BACK TO SCHOOL BRINGS
A NEW YEAR....AND NEW FACES
Back to school means new faces for the new school year.
Staff attrition takes place in many ways: retirement, transfer, promotions, personal life changes.
This year is no exception. There are many new faces, bringing many years of experience and dedication. SMS students are fortunate to have these teachers.
Following are the new staff additions:
Grade 8 Math
Mr. Dunbar is very happy to be joining the “A – team” here at SMS after 8 years at SHS and a total of 25 years in education. When not found in room 107, he is often building houses, working at his farm, hunting or fishing, or driving kids around to their sporting events.
Grade 8 Language Arts
Mrs. McCauley moved to the New Hampshire Seacoast in 2011 from Massachusetts. She is in love with our beautiful state. Before joining the Somersworth Middle School community, she taught English at Somersworth High School for two years, and MS Language Arts (in Saugus, MA) for eight years. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Mrs. McCauley climbed telephone poles and worked in manholes for a major telecommunications company. She later became a construction manager and an engineer. She now believes that teaching is her true calling. An adventurous spirit, Mrs. McCauley recently tried surfing, traveled to London to see the home of some of her favorite authors, and dreams of being published someday herself. A graduate of the Salem State College Graduate School, she lives by the credo, “Never try, never win.”
Grade 7 Social Studies
Ms. Waterman has been at SMS for three years, two of those years as a paraprofessional. She has coached boys’ basketball at SMS and SHS, and is now returning to SMS to coach girls’ basketball. In addition to teaching social studies this year, Ms. Waterman has taken on the role of Athletic Director for SMS. In her spare time, she enjoys golfing and plays in several adult sports leagues.
Grade 6 Math and Science
Mr. Dinger earned his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire in philosophy and master’s degree from Columbia Teachers College in Philosophy & Education. His first teaching job was at Seacoast Charter School, an arts-integrated middle school with a focus on project-based learning. Since then, he has taught at the Birches Academy in Salem, NH and Memorial Middle School in South Portland, ME. Mr. Dinger wants to help students become independent, critical-thinkers who love learning and see learning as a lifelong, natural and meaning-seeking process. Outside of school Mr. Dinger loves playing music, going for hikes, surfing, playing ultimate and chess.
Grade 6 Math and Science
Prior to coming to SMS Mr. Gerding was a high school biology and health teacher at Raymond High School and Spaulding High School in Rochester, and prior to teaching he worked as a laboratory technician at a pharmaceuticals company. As the new sixth grade science and math teacher he’s excited to share his experiences from industry and hopefully engage students in fun, hands-on, student-centered projects. Mr. Gerding is hoping to partner with other teachers at the middle school on incorporating more farm-to-school initiatives, as he is now a part of the city's farm-to-school committee. Beyond school, Mr. Gerding enjoys hiking, adventuring in the woods, and painting. He’s also a member of SYC and hopes to encourage students to take part in the awesome enrichments after school!
Family Consumer Science (FCS)
This is Mrs. Mitropoulos’s fifth year at SMS but her first year teaching. She’s looking forward to getting to know students from every grade level. She hopes to make FCS fun and interesting for all of the students. In her spare time, Mrs. Mitropoulos can usually be found at soccer with her kids (both play on travel teams), hanging out with her family or reading a book if she can find a quiet minute.
This is Mr. Haight’s seventh year at SMS, but he has moved to a new position. For the past six years Mr. Haight has been a Special Education Teacher, but has made the shift to teaching Computers and is very excited about this new position. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids playing in the back yard or working in the garden. He is looking forward to the new year and teaching students about the power of technology.
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Prior to coming to SMS, Ms. Stein was a Special Education Case Manager at a school for students with autism and multiple disabilities. She’s looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for reading with SMS students this year. Ms. Stein enjoys traveling, spending time with family, reading, and walking her dog in her spare time.