Glasgow Schools Welcome New Teachers in 2019
December 25, 2019
Glasgow Public Schools have welcomed several new teachers this school year. From Irle to Glasgow Middle School to Glasgow High School, these educators have already been making a difference in the lives of their students.
At Irle School, the faculty has welcomed two new faces to their numbers, Ms. Cynthia Baillargeon who is the Title One teacher and Ms. Sheena Wilcox as the fifth grade teacher. Staff at the school joked that they shuffle around the staff, doing the best they can with the funds available to them. “Watch out to see if secretaries are teaching next year!” the front office laughed.
Baillargeon has a unique role at Irle. As the Title 1 teacher, she works with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, analyzing reading and math testing data to ensure students who have not met testing standards receive additional help to bring them up to the level they need to be at. “My first few months at Irle School have been a whirlwind. I have learned so much in a short time,” she told the Courier. “From policies and procedures, new programs to most of the students’ names. Everyone has been so patient and supportive which has made the last few months much more manageable.”
As the school year progresses, Baillargeon is eager to continue working with her fellow educators who have the best interests of the students at heart. “I look forward to watching the students grow academically, socially and emotionally,” she said. “I also look forward to working with a group of people that are all working towards the same outcome for students.”
At Glasgow Middle School, Lee Ann Walls is a new-to-the-school face, though not unfamiliar to students and parents. Ms. Walls started her 13th year of teaching, moving to GMS after spending three years teaching fifth grade at Irle Elementary. GMS has also welcomed several Glasgow natives to their ranks, Mr. Paul Yoakam, Ms. Shelby Stormer and Mr. Todd Truscott.
Stormer is the acting GMS counselor, while pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling. She holds a BA in English with a focus in creative writing and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Montana in Missoula.
Returning to Glasgow after 12 years in Miles City, Yoakam, a 1998 GHS graduate, started his 19th year of teaching. “GMS has been a very refreshing place to work,” he told the Courier. “Expectations and roles are clearly defined and everyone seems to be working toward the same goals of improving our schools for the students.”
He is currently teaching two sections of U.S. History for eighth graders, and physical education for sixth graders, as well as coaching the boys’ varsity basketball team at the high school. Yoakam is looking forward to seeing improvements in his students’ writing skills and mindsets. He sees his own children’s adjustment to a new school as a testament to all the Glasgow teachers and students. “I hope people understand how fortunate we are to have a district that is doing so well right now,” he said, “and that the preservation of it is equally important.”
Also returning to Glasgow is Truscott, who had spent the previous nine years teaching in Conrad. The 2005 GHS graduate is teaching band at the middle school and high school. On his teacher website he says, “I am so excited to be coming home and being a Scottie again!” Truscott will also be coaching golf in the spring for GHS.
In addition to Truscott, Glasgow High brought on Ms. Kristina McGee, English: Ms. Rachel Pewitt, math, and Mrs. Cat McIntyre, art. McIntyre is a well-known artist in the community and has been teaching introduction to art while drawing and painting on a part-time basis.
McGee is a transplant to Glasgow, coming from Helena where she grew up and went to Carroll College. She told the Courier it was a big move from her hometown to Glasgow and that she has loved her first months here. “I was surprised at the response by the kind and caring Scottie community,” she said. “I was made to feel welcomed and at home right away which helped in adjusting to the move.”
McGee is teaching English 10, Basic English 10 and Word Clues this school year. She expressed enthusiasm for her position and students, “They keep me on my toes!” she said about her sophomore class. With a focus on preparing students for their college and career years, she has brought in guest speakers who have helped students learn skills beyond English, such as writing resumes and cover letters.
“I am looking forward to seeing my students move on to become juniors,” McGee said. “It is so phenomenal seeing them grow throughout the year and many of them have matured and grown tremendously since the beginning of the year.”
McGee has taken on several roles beyond the classroom, serving as assistant speech and drama coach, assistant BPA advisor and assistant STUCO advisor. “I continuously see my students working hard in these extracurricular activities and out in the community,” McGee said in praise of her Scotties. “I am also looking forward to taking my Speech and Drama team to state. We have some really talented kids!”
Stepping in to teach Geometry, Foundations 1 and Math for Liberal Arts is Rachel Pewitt. A 2013 graduate from GHS, Pewitt told the Courier, “I’m very happy to be starting my teaching career in the school that helped foster my love of both learning and math!”
Like McGee, Pewitt has taken on roles outside the classroom. Describing her first few months as a whirlwind, she said, “I’ve been so incredibly busy with teaching, coaching [Pewitt is the head cheer coach at GHS], co-advising pep club, and starting to choreograph the school musical that I feel like I’ve blinked and it’s already the end of the semester.”
She added, “I’ve definitely spend some late nights and weekend days working in my classroom, but it’s all been so worth it.” She is enthused about her position and being involved with students outside the classroom. Looking forward, she said her goals are, “Progress over perfection. I hope that all of my students leave my classroom having furthered their mathematical abilities.”
Pewitt may have inadvertently summed up sentiments from all the new teachers in Glasgow when she said, “I’m excited to keep working with the students I have and meeting some new faces as well.”