More than 20 new teachers on board at Grandview schools


The Grandview School District has several new employees joining its staff for the 2010-11 school year, including (front L-R) Teresa Santoy, Stacey Stearns, Jolynn Hammer, Tamara Brader, Genaro Garza Jr. and Arick Branen; (middle L-R) Veronica Zapien, Sarah Huntsman, Lauren Smith, Vanessa Jones, Frank Cheyney and Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Wilma Kozai; (back L-R) Salvador Padilla, Gordon Lingley, Kyle Gilliss, Frankie Ochoa, Patty Hurin, Brian Marceau and Anna Lodahl. Not pictured: Brian Barcello, Michael Kantman, Michaela Leyendekker, Sara McMullin and Rebecca Ramirez.

GRANDVIEW - Nearly 25 teachers have joined the Grandview School District for the 2010-11 school year, which began yesterday (Tuesday).

The teaching staff now includes Brian Barcello, Tamara Brader, Arick Branen, Frank Cheyney, Genaro Garza Jr., Kyle Gilliss, Jolynn Hammer, Sarah Huntsman, Patty Hurin, Vanessa Jones, Michael Kantman, Michaela Leyendekker, Anna Lodahl, Brian Marceau, Sara McMullin, Frankie Ochoa, Salvador Padilla, Becky Ramirez, Teresa Santoy, Lauren Smith, Stacy Stearns, Cody Swearingen and Veronica Zapien.

Nine of the new teachers will be at Grandview High School, one will teach at Compass High School, three will be teaching students at Grandview Middle School and one teacher will be shared by both the middle school and Compass.

Brian Barcello is now teaching ninth grade science at Grandview High School. He earned a Bachelor's degree in education at Heritage University, with a concentration in science. He is a recent college graduate and lives in Benton City.

Tamara Brader is an English teacher at Grandview High School. She graduated from Prosser High School in 1999 and studied at Whitworth University until 2003. She continued her education at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

She interned at Mount Vernon and joined Teach for America in 2005. She was placed at a school in Charlotte, N.C., where she taught for four years. She also taught adult English as a second language students at Piedmont Community College for three semesters before returning to the Lower Yakima Valley.

Arick Branen is district psychologist, who graduated from Moscow High School in 1985. He earned a Bachelor's in psychology at the University of Idaho and a Master's degree in counseling at Washington State University. He received his certification as a psychologist from Eastern Washington University.

Between degrees, Branen was the owner of two businesses. He owned Branegan's Pizza in Moscow, Idaho and a Blimpie Subs location, which he sold in 2005. He entered graduate school that year.

He has spent three years practicing psychology, including a year in Wahluke.

Frank Cheyney is teaching algebra and geometry at Grandview High School. He has taught students at Whitworth and Gonzaga universities. He has also served as a teacher at Spokane Falls Community College and Coeur d' Alene Senior High School in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

He is a graduate of Highland High School in Hogeland, Mont. and earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Gonzaga University. Those degrees are in education and mathematics, respectively.

Genaro Garza Jr. is a language arts teacher for seventh and eighth grade students at Grandview Middle School.

He is a 1992 graduate of Grandview High School and earned a Master's degree in teaching at Heritage University, graduating with the class of 2010.

Garza's prior teaching experience includes a year spent as an emergency substitute in the Highland, Toppenish and Naches school districts.

He is married with three children, ages 12, 9 and 1.

Kyle Gilliss is Grandview High School's new Spanish teacher.

The 2010-11 school year is the Ellensburg native's first year teaching after attending Central Washington University.

Jolynn Hammer is an educator for special education students at Grandview High School and is a 2000 graduate of Redlands High School. She attended California State University Fullerton. She continued her education at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. and Cal Poly in Pomona, Calif.

Her family lives in Ellensburg and she moved there from California to be closer to them.

Hammer's prior experience as a teacher includes a year teaching sixth grade and a year teaching seventh grade students.

Sarah Huntsman is an art teacher at Compass High School.

She earned a Bachelor's of fine arts degree at the University of Washington and a Master's of arts in teaching at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

The Montana native moved to Washington for her education. After earning her degrees, she decided to move to Benton City to be closer to her sister.

Patty Hurin is a seventh grade math teacher at Grandview Middle School.

She spent 13 years as a substitute teacher in Power, Mont. before earning her degree in education at Montana State University in 2010.

Vanessa Jones is teaching math to students at Grandview High School.

She graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 2003, earned her Associate's degree from Skagit Valley Community College and graduated from Western Washington University in 2010.

While attending college, Jones was a substitute teacher for the Mt. Vernon and Burlington-Edison school districts. She also spent a summer teaching math at State Street High School in Sedro-Woolley.

