Wakonda welcomes new teachers to staff

Wakonda welcomes new teachers to staff by Ally Eckert With the start of the new school year comes new faces. This year Wakonda School is welcoming several new teachers.

Joni Lowe joined the high school staff this year. Lowe, originally from Freeman, is the new family and consumer sciences, or FACS, teacher for both Wakonda and Irene. She graduated from SDSU and lives with her husband, Brian.

Lowe taught FACS, K-12 art, 7-9 computers, and digital yearbook at Bridgewater last year.

"The main difference is I am teaching at two schools and only one content area," Lowe said.

But saving almost an hour of driving time is a huge perk. The hardest thing about starting a new school is learning the students' names and balancing the work between the two schools.

"So far everyone has been very helpful and friendly as I learn the routine in a new school," she said.

The fifth grade is also breaking in a new teacher, Dan Slowey. This Irene native graduated from Mount Marty College.

The best thing about teaching in a new school is that it is a new start. The scariest thing for Slowey is not knowing anyone.

"People have welcomed me and are very nice," Slowey said.

Diane Rederick joined the staff as a special education aide. A Yankton native and Mount Marty graduate, she thinks that Wakonda is a great town and school.

Rederick has two children, Chris, 19, and Brittany, 15, who studied in Wakonda. Graduating from Yankton High School is very different than graduating from Wakonda School.

"I'm glad my children were able to go to school in Wakonda. I believe they receive a better education and one-on-one help; there's 15 in a class compared to 205 in a class," Rederick said.

Rederick thinks that meeting new people is both the best and scariest thing about starting to teach in a new school.

Wakonda welcomed all the new staff at the beginning of the school year and the school and community are continuously trying to make the transition for them easier.

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