The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Stepping up

SHS introduces two new EL teachers

As the number of English learning (EL) students at SHS has risen in recent years, Amy Peddie, chair of the EL department, knew she needed more help.

“Last year was one of our biggest growth (of EL students) years in the past five years …,” Peddie said. “It could be a bigger year this year.”

Two years ago, SHS brought in a facilitator instead of hiring new EL teachers. While this was helpful, adding only a facilitator wasn’t enough to handle the influx of EL students as there were still only four EL teachers.

Principal Amy Boone is expecting around 600 new EL students over the course of the year.The district prefers a ratio of 100 students per teacher, so Boone realized they needed more than just four teachers in the department. This is when the new EL teachers, Anna Long and Kelly Harmon, stepped in to help.

“That was kind of the push for looking to increase the number of teachers that we had from last year,” Boone said.

Both have helped decrease class sizes so that each student gets more attention rather than crowded space. They’ve also helped students with their placement tests and strived towards opening more class opportunities specifically available for EL students.  

Long is a first-year teacher at SHS. She trained in both Social Studies and EL and has a very positive view on multilingual students and their abilities to speak multiple languages.

“I really loved the idea of viewing or having students view their multilingual abilities as an advantage, not a disadvantage,” Long said.

Harmon was previously an EL teacher for nine years at Perry Meridian High School But transferred to SHS due to the large population of EL students. She hasn’t faced many challenges as Perry and Southport are similar.

“It’s been really wonderful to have new people in the department and to be able to provide all the services.” Peddie said. “I feel like it’s been a really smooth start to the year for the most part.”

(left)New EL teacher Anna Long points at the class objectives for the day on Aug. 24 in her classroom.
(middle)Long helps a student with highlighting certain vocabulary words.
(right)Long helps an EL student with vocabulary words. photos by Salem Ortega-Morales
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Elisabeth Pointer
Elisabeth Pointer, Culture Reporter
Hi! I’m Elisabeth Pointer. I’m a junior, and this is my second year writing for culture. I never took a journalism class, but after learning about journalistic writing and how to do it, I have really started to love it. I’m a competitive gymnast and have been doing gymnastics for over 10 years. I also coach little kids at my gym to help them with their gymnastics career. I really like animated shows such as “Steven Universe” and “Gravity Falls.” My favorite color is purple, and my favorite animal is a seal. A close second place would be cats. I have a cat named Sassy and a dog named Blair. I have a little brother named Gabe who is in eighth grade. I’m very passionate about school, and my GPA and grades are some of my biggest achievements. I eventually want to major in plant biology and/or molecular genetics. My dream is to become a genetic engineer and to work on creating new medicines in the future.

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