New year brings changes in teaching staff

Sydney Woodward, Co-Editor in Chief

Matthew Baca remembers the first day of the school year as a blur of running around. The world geography teacher and coach was new to Kingwood Park and still learning his way around the school.

But his new colleagues helped out, guiding him in how to use the printer and make copies. It made that first day memorable and welcomed him to the traditions of K-Park.

Baca, who coaches football and baseball, is one of 24 new teachers at the school this year. They are replacing 23 who have left K-Park, according to Dawn Riggins, who oversees the school’s master schedule.

Some teachers, such as Deirdre Himel or Barbara Miller, have retired; While others such as Cynthia Bell and Dani Meyer left because of personal reasons. Bell left to homeschool her children and Meyer moved across town to be with her new husband. Some, like Bryan Mottola, are still teachers but no longer teach at K-Park. Mottola now teaches in New Caney ISD.

However, the size of the K-Park teaching staff has stayed relatively the same, with about 126 people on staff last year, compared to 116 this year. All the positions left empty by the teachers leaving the school have been filled by new staff members.

Baca describes the culture of K-Park as being competitive but kind at the same time.

“Everybody seems to get along real well,” Baca said. “I think the students really feed off of that.”

His transition was also eased by seeing the enthusiasm of his students.

For some students though, it’s harder to adjust to teachers nobody has ever had before.

Junior Caden Fenoglio believes it’s harder to learn with a new teacher due to different styles of teaching and whether or not the teacher’s and students’ personalities will clash.

Principal Lisa Drabing is also excited for the new teachers to embrace the culture of K-Park, though she will miss the teachers who left.

“While we are going to miss them,” Drabing said. “We are very proud of all of them.”