School introduces several new staff members

As a result of the loss of several staff members, the school has hired 10 new replacements. Principal Martin Straub said our district has not had too much difficulty hiring despite a few late retirements. The majority of applicants even had previous teaching or counseling experience.

Filling in for counselor Kathy Spicer, who retired over the summer, is Will Burns. Burns has been a counselor at Hays Middle School for the past several years.

Math teacher Josh Peterson left after a year of teaching and will be replaced by Erin Deenihan, who student taught for math teacher Lisa Colwell last semester. Colwell has retired and filling in for her will be Jayme Hansen, a Hays High Graduate who has been teaching math in Ellsworth.

The foreign language department lost Spanish teacher Melinda Cross. Taking over for her will be the former Plainville Elementary School principal, Matt Whitney.

Jennifer Younger, an art teacher in the district, will be filling in for art teacher Nancy Flax, who retired at the end of last year.

Teaching family and consumer science classes half time this year will be Michelle Thacker, who filled in for some time last year.

Hays High graduate, Matt Rome, will be filling in for band teacher Craig Manteuffel, who moved away for a new job.

Coach and teacher Bo Black has left and will be replaced by Randall Rath, who will coach football and track and teach strength and conditioning classes.

Filling in for science teacher Chris Walters will be Heath Owens. He will teach biology and environmental science classes.

English teacher Kay Gottschalk will be replaced by Alicia Brungardt, who previously taught at our school and has since been teaching at Hays Middle School.

“We are very, very fortunate that we didn’t have difficulties finding staff like other districts have,” Straub said. “We are blessed.”