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New teachers share hopes for school year

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The first day of school is often accompanied by a mixture of uncontrollable excitement, willingness to learn, make new friends and have fun. By the same token, it’s a day often filled with anxiety at having to face these emotions and scenarios. 

And it’s not just students who feel this way — starting school can be just as trying for a new teacher.  

In the hopes of easing this transition, we’ve asked several new teachers and administrators to tell us a little about themselves so that we might, in turn, introduce you to them and them to you. 

As it is the first week of school and everyone is extremely busy, we were not able to contact every new teacher and administrator. However, we’ll keep trying, so look for a few more sections in next week’s paper. 

Charlo Middle School hired new special education teacher Bethany Lindquist for the upcoming school year. A Ronan High School graduate, Lindquist has lived in the Valley for 13 years and recently graduated from Salish Kootenai College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Shortly after, she attained a special education endorsement from the University of Montana in 2012. She has a 3-year-old son named Gaige and enjoys spending time with her family and enjoys athletics.

“My favorite aspect of teaching is watching the sudents grow and mature and helping them achieve success to the best of their ability,” Lindquist said. “I hope to help every one of my students accomplish all their goals and help them get a little bit better each day.”

In deference to her teaching philosophy, Lindquist seems set on putting students first. “As a teacher, it will be my job to instill a love of learning in my students,” she said. “Everything that I will do in my classroom will support this and help the students reach the best of their abilities. When a student enters my classroom, I want them to be entering a place where their learning is the main focus.”

“Everything I do and all the choices I make will be done with the students’ best interests in mind.  I will have a huge impact on my students’ lives emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. I hope to give them the most positive learning experience and the tools to be successful in all of these areas.”

Ronan Middle School’s new sixth-grade English teacher Allen ReVard Hazen grew up in Kalispell, and says Flathead Lake is one of her “favorite places to play in the world.”

After graduating from Flathead High School in 2005, Hazen attended Flathead Valley Community College and transferred to the University of Great Falls, where she graduated in spring 2011. She enjoys reading, playing video games that are “sport-titled” and playing instruments like the electric guitar and bass. Hazen is an avid outdoor enthusiast and spent this past summer as a camp counselor biking, hiking, climbing, swimming and rafting. 

Her favorite aspect of teaching is being given the opportunity to share her love of English with the students and help these students become successful adults. 

“I believe that each and every student has the potential to bring something unique to the world.  I believe that once students are able to tap into their potential, they can accomplish anything they set out to and I encourage them to reach for the stars,” she said. 

Hazen believes every classroom holds a variety of talented students with different abilities and learning styles that culminate in a unique community of special learners. 

“I believe that a classroom needs to be a safe, caring, and knowledge-based environment where each student can grow in their knowledge and skills.  I believe that students have the capability and should take responsibility for their own learning,” Hazen said. 

She also said the art of teaching is a lifelong learning process, and that she has a desire to never stop learning from parents, the community, colleagues and students. 

“As a teacher I have the constant reminder to never forget to smile with the new, cherish the old, and laugh with the students,” she said. 

Ronan High School’s new art teacher Michelle Bishop relocated from Southern Californa to Western Montana nearly five years ago. Earning her bachelor’s degree in art with an emphasis in architecture from California State University, Fullerton, she recently attained her teaching certification from Montana State University. 

Bishop has worked as a substitute teacher, paraprofessional, reading intervention instructor, volleyball coach, sixth-grade art instructor, migrant education art instructor and an adult education art instructor for the Polson School District. 

In an effort to learn about local culture and art, she’s taken several classes at Salish Kootenai College and enjoys, “nearly anything that involves making things with my own two hands, and I will embrace just about any opportunity for creativity.”

Of all Bishop’s memories from the past five years, she recalled one in particular when a student found her in the hall and told her how impressed her father was with the work she’d made in Bishop’s class. 

“The smile on her face, the sparkle in her eyes, and the true sense of joy projected through her own accomplishment is what teaching is all about for me,” Bishop said. 

“My teaching philosophy centers on the concept that each student is capable of learning. As an educator, I believe my purpose is to cultivate the academic development of knowledge within each of my students enabling them to acquire the skills necessary to live productive lives.”

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