Within the 21 new teachers added to the 2019-20 school year, three of them are business related including financial management teacher Amanda Gillespie.
This will be Gillespie’s first year teaching and she is part of the transition into teaching prog
ram at Wichita State University (WSU) alongside a couple other new teachers at the high school.
“I’m part of the transition to teaching program at Wichita State University (WSU),” Gillespie said. “Mr. (Chase) Camarena and Mrs. (Julia) Beaver are also in the transition to teaching program. Mr. Camarena is with the WSU program and Mrs. Beaver is with the Fort Hays program.”
Gillespie is excited and hopeful about this year. With all new experiences there are concerns present. She hopes to have a fun and interactive class with fun projects that help her students learn the concepts.
“I am jazzed about this year, the students and staff have been amazing.” Gillespie said. “My main concern is getting all the concepts covered in my classes in such a short time frame.”
When previous business teacher Tyler Swalley transitioned into a new role as administrator at Opportunity Academy, many students were curious as to see who would take his position. Filling the spot is business teacher Chase Camarena.
Camarena studied Business Administration at both Friends University, and then after a transfer, Wichita State University (WSU). There, Camarena entered into a program where he would eventually start teaching.
“[I started with being] a substitute for five years at Wichita public schools, and then also for one year at Valley Center,” Camarena said.
With coming to the high school, Camarena feels as if he has to meet the expectations Swalley left in previous years.
“It’s definitely some really big shoes to fill, but I’m just gonna worry about myself and fight to keep seeing improvement,” Camarena said. “I can just have my own style of teaching in a way that represents my own personality.”
Before Swally resigned for his position at the Opportunity Academy, Camerena had the chance to shadow his last few days, giving him the chance to witness the classroom.
“I got to come in and observe for a day towards the end of last year,” Camerena said. “I got to kind of see him in action to kind of try to mimic some of what he does.”
Camarena said he is excited about this year and will use each day to learn and expand his teaching techniques.
“I figured as long as I can get better every day, or something better than I did last time,” Camarena said.
The last of three new additions to the business department for the 2019-20 school year is business teacher Julia Beaver. Fresh out of college, Beaver is making her debut to the teaching scene.
Beaver, who teaches financial management, computer apps and business law, has no prior experience in teaching, but previously worked in the corporate industry.
“This is my first year teaching…this is brand new to me,” Beaver said. “I studied accounting before this at Southwestern College.”
Similar to other high school teachers like Spanish teach Chandler Ochoa, Beaver prefers the 30 minute commute to teach in Newton.
“I live in Wichita; it’s just quicker to drive to this school rather than Wichita schools because of traffic,” Beaver said.
Beaver’s experience has been ‘so-far-so-good.’ She wants it to be known by students that she is relaxed and an easy-going teacher.
“ It’s been pretty awesome. So far all my students have been really nice and amazing,” Beaver said. “I’m really flexible. So [if you’re in one of my classes] just ask me questions or if you need any accommodations or anything, just let me know. And we’ll work it out.”