Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2007

Two new teachers join LEAP staff

August 30, 2007

Two new teachers have joined the staff of the Lansing Educational Achievement Program, each bringing with them a fresh perspective.

The former teachers at the program left to take other positions, leaving the spots open for Mary Noll and Chiquita Hudson to step in.

LEAP Coordinator Lisa Lowman said she was excited to have the new teachers on board. She said both women have very different backgrounds, which should add a lot to the atmosphere of the classes.

Lowman said that because both teachers were from the Leavenworth area, they should also bring with them a sense of community that would encourage many of the students.

LEAP is a local program that allows area residents to receive their high school diploma in a nontraditional way. The program is computer based and allows students to work at their own pace and request help on an individual basis.

For Noll, the job was the perfect opportunity to strengthen her skills of working with alternative students.

Noll's first teaching job was in Leavenworth, where she stayed for 15 years. She took a couple years off before taking a job at an alternative high school in Kansas City, Kan. It was there that she discovered her love of working with at-risk students.

"Every student is at-risk and most children are being left behind," she said. "This is a chance to catch those students who want a degree, are self-motivated and work hard. It's just a wonderful opportunity working with kids."

One of her personal goals she'd like to accomplish while at LEAP is to give relevance to the topics her students are learning. She said she wanted to make sure they understood that the information they learned would serve them later in life.

Chiquita Hudson is the new teaching assistant for the program. She said since beginning the job in July, work has been great but "quite challenging."

Hudson recently retired from the military after 20 years of service. She acted as the equal opportunity adviser for her post, where she conducted programs on sexual harassment, discrimination and effectively working together.

She said military teaching and civilian teaching were so different that every day at LEAP she has learned something new. But she said she hoped that all the different experiences she's had in her life will allow her to connect with the students and offer something new to the program.

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