Two new junior high teachers have joined Rock Creek’s staff this school year. Junior high social studies teacher Shauna Churchman was added onto the staff in a new position, while junior high science teacher Steven LaRocque was hired to teach after the previous junior high science teacher Michael Rottinghaus got the job as Rock Creek’s new assistant principal/activities director.
Churchman and LaRocque are new to the Rock Creek building, but are familiar with Rock Creek, as Churchman has two sons who have attended Rock Creek since last year, and LaRocque previously taught at Westmoreland Elementary School and also has students in the district.
“I taught at Westmoreland for 20 years in the grade school, and, when the science position came open, I decided to pursue that,” LaRocque said.
Churchman got her position at Rock Creek after relocating from her previous school.
“I used to work at Randolph Blue Valley, which is north of Manhattan,” Churchman said, “and, when I knew I wanted to relocate into the Manhattan area, I had heard Rock Creek was a great school.”
Three new student teachers have also been assigned to Rock Creek for first semester. High school social studies student teacher Brett Hamilton, business student teacher Reagan Hermreck and junior high social studies student teacher Matthew Taylor were all sent to Rock Creek by Kansas State University, where they are finishing up their college educations.
“Dr. [Brad] Burenheide from Kansas State University is my professor,” Hamilton said. “He told me Rock Creek was a great school to go to, so he convinced me and kind of sent me here, and I’m glad he did.”
Each one of the student teachers enjoys teaching for different reasons. The unpredictable aspect of teaching is what Taylor enjoys most when it comes to teaching at Rock Creek.
“My favorite thing about teaching is that every day is a new and unexpected day,” Taylor said. “There’s always something that could come up that you couldn’t even believe would happen, but it could put a smile on your face.”
Teachers like Hermreck enjoy teaching students, but also like learning about the students themselves.
“I enjoy meeting the new students and getting to know them on a personal basis,” Hermreck said.
Article and photo by Mac Hayes, Newspaper Video Editor