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New teachers prepare for first year at Lakeland

    New teachers at Lakeland School Corporation have been preparing for a successful first year of teaching in the new teacher academy.

    For the past two weeks, the new teachers have been attending seminars. They have learned corporation details such as the e-mail system and discipline procedures, the intricacies of communicating with parents, and the countless things to remember when teaching a new class of students.

    Many of the new teachers are not only new to Lakeland School Corporation, but also new to teaching. First-year teachers, in fact, make up about half of the teachers attending teacher academy. These fresh faces are ready to bring their ingenuity to the table at Lakeland.

    Andrew Barrand, 22, of Ft. Wayne will be teaching fifth grade at Parkside Elementary. Hired in mid-summer, Barrand has had some time to set up his classroom and prepare for the year. He said he is “excited for the challenge” of his first-ever year of full-time teaching.

    Barrand attended Manchester University and studied education, as well as special needs education. He is glad to be teaching at Lakeland, as he has family on the lakes nearby. Last year, he student-taught a classroom of second graders near Chicago, Ill. “Fifth graders are going to be new,” he said. “But I’ll roll with it, and we’ll all be learning.”     

    Another first-time Lakeland teacher is Anthony Troyer, 26, of Goshen. He will be the new Spanish teacher at Lakeland High School. Son of Jim and Shirley Troyer, he attended IUSB and earned a Spanish degree. He also honed his Spanish skills in a six-month trip to Venezuela with a ministry organization in 2010. Troyer is currently finishing up Indiana’s “Transition to Teaching” program, working with a temporary permit until the program’s official end.

    Troyer said the classroom setting is one he’s been in often, and he’s thrilled to be at the head of it. Hired officially just a few weeks ago, Troyer is currently setting up his classroom and finishing his syllabus. “I’m excited about the technology at Lakeland,” he stated. “It’s great to see classrooms incorporating 21st Century skills.”

    Although first-time teachers make up a lot of the new crowd at Lakeland, there are also quite a few more experienced employees coming into the corporation. Scott LaPlace, who will be teaching PE and health at Lakeland Middle School, has been teaching for over 32 years. LaPlace has also accepted the position of head basketball coach at the high school.

    LaPlace worked at a Penn- Harris-Madison School Corporation for 19 years, and he taught PE/health at Fremont Middle/High School for 13 years. As an experienced PE and health teacher, he said the job comes with different challenges than that of a typical classroom teacher; he said that organization is essential, and that extra energy must be brought into the class every day. “I can do those,” he said. 

    He enjoyed his teaching career at the other schools at which he has taught, but he’s excited for the longer class periods at LMS. As for the Lakeland High School Basketball team, he’s already met them – they had the month of June together, and he has named them “great human beings.”

    The First Teacher Day at Lakeland schools is Monday, Aug. 19. The students will have their first day on Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting their new teachers for the coming year