New faces join Marmaton Valley

(Editor’s Note: The start of the 2009-10 school year has brought several new faces to area public schools. The Register is profiling new educators with brief biographies. Today’s roundup features new teachers at Marmaton Valley High School and Marmaton Valley Elementary School in Moran-USD 256)

By JENELLE JOHNSON
Family Living Editor

Adam Hewson
Marmaton Valley High School’s new wood shop teacher is Adam Hewson.
He taught woodworking for three years at Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility and a semester in Togiak, Alaska. He is originally from Larned.
“I had just graduated from Fort Hays State University and there was a job opening in Togiak. I thought the job would be a fun adventure,” Hewson said.
During the summer he owns and runs a construction company.
“I run my classroom like I do my business. I want to teach the kids what it is like to have the responsibility of a job as well as the safety aspects associated with woodworking,” he said.

Lisa Cloud
Lisa Cloud is beginning her teaching career as a fourth-grade instructor at Marmaton Valley Elementary School.
Cloud, who lives in Iola, worked 71⁄2 years as a paraprofessional before earning her teaching credentials at Pittsburg State University.
“I enjoy teaching and feel it is important for a teacher to be a positive role model for children,” Cloud said.
Cloud has four sons, Blake, 9, Hunter, 8, Tristan, 5, and Kyler, 4.

Desirae Blythe
Desirae Blythe teaches in Marmaton Valley Elementary School’s resource room working with children with disabilities. She is employed through ANW Special Education Cooperative.
She has taught for seven years and previously worked at Lincoln Elementary School, Iola Middle School and Iola High School.
She said she became interested in special education when there was no teaching position available in an elementary school.
She and her husband, Chip, live in Uniontown with their two children, Megan, 11, and Mark, 5.

Amanda Leonard
Amanda Leonard is beginning her second year in education as a special education teacher at Marmaton Valley Elementary School. She is employed through ANW Special Education Cooperative.
A graduate of Pittsburg State University, she taught last year at Altoona-Midway.
She said teaching gives her an opportunity to continue to learn while helping youngsters with disabilities.
She and her son, Camden, 4, live in St. Paul.

Jamie McDonnell
First-year teacher Jamie McDonnell is teaching kindergarten at Marmaton Valley Elementary School.
A graduate of Emporia State University, she said she enjoys working with young children.
She is originally from Emporia.
“It is so gratifying watching the youngsters as they learn new things daily,” McDonnell said.

Melissa Peak
Melissa Peak ran a day care for a number of years before she decided to pursue a career in education.
Peak is Marmaton Valley Elementary School’s preschool teacher.
A graduate of Pittsburg State University, she taught the past two years in Erie.
Peak said she has always enjoyed working with young children.
“I had one mother call and tell me her child wanted to come to class even though she was sick. That made me feel good to know my kids enjoy my class,” Peak said.
She and her husband Matthew, live in Parsons with their three sons, Michael, 9, Mason, 7, and Marcus, 3.