Michael Kantman is a special education resource teacher at Smith Elementary School.

The father of two sons, he has worked as a substitute teacher for the past four years while earning his degrees. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1990. He returned to school just a few years ago and earned an Associate's degree at Yakima Valley Community College. He graduated from Heritage University with a Bachelor's of arts K-8 degree with a special education endorsement this past June.

Anna Lodahl recently returned to the United States from Slovakia.

She is an eighth grade math teacher at Grandview Middle School and while overseas taught high school math at Quality Schools International Bratislava.

Lodahl was a high school math teacher at Lancaster High School in the Antelope Valley Union High School District before traveling abroad.

She is a 2002 graduate of Othello High School and earned a Bachelor's degree at the University of Washington. In 2006 she graduated from Whitworth University with a Master's in teaching.

Michaela Leyendekker graduated from Prosser High School in 2007 with an Associate's degree from Columbia Basin Community College in hand.

She continued her education at Washington State University Tri-Cities and earned a Bachelor's degree in education.

In the fall of 2009 Leyendekker completed her student teaching requirements at Harriet Thompson Elementary School, under the guidance of second grade teacher Joyce Meeker.

Leyendekker joins the staff at Harriet Thompson Elementary School as a third grade teacher for the 2010-11 school year.

Brian Marceau graduated with the University of Idaho class of 2010 and is teaching special education students at both Compass High School and Grandview Middle School.

He was married to his wife Claire this past July.

Marceau's past teaching experience includes an internship in Seattle and nine months of Yoga classes at the University of Idaho.

Sara McMullin is a kindergarten specialist at Harriet Thompson Elementary.

She recently graduated from Heritage University and completed her student teaching requirements at Finley Elementary School, working with second graders.

McMullin and her husband Jon have two girls, a 2-year-old and 3-month-old.

She is a 2004 graduate of Riverview High School and earned an Associate's degree at Columbia Basin Community College.

Frankie Ochoa is a 1988 graduate of Grandview High School and recently returned to his hometown as a fourth grade teacher at McClure Elementary School.

He earned a Bachelor's degree at Heritage University in 1997 and spent the past 13 years teaching grades 2-5 in Phoenix, Ari.

Ochoa joins his mother, Carmen, and sister Flor Garza, at McClure Elementary.

His mother works with special education students and his sister is a dual language teacher.

Salvador Padilla is teaching third grade dual language students at Harriet Thompson Elementary School.

He previously taught for five years in the Toppenish School District and earned a Bachelor's degree in 1995 at Oregon State University. He graduated from Heritage University with a Master's degree in 2005.

Padilla has spent the past 20 years living in Grandview. He is married and has two sons, Isaac and Caleb.

Rebecca Ramirez is the new health and fitness educator at Harriet Thompson and Smith elementary schools.

She is a graduate of Eastern Washington University and has prior experience teaching at Salk Middle School in Spokane.

Ramirez is a Yakima native and says she is happy to return to the Yakima Valley.

Teresa Santoy is teaching students in marketing classes at Grandview High School.

She is a 2002 graduate of Grandview High School and in 2006 earned a degree in marketing and sales at the University of Washington.

She was the corporate partnerships and marketing director for the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders from 2005 to 2009. That year, she began her teaching career at Renton High School.

Santoy returns to her hometown with her husband, Joe. She will also serve as the DECA and yearbook advisor.

Lauren Smith joins the staff at Grandview High School as a physical education teacher.

She graduated from Elizabeth High School in 2004 and received a Bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Colorado in 2008.

Smith's education experience includes a year-and-a-half as a substitute teacher, her student teaching prerequisite and teaching fifth grade summer school students.

She was the JV volleyball coach and the assistant tennis coach for Pateros High School. She has also coached eighth grade boys basketball and track & field in Elizabeth, Colo.

Stacey Stearns is teaching English at Grandview High School. She is an alum of Washington State University and calls Sunnyside her hometown, although she currently resides in Prosser.

She has 21 years experience teaching English at Kiona-Benton High School, and is married to Ed Stearns. The couple's twin daughters, Sydney and Sawyer, are 12-years-old.

Cody Swearingen will be teaching auto technology and applied math on a long-term substitute basis at Grandview High School.

He has 20 years experience with an automotive dealership and graduated from Wenatchee Valley College.

The Brewster native is married with two children.

Veronica Zapien joins the staff at McClure Elementary School as a kindergarten dual language teacher.

She has spent the past four years as a paraprofessional while earning a degree in education at Heritage University.

Zapien is a 2002 graduate of Eagle High School in Toppenish, and has worked with students in a self-contained high school classroom and students in grades K-2. She completed her student teaching prerequisites working with kindergarten students.

She is also the mother of two daughters, who attend school in Toppenish.


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