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October 2017

New Members of Our Team

Superintendent Dr. Marty Semmel

The 2017-18 school year is off to a great start for Plymouth Public Schools. On August 30, 2017, staff welcomed over 1,500 students back for a new year. Members of the Board of Education and Central Office staff toured all four schools on the first day and were greeted with enthusiasm. Amongst the new faces were seventeen certified teachers new to the district. The new teachers came together the Friday before school to participate in an orientation and were introduced to the policies, procedures and expectations of the Plymouth Public Schools.

At Plymouth Center School the new, grant funded, full-day SmartStart Preschool classroom is fully enrolled at 18 students and taught by Ms. Nicole Onofrio. Nicole comes to us by way of Derby and New Haven where she has gained experience establishing fullday NAEYC accredited preschool programs! Another new face is Ms. Melissa Rousseau in the AM District Preschool classroom. This is Melissa’s first year of teaching although she gained a great deal of experience as a paraprofessional and teaching assistant while attending graduate school. Both preschool teachers enjoy travelling when they are not with students.

The new Physical Education teacher at Plymouth Center is Ms. Laura Chateauneuf and she is not a new face to PCS! Laura was a tutor at PCS before she began teaching and is coming back after three years of teaching health in Sherman. She enjoys watching students grow from year to year and looks forward to trying out new ideas to keep her students active! In the music room you will find Mrs. Katherine Pelletier. This is Katherine’s first year of teaching but she comes from a family of educators and is our only new teacher who grew up outside of Connecticut. She is originally from Colorado!

At Fisher Elementary we have two new teachers. Ms. Joanna Kacprzyk is teaching second grade and is in her first full year of teaching. She enjoys engaging students in their learning and can be found crafting when she is not in the classroom. Mrs. Melissa Colman is a new special education teacher and taught for several years in Winchester. She enjoys spending time with her son and family outside of work! Also at the elementary level is a new Speech and Language Pathologist. Ms. Kaitlin Gentile enjoys supporting students in their communication skills and helping them form new relationships with peers.

Eli Terry Jr. Middle School is welcoming several new teachers. Mr. Matthew Bossi will be teaching grade seven reading and comes to us with two years teaching experience and a true love of learning and sports alike. Ms. Sara Goss will be teaching grade eight language arts. She hopes to share her love of literature with her students and has many musical abilities we hope she shares with us! Ms. Nicole Putnam will be teaching grade six math. She has experience as a math tutor and has used our new core resource enVision previously. This will be her first year of teaching.

Mrs. Stacey Alemany will be supporting students in reading as the new literacy interventionist and has many years of experience at a variety of levels. She enjoys watching students make connections in their learning and those “lightbulb” moments. Stacey also enjoys running, as does Ms. Taylor Bettcher, the new special education teacher. This is Taylor’s first year of teaching however she has experience in the private sector supporting adults as they enter the workforce. Also in a support role is Ms. Marissa Graziano as the new school psychologist. Marissa has been working in a school setting for two years and enjoys supporting students proactively and helping them build positive relationships. This summer she learned some Italian in order to travel to Italy! Rounding out the middle school team is Mr. Jake Urban in Art. Jake also comes from a family of educators and is a second year teacher. He wants to pass on the power of art to his students and looks forward to creating a well oiled studio. Jake studies Japanese and pursues his love of photography, digital art and film outside of school.

Terryville High School has three new classroom teachers. Ms. Dilan Mohammed joins the science department as a first year teacher, joining one of her former high school teachers in the department! Dilan hopes to build confidence in her students and when she is not reflecting on her teaching she is catching up on her well deserved rest! Ms. Andrea Karas joins the math department after four years of teaching in New Haven. Andrea is motivated by her students and loves working with kids. She studied abroad in Ireland and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Mr. John Blasius is our new technology education teacher and has many years of experience in forestry and construction as well as fourteen years of teaching in New Britain amongst other private school settings.

One interesting fact is that all of our new hires completed some level of their teacher training here in Connecticut, and many completed their bachelor’s degree here as well. Please join us in wishing these teachers and all of our students a wonderful school year!

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