This school year, Ames High has plenty of new faces in the halls, and they aren’t all students. Over half a dozen new teachers join the staff this year, including five brand new to Ames and two moving from elsewhere in the district.
Almost every department has new members, including social studies, math, ALP, art and more. One major change is new government teacher Leah Farrington, who is taking over the class from Bob Uetz, a 25-year veteran of AHS who retired after the 2013-2014 school year.
Farrington taught in Montezuma for three years before landing in Ames, a change she was excited to make.
“The teachers seem really excited for the school year, and we’ve been working really well together as a staff,” she says.
Besides teaching, Farrington also coached volleyball previously, which she will continue at Ames.
Also involved in sports at AHS is Eric Bappe, who is moving the to the high school after 15 years working at the elementary level in Ames. Bappe coaches both varsity baseball and freshman football. Adding to the family atmosphere of the school, he, his wife, four sons and 30 family members have graduated from Ames High.
Other teachers have hopes for starting new clubs at the school. Ian Beachler, an Iowa State graduate, aims to share his expertise with students.
“If there is interest and time allows, I hope to bring chess club to Ames High School,” he says. “I am hoping to bring it here as I ran the chess club over at Marshalltown in the past. I was the individual high school state champion in chess in 2006, which spurs my motivation for running chess club.”
Beachler taught many different math classes at Marshalltown from 2011-2013. He student taught at Ames Middle School in 2011, and says he is excited to get started in the district.
Many new staff members have families and kids and are excited for the diversity and opportunities Ames has to offer. Cynthia Gillette has two young children (3 1⁄2 and 2), and says the school and community has been “super friendly” in her short time here.
Besides Farrington, Beachler, Bappe, and Gillette, Lindsay Wede, Tom Borer and Lyndsey Hyman will also be joining the high school. With the recent upgrades in technology, great environment and many passionate students, AHS will be a great place to learn and teach.