staff and more pertaining to new staff assignments.
Many teachers have moved around within the Gess building and the shuffling started with the retirement of long-time Gess music teacher Chris Carpenter at the end of the last school year.
Jeff Kersey took over the music/beyond position, then Kari Ecklund moved into his third grade position with 10 years third grade teaching experience.
Liz Gill moved up to fifth grade and Denice Ross has moved back to Kindergarten full-time. Then Stephanie Wolfe moved into Ross’s Title/Lap position focused on K-4 Reading Recovery and Kallie Tilla, a former third grade teacher at Valley School, was hired as the new sixth grade teacher.
When Rachelle Peone resigned as fifth grade teacher to take a position on the west side of the State, Sawyer Bardwell, a half-year teacher for Liz Gill’s kindergarten class, moved into fifth grade.
Emily Levchenko moved from half-time kindergarten teacher into full-time first grade since they added a third section for first grade. Last year, the third section of kindergarten was taught by two half-time teachers, Ross and Levchenko.
Principal Julie Price, in her second year at Gess, said she appreciates the entire custodial staff for their hard work this summer to reorganize the building to adapt to all the new changes.
Price said other changes at the school include moving 6th grade band and drama classes after lunch to make a longer block for core instruction in the morning. In addition, the school received two competitive OSPI (Washington State Office of the Superintendent) grants to enhance the library’s collection of non-fiction and STEM related materials.
“There are lots of things to be excited about this year,” Price said.
By Kellie Trudeau/The Independent Staff