By George Kankia, ´11

Summer vacation has officially ended and school is back in session. Students now must familiarize themselves with new books, new schedules and even new faces; however, freshmen will not be the only ones having a hard time with these adjustments. Nine new teachers have been added to the UAHS staff, with five of them joining the mathematics department.

Assistant principal Emilie Greenwald noted that only one of the five teachers has previous experience teaching high school math.

“Most of our applicants were young, because they came with the knowledge that these jobs are most likely available for one year,” she said. “Several math teachers from last year took leaves of absences for one year and are most likely returning in the fall of 2011.”

Another reason for the youth of the teachers is the seniority policy that exists at UA and most other districts. According to principal Kip Greenhill, once a teacher transfers to a different school district they are placed at the bottom of that district’s seniority list. If budget cuts call for it, teachers are let go by seniority, so the last teachers to join a school’s staff are the first to go when cuts are made. This policy makes it unlikely for experienced teacher to take a temporary position at a new school.

The five new math teachers who will be joining UAHS this year are Matt Solarz, Stephanie Marburger, Cara McNamee, Mindy Notestone and Andrew Tweddle. McNamee, Notestone, Tweddle and Marburger will be starting their first year teaching high school math.

Other new teachers at UAHS include Wellness teacher Kelley Windle, art teacher Robin Warren, special education teacher Gina Smith and global language teacher Xialoi Doty. Doty will be teaching Mandarin, which is a new course offering at UAHS.