Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 18, 2014

D-80 hires new teachers

MT. VERNON — Christina Pletz said she’s thrilled about starting her new job this fall as a first grade teacher at the Primary Center.

Not only will the position give her the chance to pursue a life-long dream, but she has already received a tremendous amount of support from District 80 staff, she said.

This will be Pletz’s first full-time teaching position. Like other new teachers in the district, Pletz has been assigned a mentor who will help her during her initial weeks on the job.

“District 80 is like your ideal job, especially as a new (teacher),” Pletz said. “I love working with children, I always have, and I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.”

Pletz was one of four new teachers hired by the district following a closed session at the July 9 District 80 Board of Education meeting.

The other hires approved were Ryan Maurer as an eighth grade language arts teacher at Casey Middle School, Chelsey Duncan as a first grade teacher at the Primary Center, and Clinton Hamilton as a kindergarten through third grade physical education teacher at the Primary Center.

“They were highly recommended and we’re really excited to have them in the district,” said Superintendent Mike Green.

Green added hiring new teachers at the Primary Center will allow officials to maintain smaller class sizes there, which has been a priority for the District 80 Board.

“It’s better for the students and teachers and it creates a better educational learning environment,” Green said of smaller classes.

Pletz earned an elementary education degree through a cohort program offered through Rend Lake College and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

She said her teaching approach will emphasize hands-on activities to keep students fully engaged.

“In my classroom, I like to have a lot of fun,” Pletz said.

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