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New educators quickly building bonds at Goessel

Staff writer

Goessel has not had many faculty changes over the last 20 years, so to have three new teachers and a new superintendent is a major shift for the district.

Aryana Archuleta is Goessel’s new third-grade teacher, and she thinks finding success lies in balancing established practices with fresh ones.

“I think the other new teachers and I can bring in some change,” she said. “We can keep what they have while bringing in new ideas and new energy.”

Andrea Fish previously taught at Herington, which had similar class sizes and age groups.

“I taught fourth grade there, so coming into fourth grade here, I felt confident,” she said.

Amanda Lowrance’s rise from first-year Wichita teacher in 2007 to Goessel’s new superintendent and elementary principal has been fueled by her curiosity and habit of asking questions.

“I never intended to be an administrator,” she said. “It was always because I wanted to understand why they were doing what they were doing. Then at some point someone would say, ‘What do you think about this?’ ”

Lowrance received her master’s degree in school administration in 2010, and by 2018 was licensed to work as a superintendent.

Her family has five children, ranging in age from a high school sophomore to a 21-month-old.

Her experience as a teacher, mother, and administrator gives Lowrance an advantage because she understands how changes will affect the way a classrooms operates, from temperature checks to security measures.

“I think of myself as a teacher, always feeling a little overwhelmed, that it’s just one more thing to do,” she said. “If I’m going to give my teacher something new or ask them to look at a new strategy, I also need to give them time to prepare.”

Fish knows how important maintaining communication is, especially as a mother with two-year-old and three-year-old daughters.

“I think I do a great job of communicating with parents and I’m very positive,” she said. “I push the positivity a lot.

Fish grew up nearby, between Goessel and Hillsboro. Despite now living in Lehigh, Fish’s older daughter will attend Hillsboro Elementary this year because she already is enrolled there.

Archuleta, a California native who graduated from McPherson College in the spring, was won over by Goessel Elementary school and the community.

“I really liked their mission statement and I really liked the small town,” she said. “I think it’s a good place to start my career. They seem like a supportive community.”

Fifth-grade teacher Emily Gibson isn’t new to teaching or Goessel. She previously taught at Little River and served as the head of Goessel’s parent-teacher organization.

Gibson is looking forward to the new experience of working in the same building as her three daughters.

“Oh heavens, yes,” she said. “It’s nice to all be on the same schedule.”

Gibson sees her wealth of experience, which includes teaching special education, as her biggest asset.

“I’m bringing in a lot of background when it comes to the diverse needs of learners and differentiated instruction,” she said. “I think I’m able to create a classroom environment that’s conducive to learning for all students.”

Last modified Aug. 27, 2020

 

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