Yorktown Sentry

The Three Newest Editions to the Patriot Family

Emogen Kelly

Emogen Kelly

Louisa Currie and Nina Rutzen, Sentry Staff Reporters

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Our school has experienced many new changes this year. Along with all these changes, there are many new faces. With an ever-growing staff, Yorktown is so happy to introduce so many new members to the team. Meet three of the new staff members who share bits of their experience at school so far. Make sure to give a warm welcome to all the twenty plus new Patriots in the staff. We will be highlighting three new teachers with each upcoming article.

First impressions are huge when joining a new community. One of the new American Sign Language (ASL) teachers, Suany Hurlston, had great things to say about what she first noticed about the school.

“I love the colors on the walls of Yorktown, everything is really clear, really bright and well decorated with posters. It shows a lot of student work. I really like that about this place. You also see emotional support groups and I think that’s really important,” Hurlston said.

Our school takes pride in welcoming everyone and fostering a safe environment, so for teachers to feel at home right off the bat is not surprising. The students also make up a huge part of our community. Most students, showing Respect for Others, Community and Self (ROCS), are helping teachers who are new to the school feel safe and happy. Hurlston felt very welcomed, even in a new place.

“Yorktown has treated me really, really well so far. The students have been wonderful, the staff and teacher relationship has been really great. I can always ask for help if I need to. I’ve been treated really great and it’s such a wonderful environment,” Hurlston said.

Another new teacher at Yorktown this year is tenth and eleventh grade English teacher Troy Olsen. His passion and main focus is English. He loves sharing his interest in the subject and information with his students. He is an experienced teacher and has taught all around the world.

“I’ve taught in Culpepper, Virginia, Logan, Utah, I’ve worked in Dayton, Idaho and I’ve also worked in Norway,” Olsen said.

However, he loves teaching at this school and notices the positive environment that can be seen by looking at the smiles on students’ faces. One of his favorite aspects of Yorktown is all of the opportunities available to students: access to Canvas and the one-to-one technology that Arlington Public Schools provides.

“Yorktown has a lot of opportunities for students, and I think it’s really important to provide students with those opportunities and foster that kind of community,” Olsen said.

He also recognizes the uniqueness of this place and its location. It is just a short drive away from Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. Olsen feels that this adds an extra layer of experiences and activities to the school’s community.

“I think being so close to D.C., you are provided with a different culture and that’s been really fun to work with … being at the political hub of everything,” Olsen said.

Even with all of the happiness and excitement of working at a new school, there are some things that just are not the same. With Olsen’s bright and welcoming personality, he was able to form close relationships with both students and teachers at schools he has worked at in the past.

“I’ve formed a lot of really good relationships with past teachers and students too, of course, I’m going to miss some of the past teachers I’ve worked with,” Olsen said.

However, Olsen cannot wait to form new relationships with students and teachers here, and be able to share his love for the English language. He cannot wait to spend his time at Yorktown sharing his passion with others and helping to educate his students.

Government teacher Ryan Zito is a new addition to the social studies department this year. His positive and patient attitude allows for his students to have fun in his class while still being able to expand their knowledge of government.

“So far it’s been great … all students, teachers and staff have been very good and very welcoming,” Zito said.

An unknown fact about Zito is that he attended Yorktown not too long ago. During his time here, he loved the area and decided that it would be his goal to work around here someday.

“I went to Yorktown … and I wanted to teach in Northern Virginia … it’s been a long term goal,” Zito said.

One of his favorite parts of school is the students, of course. He recognizes and respects the students’ abilities to be hard workers in the classroom. He made a note to say that when he jokes around it tends to lighten up the students’ moods and mindsets.

“I like the students … you can joke around and have a light mood at times, but when it comes time to work, students are able to quit the goofing and get to work,” Zito said.

It can be hard to be a teacher sometimes, however, Zito appreciates the school atmosphere and everyone’s ability to be kind towards him as a new teacher here.

“Everyone has been super supportive and very kind … that goes a long way,” Zito said.

Our school is ever changing and constantly welcoming new people. Students should be sure to keep up the ROCS attitude and show just how welcoming our school’s family is. Hurlston, Olsen, and Zito are three of the fabulous new staff members we are so lucky to have. There are over twenty-six new members who should be treated with the same respectful attitudes. You can be sure to see more teachers being recognized in upcoming Sentry issues, so stay tuned!

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The Three Newest Editions to the Patriot Family