Fresh Faces: Cedar Falls High School welcomes six new teachers

As the high school opened its doors for the new year, the sophomores and transfer students weren’t the only people new to Cedar Falls High School;  six new teachers have joined the faculty as well.  Several of them divide their time between the junior highs and the high school, and they are all excited in their new positions.

Chad Anderson, Industrial Tech

Chad Anderson, Industrial Tech

Originally from Independence, Anderson spent eight years in the Marine Corps, holding positions such as helicopter crew chief, mechanic and instructor. Anderson also attended UNI and has had various jobs in the automotive, aircraft and agriculture fields, working as a technician, mechanic and supervisor. Anderson wanted to teach because he believes teaching is more fulfilling. For those interested in his field, one that is very hands-on, Anderson said, “Be open-minded and willing to work.”

 Kara Hulse, Special Needs

Kara Hulse, Special Needs

After graduating from UNI, Hulse, originally from Cedar Falls, spent six years teaching elementary education and special needs in Thermopolis, Wyo.  She then returned to Iowa and taught regular education in Waterloo for one year before coming to Cedar Falls to teach skills classes for the special needs department.  Hulse said she loves teaching because of the students she has had in the past, and that it allows her to be different and unique.  She said she enjoys teaching in a nontraditional, creative way, and “goes outside the bubble” to find her niche. Hulse strongly recommends cadet teaching for students interested in education.  “Go out into classrooms, work with the teachers,” she said.

Tammy Knox, FCS

Tammy Knox, FCS

Knox has lived in Cedar Falls for 17 years and has worked for the Cedar Falls School District for nine years.  Previously a Family and Consumer Science (FCS) teacher, Knox worked at Holmes Junior High as the bookkeeper before she decided to go back into teaching.  Now, she teaches 8th and 9th grade FCS classes at Holmes, and Child Development I and Foods I at the high school.  Knox said she enjoyed her FCS classes in school, and especially liked sewing and crafts.  Knox said FCS classes are important because it’s an area that has a lot of career paths, especially fashion design, interior design and culinary arts.

 Briana Goodenbour, Mathematics

Briana Goodenbour, Mathematics

Goodenbour comes from Eldora, Iowa, and graduated from UNI with a math teaching major and taught at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, Iowa.  At Cedar Falls High School, Goodenbour teaches Math for Daily Living, geometry and honors precalculus.  For students interested in math education, Goodenbour said, “Take as many math classes as you can.”

Melissa Berger, Special Needs

Melissa Berger, Special Needs

Originally from Plainfield, Iowa, Berger attended UNI and majored in teaching, with a masters in education psychology. She then earned her special education endorsement from Upper Iowa University.  Berger taught for nine years at Bremwood, a school for behavior disorders in Waverly. Now at the high school, Berger teaches the Fundamentals of US History II, American government and economics, as well as three skills classes. When asked how she became a teacher, “I just kind of fell into it actually,” Berger said. Berger said doing well, not only in school but other areas, and being well-rounded, helps you understand both students and teachers in special education.”

Josh Wilkinson, Mathematics

Josh Wilkinson, Mathematics

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Wilkinson attended Abilene Christian University in west Texas, then came to UNI for grad school. He then taught at Marshalltown High School for two years, Price Lab School for four years, then Denver High School for one year before coming back to Cedar Falls.  Now Wilkinson teaches Algebra I at Peet and Algebra Fundamentals II and precalculus at the high school.  Wilkinson went into teaching because “a lot of my family are teachers,” he said.  “My grandpa was a math teacher at UNI for 50 years.  Another reason he became a teacher: “You get to go off to college and come back to high school.  It keeps you young, working with kids.”

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