New MV staff members share experiences through their first semester


Julika Balzer, Staff

First semester is almost over at MV, and new staff members have had time to create some long-range experiences. To look behind the first few months of several staff, let’s take a look at Ram staffers Ms. Misty Alli, Mr. Andrew Dillman, and Mrs. Vanessa McGuire.

A lot happened over the past five months here at MV and many impressions were made. How are their first impressions of MV after the first semester?

I love this school! I felt ‘at home’ right away, as everyone was so welcoming and helpful,” said Ms. Misty Alli, math.

“It has become very obvious to me that the faculty and staff here at MV want to support each other and build each other up, which makes for a great working relationship,” added Ms. Alli.

Mr. Andrew Dillman, CTE, responded “I absolutely love working at MV. This is where I graduated high school and it’s a surreal experience to now work here. The school feels like its own little community and I am ecstatic to just be a part of it.”

Mrs. Vanessa McGuire, student services, stated “I am so happy to be a part of the Ram family! The entire school has been welcoming.”

Everywhere in life we divide what we are doing into “better” and “not so good”. And after a longer time period, it’s usually common that one gains experience. 

Asking Mr. Dillman what he likes the most so far, he stated “The students. I’m fortunate enough to get to talk to different students every day and I learn so much from them.”

“I enjoy learning about what they want to do when they graduate and how they set goals for themselves. Equally enjoyable, I like to help students learn in any way I can,” added Mr. Dillman. 

I love the people I work with. But I also really admire how everyone puts the students first. It’s refreshing to see so many staff members advocate for the students,” commented Ms. Alli. 

Mrs. McGuire mentioned “The teamwork between teachers, administration and all staff along with the desire to see students be supported and successful.”

Almost half time at MV, with the second semester about to begin, what are upcoming things to look forward to?

Mrs. McGuire responded “I am looking forward to being a part of our students’ journey and the addition of social emotional support in high school.”

Ms. Alli stated “I’m looking forward to meeting new students next semester. Since I’ve never taught high school before, that’s new for me. I’m going to really miss my students that I will no longer have in class, but I’m excited to have the opportunity to impact the lives of new students as well.”

 “As for the upcoming years, I’m looking forward to seeing how we can best utilize my position as a Math Interventionist,” Ms. Alli added.

Mr. Dillman commented “I’m looking forward to getting better as a teacher and a person. I am eager for the future because there are numerous lessons or activities that I would like to tweak to help my future lessons go more smoothly and to help the students learn better.”

“Ultimately, just gaining more experience as a teacher and becoming more aware of MVTHS will make me more excited for the future,” added Mr. Dillman. 

Everyone in life questions what they should do in the future, even our teachers and staff members. Some are newer than others, so for how long have our new members at MV done what they’re doing now? 

Mr. Dillman said “This is my second year teaching and first year at MV. Previously, I taught for one year at Rome Grade School. I loved my time at Rome but I really feel that I have found my niche here at MV.”

Mrs. McGuire mentioned “I have been working in the social work field for 13 years.”

“This is my 22nd year teaching, but it is my first year as a Math Interventionist at MV. I taught Jr. High Math at Raccoon School for twenty-one years, so high school is an entirely new experience for me and I love it,” stated Ms. Alli.

Deciding which job is the right one for one’s self, mostly takes a lot of overthinking. What was the reason new staff chose their job?

Mrs. McGuire mentioned “I have always enjoyed working with teenagers and working in the school has been a great way to connect with students that may not ask for support externally.”

Mr. Dillman commented “I chose this job because I wanted to teach older students; I taught at Rome Grade School previously. I have enjoyed all of the different ages I have taught, however, I love discussing students’ futures and discussing different plans they may have.”

“It is nice to have deeper, more in-depth conversations with students,” Mr. Dillman added.

Ms. Alli said “I have always taught math, and I’ve always loved it. But my favorite thing about teaching Math has always been helping students who struggled with it.”

“I love watching them learn and grow in ways that surprise them,” Ms. Alli added.

When I found out that MV had a position open that would allow me to do just that all day long, I knew I had to go for it! This is honestly my dream job, and I feel so blessed to be able to come and do what I love each and every day,” added Ms. Alli.

If we’re completing or working on a task, challenge or just work, it might be having tempting parts one has to deal with, but there are also parts that we favor. What is the most favorite part about your job?

Mr. Dillman said “My favorite part of the job is meeting the variety of students who attend here. Just getting to know, care, and teach people is what I am the most passionate about.”

Mrs. McGuire responded “Watching individuals overcome their struggles and achieve their goals, no matter how big or small.”

Ms. Alli stated  “Hands down, my favorite part of my job is my students!! I enjoy the challenge of changing the way they see school, and more specifically Math. I love having small enough class sizes that I can really get to know my students individually.”

“For many of them, that makes a huge difference in how willing they are to participate and learn,” added Ms. Alli.

Starting as a new teacher at a new high school, especially one of the size of MV can be harder than it seems. Some have already experienced teaching but for some it is their first high school or school in general. 

It is my second school but my first high school. Surprisingly though, it has been a seamless transition,” commented Mr. Dillman.

Mrs. McGuire stated “I worked with kindergarten – 3rd grade prior to coming to MV.”

“This is my 22nd year teaching, but my first high school experience as a Math Interventionist,” Ms. Alli said.

Everyone already went through something that let them struggle, so did our new MV staff members. What was the most struggling part so far here in MV?

Mrs. McGuire said “Finding my way around campus!”

Ms. Alli mentioned “Honestly, the biggest struggle for me at MVTHS has been getting out of my own head when it comes to the stories you hear about teaching high school students.”

“They still just want to be heard, loved, and respected. And I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of trying to accomplish that with each of my and other students each and every day,” Ms. Alli added.

Mr. Dillman stated “I would say the biggest struggle is learning the school’s policies with exams, rules, and grades. This is to be expected since it is my first year, however.”

Besides the struggles that come with a new high school, what is the hardest or biggest struggle of being a new teacher?

Ms. Alli said “I would say that being a “new teacher” at a huge high school vs. a smaller K-8 school has its own set of challenges. I have had to get out of that “grade school” teacher mode and learn that things are done differently in a bigger school, especially a high school,” added.

“I am enjoying the challenge of it all though. I have no doubt that this is definitely where I am meant to be and to spend the last years of my career as a teacher,” added Ms. Alli.

Mr. Dillman commented “I would say the beginning of the year. Since my background was in Elementary education, I was nervous in creating the syllabus, beginning of the year activities, and things like that. I feel much more comfortable now, though.

New staff members shared some words about their previous and future goals here at MV.

“I would like to add that I love getting the opportunity to interact with so many of the students here at MV. Even though my class sizes are small, I have chosen to do morning and lunch supervision, and I am part of the Student Support Program after school, so I have met so many other students. besides my own,” stated Ms. Alli.

Ms. Alli also added “I am so excited to watch the many ways my new job at MV will enhance my life and that of my family.”

Mr. Dillman said “I just want to say I am thankful and elated to be a part of the great school that is MV.”