Welcome Our First-Year Teachers to Sahuaro


Jocelyn Reeder, Feature Editor

Being a first-year teacher is not the easiest thing to do. Teachers have to be prepared for anything and everything. At times it can be really hard. Many of them struggle with classroom management, burdened by curricular freedom, and getting used to new working environments. There are currently 16 new teachers here at Sahuaro.  I personally emailed each of them and asked:

What is the single most difficult challenge you are facing as a first year teacher?

What do you like the most about Sahuaro High School?

What are 3 “Fun Facts” about you that most of your students don’t know?

If you weren’t a teacher, what career would you choose?

Amanda Goodenow, math teacher, is not a first year teacher, but said it does feel like it. She reported, “The administrators, staff, and faculty have been great. Everyone has welcomed me and has really been helpful. I’m truly impressed with all my colleagues. They are a hardworking, dynamic group, that I am proud to be a part of.” She loves to waterski, play card games, and watch movies.  There was never a point in her life where she did not want to teach. Amanda stated, “When I was 9, I wanted to teach 4th grade and breed dogs and do hair on the side.”  After about the 4th week of calculus, she knew she wanted to be a math teacher.

Alexis Trujillo, Anatomy/ Physiology teacher, told me her most difficult challenge that she is facing is the amount of time that goes into making lesson plans. Some nights she is up until midnight planning for the next day.  Alexis reported, “What I like most about Sahuaro is the students. All my students are great and I am going to miss them next year.” She loves to cook, went to Australia for a year and a half to attend college, and plays on an ultimate Frisbee team. She would be a biologist.

David Anderson, who is an English teacher, replied that his single most difficult challenge was finding time to grade large essays and assignments. He reported, “I like the staff and students at Sahuaro. Students in general have been really polite and fun, and the English department is awesome and has made me feel really comfortable here.”  He is weirdly ambidextrous and uses his left and right hand and feet for different things, trains in MMA, and is addicted to a market downtown called Johnny Gibson’s. If he wasn’t a teacher, he would be either some type of counselor or astronomer.

The other first year teachers are Alicia Brankel (English), Jacob Dennis (English), David Duncan (English), Emily Endreson (Art), Michael Jardini (Math), Steven Lord (P.E./Health), Jolie Nast (Exceptional Ed, ID/SC), Susan Ribaudo (P.E.), Adam Shingler (American Government), Lindsay Smith (Career Counselor), Davy Snead (Health), Kathleen Stedman (Exceptional Ed, ID/SC), and Emily Suess (Exceptional Ed Department Chair).