Clark School District Offers New Teachers Support

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Superintendent Kenneth Knops reviews Back to School strategies with physical education teacher Bettina Mannulli, second grade teacher Jennifer Kelliher, kindergarten teacher Jackie Grigoli, Elementary Education Supervisor Janeen Allmendinger, special education teacher Christina Romao, and music teacher James Vavra. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

CLARK — On a recent Wednesday after school hours, Clark Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops sat around the conference table with Elementary Education Supervisor Janeen Almendinger and six first year elementary teachers. The topic of discussion? “Strategies and Techniques in Preparing for Back to School Night.”

Knops provided some guidelines for delivering a parent presentation that highlighted the instructional program, reviewed student expectations, provided contact information, and provided parents with opportunities to volunteer in their children’s classroom. Allmendinger shared ideas for presenting student work and having information readily available for visiting parents on their child’s desk. This program, the first of the school year, is part of a three-year induction program the district provides for new teachers.


“This past summer we were fortunate to hire an outstanding cohort of 14 new teachers,” Knops commented. “Many of these teachers were selected from candidate pools of upwards of 400 applicants. Needless to say, it’s a very talented, creative, and intelligent group of young people. As a school district we seek to provide them with the guidance and mentoring that will assure them future success in the Clark Schools. This is a wonderful community to work in, with supportive parents, an outstanding teaching staff, and well-behaved, focused, and engaged students. We want to provide our new teachers with the training, guidance, and mentoring we feel they will need to continue their professional growth and insure their success as newly hired teachers in our school district.”

Next up in the induction program? “We’ll be meeting again next month to discuss grant writing, parent conferences, and professional development opportunities,” Knops remarked. “This is one of the best cohort groups of new teachers I’ve worked with in my ten years as a superintendent, there is tremendous talent and I want to assure all these new teachers reach their full potential as educators.”


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