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New Staff At West Elementary

By Staff | Apr 23, 2013

Two new West Elementary staff members were approved by the school board Wednesday evening. Recommendations were given by West Elementary principal, Joe Carter, for the open kindergarten and 4th grade teaching positions.

Carter described the process taken in hiring the new staff. The positions were advertised locally and on iareap.net, a state-wide education employment service.

A total of 58 applications were received for the kindergarten position and 73 applications were received for the 4th grade position.

“We looked for candidates who could do many things, like coaching, with strong references from teachers and principals,” said Carter. “We also took into consideration applicants who received a positive personal reference, possibly from a staff member at Emmetsburg or a colleague from another district.”

The applicants were narrowed down to an initial list of 4-6 candidates and eventually 3 per position. “Four of the six candidates were experienced teachers and all but two were willing to teach kindergarten or 4th grade,” said Carter. “We interviewed a total of 6 candidates. Of those, one was male and five were female, four were experienced and two were beginning teachers.”

Carter and the Building Leadership Team led all interviews, which included a 15-minute lesson of their choice to one of the current sections as well as a question and answer session.

“Through the process we were able to identify two very strong candidates that emerged and that I am very happy to recommend for the board approval,” said Carter.

The two individuals presented to the board were Tim Swanson and Jessica Cedar.

Swanson was recommended for the 4th grade position. He comes from the Ruthven-Ayrshire school district with 17 years of teaching experience. Swanson has been teaching a self-inclusive 6th grade classroom. The Spencer native currently lives in Emmetsburg with his wife and four children and has experience coaching a variety of sports.

Cedar was recommended for the kindergarten position. She currently works as a para educator at the Emmetsburg Middle School and High School. The University of Northern Iowa graduate student taught in Storm Lake and Spirit Lake and has her coaching authorization. “She was highly recommended by others she has worked with, including her student teaching supervisor,” said Carter. “Cedar and her fianc are excited about making Emmetsburg their home.”

Both individuals were approved by the board.