42 new teachers join Chinook’s Edge

The school year is already underway for 42 new teachers who are joining Chinook’s Edge School Division this year.

The teachers are taking part in the annual new teacher orientation three-day program at the division.

The program helps those who are either new to the profession or new to the division.

It was developed to increase new teachers’ understanding of the culture and expectations in Chinook’s Edge, and provides time and support as they begin mapping out specific plans and goals for the school year, the division said is a release.

For three new teachers who happen to be launching their careers together at River Valley School in Sundre, it also provided an opportunity to form relationships and begin collaborating before the busy year begins.

“What is striking to me about this amazing school division is the number of people who are ready to help and the amount of resources they make available. Everyone genuinely wants to set us up for success,” said Cassie Buck, who relocated from Lethbridge to teach Grade 8 at River Valley. “I fell in love with the area while I was driving up for my interview, and then I entered the school and was so warmly welcomed that I felt right at home. I can’t wait to get involved in school clubs and activities outside my classroom, too, because I think it’s important to be a role model for all the kids in the school – from Kindergarten to graduation.”

Jenna Berild, who will be teaching Grade 6 at River Valley, agrees with the importance of forming strong relationships. She was already familiar with the division’s caring culture, having grown up in Chinook’s Edge schools in Reed Ranch and Olds.

“My first goal is to create connections with the kids, and given the huge amount of support in place for first year teachers, I can focus on those relationships,” said Berild. “Chinook’s Edge and River Valley feel like family to me and we’ve all been welcomed right into the community.”

For Sydney Brunelle, who moved from St. Alberta to teach Kindergarten at River Valley, moving to a smaller town is a welcome change. “I just graduated from the U of A in April, so I feel like I’ve left a huge crowd and landed in a friendly home,” said Brunelle. “I’m so excited, I’ve asked a thousand questions and everyone has been so friendly. I remember having an assignment in Grade 1 where I had to write down my career goal, and I wrote ‘Teacher’. It’s so awesome to be going into the profession that I’ve been interested in my whole life!”

Lissa Steele, associate superintendent of learning services, described this year’s participants as energetic and reflective on their teaching practice. “This group is very focused and they are highly aware of their impact as teachers,” said Steele. “There is a great deal of positivity among them and they came prepared to work hard. They want to provide the best learning experiences to their students and they’re eager to dig right in.”

The first day of school for students in Chinook’s Edge is September 3.

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