Archive for the ‘Faculty and staff’ Category

photo[1]Towanda Foster describes her teaching philosophy in one word – Inspire! Her students agree that she’s inspirational. In fact, one first grade student was so inspired by her, he stopped every day to pick a fresh flower before class. That student’s mother said it warmed her heart to know that he loved school and his teacher so much.

Mrs. Foster says teaching was always the path that made sense for her. “During my youth, I volunteered assisting with a first grade teacher who lived in my home community.” she said.  “I also assisted with a young choir group. I have always volunteered with children. Teaching was the next logical step for me.”

Mrs. Foster earned her bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University and this is her 11th year as a teacher. She says the thing she most looks forward to this year is getting to know all of the HIS students and families. A little known fact about Mrs. Foster, she once recorded a CD with one of the Temptations. She enjoys watching Lifetime and Hallmark channels with her chihuahua Angel and her cat Bell. She also describe herself as an avid reader, calling To Kill a Mockingbird her favorite book.

 

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Ask Educational Technology Coordinator Brandon Lindsey what he’s looking forward to this year, and instantly he starts speaking “tech.”

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“I’m extremely excited to work with the young minds at the school in the areas of 3D modeling, film, and game design,” he said.  “I hope to offer either electives or small training sessions in these fields that I personally love and would love to share.”

Of course, Mr. Lindsey fits right in with the tech-savvy students at HIS.

“I’m very excited to get a Minecraft server set up for the students to build a virtual landscape.  I’m a kid at heart for sure.  I still play some of these games myself!”

But surprisingly, Mr. Lindsey’s background is not entrenched in computer science and coding. He has a bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance, a bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts and a master’s degree in Digital Cinema. So how does a clarinet-playing-digital-cinematic-artist land a job in educational technology?

“When I was a young kiddo, my grandfather taught me how to build my own computers,” he said. “Ever since then I’ve been the family ‘techie’ and many people have told me that I have the mind of an engineer. Having a career in technology, education, with an infusion of art is a perfect choice for me. It was a no-brainer to work at HIS as the ET, not to be confused with Extra Terrestrial,” he said.

Mr. Lindsey is entering his tenth year in the field of education and says his approach to learning can be summed up in two words; evolve and question. When Mr. Lindsey is not working with the next big tech thing, he helps his parents take care of their ailing cat, Garfield. He gives Garfield injections to help with his kidneys and calls his feline sibling “his brother from another mother.”

 

 

Meet the Men in Black

August 21st, 2014

We’re finally back to school, and our security team is back in black. This year, you’ll notice some familiar faces and a few new officers patrolling our campus.

Leading the team is Mr. Mike. Mr. Mike has kept our campus safe for the past seven years, and he is one of the most recognizable faces at HIS. He spent 20 years with the Marines in Special Forces and is the school’s most decorated triathlete. If you have a question about fitness or nutrition, ask Mr. Mike!

You’ll also see Mr. Kris on campus again this year. Kris is a Major in the National Guard and has spent time in Afghanistan and Iraq. His sack lunches always look like they were packed by military personnel that spent weeks in the desert with very few supplies. He loves hiking, so ask him about his favorite trails.

Mr. Mike and Mr. Kris are joined this year by Mr. Jon, Mr. Phillip and Mr. S.

Mr. Jon is a retired Indiana State police officer. He also spent more than 20 years with the Indiana National Guard and was a security helicopter pilot and jet charter pilot before joining the security team at HIS. Don’t be surprised if you see him cruising down Eastern on his motorcycle on a nice Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Phillip has been a security officer since 2008, and he is excited to be assigned to HIS this year. Phillip is a newlywed who is very active in his church, and he says he “attempts to engage in fitness like Mr. Mike.” Be sure to ask him how that’s going!

Mr. S (Michael) comes from the world of entertainment, weddings and special events and has been providing security for the past three years. He is an expert in crowd control and asset protection. He is also Red Cross, CPR, AED (defibrillators) and first aid certified.  He says the best thing about working at HIS is the kids because “they just me make laugh.”

They may be “men in black” but they’re totally human! They’re also really nice guys. They’re here to take care of your family, so please stop by to say hello and introduce yourself.

 

Mr. Jon

Mr. Jon

Mr. S

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Mr. Phillip

Mr. Phillip

Mr. Kris

Mr. Kris

Mr. Mike

Mr. Mike

 

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Middle school social studies teacher Tim Williams spent the past few years traveling the world and teaching English. Now he’s back stateside and tackling his favorite subject, social studies, with HIS 5th and 6th grade students.

“I really love teaching and studying history,” he said. “There is a big, exciting world out there and I want my students to be prepared for it.”

This is Mr. Williams’ sixth year as a teacher. He discovered his calling to teach while in college, when he took a class with an instructor he thought was “amazing.” He has a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in history. Considering he has lived in four countries in the past four years, it’s not surprising that his favorite book is On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

Mr. Williams loves hockey, running and blues music. He plays the harmonica and also adopted a stray dog named “Shantaram,” which means man of peace.

 

 

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  – Dr. Seuss

Second grade teacher Jordan Veenstra lives by that famous Dr. Seuss quote. She says if there is one word that describes her teaching philosophy, it’s “engagement.” This is Miss Veenstra’s eighth year as a lower school teacher, and it’s a job she has wanted since she was in second grade.

“I knew I wanted to become a teacher (especially a second grade teacher) when I was a student in Mrs. Stolley’s second grade class,” she said. “She was such a warm, caring teacher and made learning fun. From second grade on, I’ve wanted to be a teacher and never waivered in that decision.”

Miss Veenstra says her favorite part of teaching is reading the comments students write when they are “bucket filling,” which is an exercise in giving positive feedback to peers. Funny note about Miss Veenstra; she is terrified of bugs. Brave students get the honor of removing insects that decide to visit Miss Veenstra’s class.

Miss Veenstra earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arizona State University and her master’s degree in early childhood education with a reading endorsement from Northern Arizona University. She loves reading anything by Junie B. Jones and enjoys sports, shopping, swimming, movies, and just hanging out with friends.

 

 

 

Rasar

Help us welcome our new teachers to HIS! Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce the newest additions to our amazing faculty.

Meet Stephanie Rasar, 5th and 6th grade math teacher.  This is Mrs. Rasar’s 12th year as a teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Western Washington University and her master’s degree in education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Mrs. Rasar  received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year award from Clark County School District and the Special Education Teacher of the Year award from the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas.

Mrs. Rasar enjoys yoga, barre class, running, and exploring Las Vegas with her husband and 8-year old son, Owen. She also has a 10-year-old (lazy) boxer named Rocky.

Her favorite quote is “If there are two paths, I want to be on the one that leads to awesome.” Kid President

So what is Mrs. Rasar most looking forward to this year? — “I am looking forward to having small class sizes, and having students engage in performance-based hands-on projects.  Math was rarely enjoyable when I was in school.  My goal every year is to make math fun, applicable to the real world, and a class that students look forward to. I believe that each child is unique and requires a safe, caring, and inspiring atmosphere that supports risk-taking, and invites sharing of ideas, in which to grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially,” she said.

Most surprising things about Mrs. Rasar — she danced in a parade in Paris, her dad built the Ramblin’ Rose from the show “Deadliest Catch”  and was the captain of it before it was on the show. She worked on a fishing boat in Alaska as a cook and deckhand for three months after she graduated from college.  AND, she has met Grumpy Cat!