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GIPS welcomes more than 100 new teachers

The first day of school for Grand Island Public Schools is next week, and like students, teachers are gearing up for the exciting year.

There will be a few new faces in the schools, as GIPS welcomes 110 new teachers. The new teachers had the chance to meet with each other and administrators for New Teacher Back To School Days. Teachers learned about district standards and philosophies, lesson planning and how to support students.

Rocio Carrasco is a first-year English Language Learners teacher at Knickrehm Elementary this year. Carrasco is a Grand Island native and said she’s excited to get the year started.

“I’m ready to get to meet all of my students and build a relationship with them and their parents,” Carrasco said.

John Jacobs has one year of teaching experience at Lawrence-Nelson Public Schools and will be a new music teacher at Shoemaker Elementary. He has family in Aurora and will now be closer to them in Grand Island.

“I’m excited for all of the opportunities that GIPS provides for staff and the support they give,” Jacobs said.

Kaitlyn Hesman, a Doniphan native, is a first-year special education teacher at Newell Elementary this year. She said she’s excited for the mentor/mentee program GIPS provides new teachers. New teachers are paired up with an experienced teacher who can offer them extra support, knowledge and encouragement.

“I’m excited to have somebody that I can turn to,” Hesman said.

The New Teacher Back To School Days provides new teachers with a lot of background knowledge, Carrasco said. Teachers can feel more comfortable and confident going into the school year.

Jacobs and Hesman said going into a new district to teach can be overwhelming and nerve wracking at times, but everything falls into place when the students arrive.

All other staff will start on Aug. 9 and students start school on Aug. 16.

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