Thirteen new staff members hired at start of school year

Peter Ha, Staff Writer

Bear Creek High School welcomed 12 new teachers and one new counselor this year.

While adding new teachers, Bear Creek also lost a few long time teachers, including AP US History teacher Beth Oesterman and math teacher John Haberman. Two vacant spots remain in the science and math departments, which are currently being filled by long-term subs.

“Good things come with adding new teachers,” Vice Principal Sera Baysinger said. “They bring new ideas that could fit and improve the system we have here at Bear Creek.”

New Spanish teacher Daisy Ortega said she decided to teach at Bear Creek because she was intrigued by the diversity of the school. Ortega attended one year of high school at Bear Creek and says she feels comfortable with the campus. She also credits fellow teachers in making the transition easier.

“My main goal for the school year is to improve myself, and my students, because there’s always a learning curve for everyone to get better,” Ramirez said.

"It's a big learning community, not just for the students but for everyone on campus." -English teacher Jacqueline England
Peter Ha
“It’s a big learning community, not just for the students but for everyone on campus.” -English teacher Jacqueline England

“Andres Gil gives me so much support and makes me feel very welcomed,” Ortega said.

Though learning a second language is not easy, Ortega’s main goal for the year is to make sure all students are performing to the best of their abilities.

“I want my students to be able to walk away and truly say they did not waste their time,” Ortega said.

Being a first year teacher is very difficult. The article “Why They Leave,” reports that 46 percent of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Baysinger hope these statistics don’t prove true at Bear Creek.

“All teachers, new or experienced, will be given support when needed,” Baysinger said.

Prior knowledge or experience can really help new teachers. Forbes article “High Teacher Turnover Rates are a Big Problem for America’s Public Schools” said teachers who worked with a mentor teacher had increased job satisfaction. New English teacher Chris Ramirez was a student teacher at Bear Creek and realizes first hand the importance of having a mentor.

"I really like all the different things going on like clubs, and everyone is so involved." -Science teacher Lauren Fromm
Peter Ha
“I really like all the different things going on like clubs, and everyone is so involved.” -Science teacher Lauren Fromm

“Student teaching at Bear Creek allowed me to get comfortable with not just the students and staff but also with the campus,” Ramirez said.

To prepare for the school year, Ramirez said he spent most of his time “freaking out” and over planning, but he says he feels comfortable in the new environment and feels confident.

Heather Blount said the reason she chose to come to Bear Creek was not just because of the job opening but she enjoys teaching in the AP system, having experienced teaching AP Government in Manteca.

To prepare for this year, Blount said she spent endless hours reading and studying material for APUSH. She too credits the support from fellow faculty members in helping her adjust.

"Everyone is so welcoming to me. I really enjoy all the diversity here." -History teacher Carrie Rosenstein
Peter Ha
“Everyone is so welcoming to me. I really enjoy all the diversity here.” -History teacher Carrie Rosenstein

“Support has been endless, especially from Mrs. Heinrich and Mrs. Scott,” Blount said.

Junior Reagan Sytsma said she really enjoys AP US History and that she has learned so much already from Blount.

“She’s [Blount] so involved in the school, going to leadership camp and being part of the theatre,” Sytsma said.

Aside from Blount being involved around campus, her students say that her lectures are very easy to follow.

“What I really like about her is instead of lecturing all the time she gives us more activities and hands on things,” Sytsma said.

Adjusting to a new environment is difficult for not only teachers but for anyone.

“Coming into a new environment is always difficult,” Baysinger said.

Baysinger says she is fully confident that all new teachers will exceed expectation and perform just as well as any other teacher. Baysinger also advises new teachers to not be afraid to ask questions.