Four new teachers join Granville staff for the 2018-19 school year

Mrs.+Fortner+is+one+of+the+four+new+staff+members+at+GHS+this+year+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Andy+Hoben%29

Mrs. Fortner is one of the four new staff members at GHS this year (Photo courtesy of Andy Hoben)

Andrew Hoben

BY ANDY HOBEN (‘20)

Every year, the high school teaching staff is infused with fresh faces after past teachers retire, move or relocate; this year, the staff welcomes four new members. For the 2018-2019 school year, the district welcomes Justin Buttermore in the history department; No’el Fortner in the English department; Stefanie Stanton, instructor of the new business and finance classes; and Amy Welsh in the special education program.

The openings that these teachers filled came as a result of the relocation of World History teacher Mr. Felder to the middle school to fill an open history position; the retirements of Mrs. Sattelmeyer and Mrs. Shaffer, longtime English and FCS teachers, respectively; and the departure of Mrs. Strayer in the special education department.

The processes to fill these positions were unique in each case in part due to need and also due to staff cuts as a result of the levy failure, which led to teachers moving into new positions and their old positions not being replaced.

“Job postings happen on two levels; the first level is just an internal posting, which is just within the district, and the second level is an external posting,” Principal Matt Durst explained.

Fortner and Welsh were what would be considered internal hirings, as both were brought from the middle school in inter-district moves.

“There wasn’t a need to do an external posting because we filled it with that internal posting,” Durst said.  “So there was a formal posting, and it went out to everyone in the district, but it never moved outside the district.”

For Fortner, this was an opportunity for her to move back up into the high school freshman English curriculum, her favorite, she says, and one she is familiar with from her time teaching at New Lexington High School.

“In the district where I taught previously, I had been a middle school teacher for seven years,” Fortner said.  “A high school position opened up, and I thought ‘I wonder what that would be like.’ I got to the high school and I got to teach freshman English, which is what I’m teaching here.”

“It is absolutely my favorite curriculum and my favorite thing to teach,” she added. “So when a position opened up here, I jumped at the chance to teach it again.”

Fortner, a native Ohioan and graduate of both Miami University and Muskingum College, had positive things to say about her short time working at the high school.

“At Granville, I have very much enjoyed the level of student attention to their education and wanting to learn,” she said. “Students are students no matter where you teach.”

“She is really good with working kids my age because of her experience working with middle school kids last year,” said freshman Devon Haley, a student of Fortner.

The other addition to the staff from the middle school is Welsh, an intervention specialist.

In both Fortner and Welsh’s case, their positions were left unfilled in the middle school, with lack of need based on enrollment and cuts due to the levy being causes.

As for Buttermore and Stanton, their hiring processes moved outside of the district with a form of an open interview process being used for both.

Buttermore was employed by Tri-Valley High School in Dresden, Ohio, for fourteen years as first a history teacher followed by a stint as athletic director, while also serving as their head football coach during his entire tenure there. When the Granville head coaching position opened up after the resignation of coach JR Wait, Buttermore successfully interviewed for the job and was hired not only as the football coach, but also to fill the vacant World History position left open by the departure of Mr. Felder.

Primarily a U.S. history teacher while at Tri-Valley, Buttermore faces new challenges not only on the field this fall in leading the Blue Aces on Friday nights, but also as an educator in adjusting to the curriculum of a new school and subject matter. Early returns indicate that he has handled this transition well.

“He seems like a good teacher that will convey the lessons clearly and give a good amount of homework and just be a fair teacher,” said sophomore Paige Huck, a student of Buttermore. “He does seem on the harder side, as I’m in AP World History,” she explained, but, nevertheless, she adds that “he seems like a good teacher and a better person.”

Mrs. Stanton was hired to fill the retired Mrs. Shaffer’s financial literacy position; however, instead of picking up the FCS (Family and Consumer Science) and cooking classes that Shaffer taught during her time at the school, Stanton will now be teaching classes centered around business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. This move to from a home-ec curriculum to more business-oriented courses was a no-brainer, according to Durst.

“We just knew more of our graduates were going into business fields, so we wanted to focus more in that area,” he said. 

Another interesting aspect to the position that Stanton now holds is the fact that she is ultimately not employed by Granville High School; similar to Mr. Johnston, tech teacher, and Mrs. Kinsley, one of the art teachers, she is employed by C-Tec and housed in Granville, which, due to the intricacies in how the state funds schools, is mutually beneficial to both schools, and allows for Granville students to be exposed to different classes without the district having to pay the instructor.

“It’s a win-win,” Durst said.

Stanton’s unique background, as she actually does not hold a teaching degree, has not appeared to detract from her student’s experience in her class.

“I think she knows what she’s doing,” explained senior Ethan Tackett, who is taking financial literacy this year with Stanton. “She says that she worked in insurance for fourteen years, and I think that is the kind of person we need to teach a financial management class.”

Senior Reed Gaubert goes even further in his praise of her class.

“It’s the best class I have. She’s a great lady all-around.”

For all of the new teachers, there is the excitement and challenge of being at a new school, but also some long days before the start of school spent being integrated into their new jobs.

“They lose a lot of the first week in August to things like orientations,” Durst said.

Another aspect of them being introduced to their new departments and curriculums is learning to work with the teachers already in the building.

“They have mentor teachers that they connect with to help them plan. They are co-planning, and then they go off to their classrooms. They have their own personalities in their classrooms, but when it comes time for a test they are getting to the same point.”

Overall, Durst is pleased with the work of his new staff members.

“I think it’s been great so far. None of them have run out of their room crying yet, and I don’t expect that to happen since they are professionals.”

“They are going to get the job done.”