New teachers feel good one semester in

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Maya Erd, Features Editor

New teachers have to adjust to new schools just like students do. One semester into their first year here, teachers share how they feel about adjusting to a new school.
CAPPS and Algebra 2 teacher Maddie Averill had previously taught at Cabin John for four years. She also went to high school and played field hockey here. “The staff was extremely welcoming and supportive, which made the transition easy. I quickly felt like I was a part of the team,” Averill said.

There is a lot of competition within the county when it comes to comparing schools to each other. “One thing that sets Wootton apart is the number of opportunities offered to students. Wootton has a wide array of electives and AP courses that allow students to pursue their academic goals. Wootton also has a variety of clubs that students can be a part of to explore their interests outside of academics,” Averill said.

Averill coaches JV field hockey here. She has coached for four years. “I love having Averill at school and during the season it was nice that our coach worked in the building,” senior Kendall Clark said.

Honors English 9 and AP Language teacher Nicholas Confino has been teaching for eight years, previously at Whitman and Rockville. He enjoys the warm and engaged environment of the school and notes how engaged the students are here. Confino says he is surprised by the size of the school. “The community is strong here and everyone is supportive of teachers and students so learning is top focus,” Confino said.

Confino builds strong relationships with his students who look forward to his class. “At first I was skeptical about having a teacher new to Wootton but now I have a really good relationship with him and I can see the improvement of my writing already,” junior Jillian Pohoryles said.

Coming from Kentucky, Honors Geometry teacher Veronica Kumar loves the diversity and focus on academics here.

It is her 18th year teaching and seven of those years have been as an online instructor. Kumar has enjoyed her first semester here.

Another addition to the English department is Kevin Brown. Brown teaches ninth and 10th grade English and has been teaching for 15 years. He has taught at Churchill and Halle Wells Middle School. “I thought that Churchill and Wootton would be pretty much the same thing, but they really aren’t. I can’t put my finger on the key difference yet. I think about this very question [How does Wootton compare to other schools?] a lot though,” Brown said.

Brown has had a similar adjustment process to other new teachers. “The adjustment is pretty easy. The hard part is there are a lot of people to know and learn from in this school. I get emails from people that I don’t know and that can be a little tricky to navigate how to respond. I think the harder part for me is to keep reminding myself that just because something worked at a previous school several years ago, doesn’t mean it will work here and now in a place where I have no street cred with the students,” Brown said.

The technology department also has a new addition this year. Avery Travis teaches Foundations of Computer Science and Advanced Placement Computer Science in room 289. “This is my first year raking a technology class in a school setting and I have really enjoyed it because its so different from other classes. It is an elective so it is a nice break in my day and it is very hands on,” freshman Ryan Kunst said.