New teachers reflect on first year

Paige Stanley, Staff Writer

Prep was very lucky to receive so many new teachers and staff members this year. They have added a lot to the Prep community, whether it is Senor Martin’s killer volleyball skills or Ms. Vickrey’s iconic costumes, they have made their mark on students and teachers alike. They have experienced Prep’s community at full throttle and now reflect upon how their experience has been so far.

With the excitement surrounding the first day of school, Olympic Week, retreats and so much more, the staff members share their favorite memories from this year. Ms. Young said her favorite memory was the first day of school as she started the year by introducing students to the question whether “flight” or “invisibility” would be a better superpower and why. She commented, “I just loved listening to students open up and engage with each other on day 1 on a question that has no right or wrong answer. Some of our discussions were intense!”

A popular choice of their most memorable event from this year among new teachers was Olympic Week. Dr. Kipp stated, “I have always been a very competitive person, and I LOVE sports, so Olympic Week was definitely right up my alley.” While disappointed she couldn’t participate in any of the sporting events, Dr. Kipp found a newfound passion in Wiki Race. Ms. Vickrey said, “I heard so much about the week when I first started, and now I see why students and teachers love the week so much.  The timing of the week is perfect, and it’s so fun to see the school come together.”

Another favorite memory from this year among new staff members were retreats. Dr. Rosellini reflected on his time on Young Men’s saying it was a “really fun and powerful experience being with the sophomore’s, watching the older students lead, and being a part of that retreat.” Similarly, Senor Martin welcomed his role on Kairos 49 and appreciated being able to have an open heart. He stated the retreat was “a strong indication of the kinds of people we have at Prep and the facets of the problem’s student face.”

This year has been an adjustment for the new staff members as they learn more and more about the Prep students and community. Ms. Vickrey said the block schedule has taken some time to get used to. Dr. Rosellini observed the different “waves” of stress or excitement that come throughout the year. Senor Martin commented on learning to evolve his teaching style because of how much dedication Prep students have. Dr. Kipp came from a very different background than teaching, she was “an Aerospace Engineer for the past about 10 years (at The Aerospace Corporation and at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory),” but said that she is surprised to be “challenged, inspired, and motivated on a daily basis” at Prep. Finally, Ms. Young learned that riding her bike up Jesuit Hill, “will NEVER get any easier.”

These new staff members agree that the transition into the Prep community has been met with a warm and helpful welcome. The students have greatly impacted their transition especially, Dr. Kipp has learned that Prep students “are an amazing group of young adults, and I know that they will all be successful in whatever they decide to do after leaving Prep.” The Jesuit Mission, availability if help is needed and school spirit have also made the transition smooth and easy. Ms. Vickrey sums up her view of the Prep community, when she stated, “There is really something special about the faculty, staff, administration, and students here. Everyone here is very helpful, and they want you to be successful.”

Dr. Rosellini provided a special insight in comparing the differences he notices from when he attended Prep from 2001-2005. He commented that assemblies and games seem to have more spirit and that the Prep community feels more “close-nit.” He enjoys seeing the majority of students involved in school sports and activities. He also reflected, that “it is really cool that many of the faculty are still here after so many years, while at the same time there are so many new faces that I have gotten to know more.”

            These staff members view their first year in a variety of ways. Some of the words used were “awesome,” “great,” “refreshing,” “amazing,” and “exceeding expectations.” The Seattle Prep community looks forward to seeing these staff members next year as they continue to make their mark on students and other members of the staff.