September 11, 2013 - Oxford Community Schools kicked off the new school year last week with 15 new teachers filling classrooms across the district.
"It's about a typical amount (we hire each year)," said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Nancy Latowski. "It came a little bit later because of some of the changes that occurred, but it's just a normal attrition of things with people retiring, moving out of the area."
Latowski said the district is pleased the teachers it has hired.
"They range from many years of experience to new teachers," she said. "We think we have a great new group and are definitely going to enhance our district."
Here's a breakdown of the new teachers.
Amanda Beloungea is teaching mathematics at Oxford Middle School.
Beloungea has a bachelor degree from University of Detroit Mercy with a major in mathematics and a minor in Language Arts. She has experience teaching math and language arts at the middle school level and has also been involved with coaching soccer and served as a mentor for students in this area.
Jennifer Bienasz who is teaching fifth grade at Lakeville Elementary.
Bienasz has a bachelor degree from Michigan State University in Elementary Education and a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from MSU.
David Binkley will teach business/computer programming teacher at Oxford High School.
Binkley has a bachelor degree from Wayne State University in Career Technical Education and a master's degree in Leadership/Principalship from Saginaw Valley State University. Binkley has 14 years of teaching experience in the area of business and technology. He also has a background in Accounting, having worked outside the field of education, and a high level of current knowledge in computer programming.
Rachel Bryer got added to the list of teachers language arts at OMS.
Bryer has a bachelor of elementary education degree from Oakland University. She is currently pursuing a master's degree from Ball State University and has three years of teaching experience as a middle school teacher and is qualified to teach both math and language arts. She is also a very talented athlete and coach.
Lisa Butts will teach business at OHS.
Butts has a bachelor degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University with a major in Business, Career and Technical Education and a minor in Physical Education. She has taught in the area of business for many years in a smaller high school and is looking forward to becoming part of the team at OHS. She has received numerous awards and recognitions and has a high interest in BPOA and Career Technical Education. Butts is also an experienced and accomplished yoga teacher who has worked with students to reduce stress through Yoga.
"She has experience in work-based learning, which is an important part of the program for our business students," Latowski said. "She has coached cheerleading, been involved in the school improvement team and been involved in curriculum planning."
Ryan Cieszkowski has joined the faculty at OHS in the science department.
Cieszkowski has a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University with a major in Biological Science with an endorsement in Integrated Science. He is currently working toward a master's degree in biological science.
"He has worked with disabled children at SCAMP and has also taken on a role of responsibility in planning activities for this program, as well as served as a field guide for paleontological field work for over five years," Latowski said.
Donna Griffin will teach for the Oxford Virtual Academy.
Griffin has a bachelor degree from the University of Michigan in secondary education, with a major in English and Science. She has additional endorsements in Computer Science and earned an MBA in Management Information Systems from Sneden Graduate School. Griffin is certified in Science, English and Computer Science.
Due to a leave of absence, John Hill was handed the baton to taking over as the instructional music teacher at OHS.
Hill has a bachelor and master's degree from Central Michigan University. He is a highly accomplished musician with experience as a jazz performer, a professional orchestral percussionist, a college educator, and a clinician. John has almost 20 years of teaching experience at the high school level. He has the expertise to teach the advanced placement classes required for the Oxford Fine Arts Academy, the IB music classes, and can expertly fill the roles of guitar and jazz band director.
"John is moving from a comfortable position within a district he has worked in for over 15 years in order to be a part of the Oxford Fine Arts Academy," Latowksi said. "He is extremely excited to be a part of our program and is anxious to continue to build the reputation of Oxford's music program into one of even higher regard."
Jennifer Kontry will teach kindergarten at Daniel Axford Elmentary.
Kontry is a has a bachelor degree in education with a major in language arts from Grand Valley State University.
Amanda Kramer will teach science at OMS. Kramer has a bachelor of elementary education degree from Michigan State University and an Integrated Science endorsement from Oakland University.
"She is an extremely talented teacher and was highly recommended for a teaching position at OMS," Latowski said.
Mallory Malloy will teach social studies at Oxford Bridges High School. Malloy has a bachelor degree from Michigan State University, with a major in history and a minor in geography, with a social studies endorsement.
Laura Merritt will be the will be a new Oxford Schools Early College/Academic Center Mentor over at OVA.
Merritt has a bachelor of arts in History and English from Oakland University. She will also be endorsed in Social Studies in the Spring. Merritt has experience as an early college mentor..
Jamie Murdoch will be teaching at Daniel Axford. Murdoch has a bachelor of arts in public relations and advertising from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Oakland University. "Jamie completed her student teaching at Leonard Elementary and did an excellent job," Latowski noted.
James Pafford will be helping students learn social studies at OVA.
Pafford has a bachelor's degree in Social Studies education from Rochester College and a master's degree in Education/Religion from Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania. James has served as an adjunct professor at Rochester College and has taught in Ontario, Canada at the middle school level.
And finally, Meredith Summer will teach science at OMS. Summer has a bachelor's degree in elementary education with endorsements in science and social studies. She has a master's degree in teaching and learning from Nova Southeastern University.
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.