School district adds six educators to staff
Ramona Unified School District welcomed five new teachers and one new principal this school year. Three teachers joined the Ramona High School team, one joined Mountain Valley Academy and one, Olive Peirce Middle School. The new principal is at Barnett Elementary.
Tehra Lynn, who is in her sixth year of teaching, is teaching math at Ramona High School. She recently moved here from Portland, Tenn., where she taught geometry for three years and coached basketball and track.
This summer she prepared for the school year by enjoying her time off.
“I absolutely love teaching, and I am a very high energy teacher,” she said. “I truly feel that summer is an important time to refuel for the upcoming year. I do that by mountain biking, horseback riding, running with my dogs and anything else involving the outdoors.
She was ready for the year to start and was excited to meet all the new students. She also is happy and excited to be in Ramona.
“It feels like a small community,” she said. “Everyone I have met seems friendly and welcoming. I am just lucky to be an educator. I love my job.”
Erin O’Connor is familiar with RUSD and Ramona High, as she was co-coordinator for the Ramona High School CONNECT after-school program last year. This year, she is happy to be on staff as a biology teacher. She also has stepped into heading the CONNECT program this year as well as being the girls varsity basketball coach.
She recently finished her teaching credential in health, biology, and business as well as a Master Degree in Education from National University.
“This summer I worked closely with the biology team to prepare for the upcoming school year, painted and transformed an old classroom into a beautiful classroom, spent time planning for Bulldogs CONNECT, and did summer workouts with the basketball girls,” she said.
O’Connor is happy to be in RUSD because of its reputation and supportive colleagues.
“Ramona is a great school district to work for,” she said. “They put students’ learning first, care greatly about giving students a high quality education, and through professional learning communities they provide a very supportive work environment for all staff members.”
Christina Wilde will also be teaching biology at Ramona High School. She comes to Ramona from Yuma, Ariz., where she was a biology teacher for the past four years. Prior to that, she worked as a part-time instructor at California State University, San Marcos.
This summer she spent time collaborating with her fellow biology teachers in an effort to further develop and refine her curriculum. She said she is looking forward to working with an outstanding group of educators and is happy to be in Ramona.
“I like that it is a small school district and a close knit community,” said Wilde. “The idea that kids you have in your classroom most likely had parents and even grandparents that attended the same school is awesome. I already can see that there is a lot of school spirit and pride in the Ramona community.”
Maria Williams joins Mountain Valley Academy as a science teacher this year. She recently graduated from California State University, San Marcos and, prior to that, she taught at Mission Hills High School and Escondido High School.
She had dreams of teaching even back in high school, where she was a tutor. She has been in the field in some capacity for the past 10 years. She prepared for the year by taking time off to enjoy nature and visit the Sequoias.
She was excited last week to meet her new students and is looking forward to learning about Ramona.
“I love the district’s philosophy and their strong ties in the community. Ramona also has that small town feel that is no longer felt in other districts.”
Cody Jenkins is the new math teacher at Olive Peirce Middle School. Prior to joining OPMS, he was a basketball coach at Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos for three years and was a former film scout for San Diego State Men’s Basketball.
While this is his first year as a full-time teacher, he has been an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) tutor for the past five years. He spent the summer searching for the perfect job and he is happy to have found it in Ramona.
“Everybody I meet, from the school staff to people on the street, are extremely warm and friendly,” he said.
Kimberly Reed is the only new administrator this year, joining the Barnett Elementary team. She previously was an assistant principal in Moreno Valley and, before that, spent her time in the classroom as a teacher, literacy coach and Categorical Project Specialist for Escondido Union High School. She has been in the education field for 10 years and comes from a family of educators; her mother and grandmother were teachers.
This summer, she worked as the academic dean at Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth at La Jolla Country Day School. She also jumped right into RUSD, attending Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and meeting with staff members and fellow administrators.
She is looking forward to getting to know all the students and parents of the Barnett community in the coming months.
“I like that Ramona is a small community that places emphasis on family values,” she said. “I love the rural atmosphere. Ramona USD is focused on working collaboratively to impact student achievement, a premise which I strongly agree with and support.”
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