Tenth-grade students listen and annotate as their language arts teacher, Becky Bearden, reads aloud chapter three of the classic novella The Pearl. Bearden is new to the school this year and is excited to teach students. photo by Abigail Rice.
This year TKA has seen a large influx of teachers and students, especially in the high school. The school board has been working to expand all departments. Having greater class sizes and more variety in subjects requires a larger faculty. Additionally, the high school welcomed many new teachers. Students may have noticed the change in familiar faces at the high school building.
“It may look like it [a big change], in [the high school building], because so many of our Language Arts teachers left,” said Head of School Kristi Brannen, “but…when you have 90 faculty members, it’s really not that many.”
Some teachers have moved around sessions and switched from high school to middle school, depending on the need. Freshman English teacher, Mary Kissee, switched from teaching both middle and high school to just eighth grade. Additionally, multiple assistant positions have opened up in both buildings.
“We added a lot of classes so we had to hire a lot of new teachers…” said Brannen. “For example, when one Spanish teacher left, we hired three new people to replace them.”
Language Arts teacher Becky Bearden is excited and ready to help students learn and grow. She and many other new teachers are committed to giving the best instruction possible and have a passion for the future generation.
“I love teaching Language Arts, and I love my students,” said Mrs. Bearden. “I am really excited to guide my students and help them grow to become wonderful adults.”
The school board has put a notice for assistant job positions on the TKA app. These new assistants will help proctor math tests on Thursdays and alleviate the workload of other long-time assistants that aid and grade assignments in multiple classes. Some assistants, like Mrs. Shope and Mrs. Anderson, took a break in previous years but have returned this year.
“I was an assistant for the ninth grade Tuesday/Friday class in 2021,” said Mrs. Anderson. “I really enjoyed getting to know all of the students who were in ninth grade at that time. However, my husband and I had to move to Kansas in June of 2021 because of his job. We came back in 2023. I picked up the job again because we were now empty nesters. I'm truly looking forward to getting to know all the students I work with now.”
TKA is excited to see how these new faculty members will impact and change students' lives.