After two Centre teachers resigned earlier this year, two others have been hired to fill their positions.
A second-semester job fit the bill for Josie Patterson, who graduated from Tabor College with a degree in elementary education in December. She is teaching fourth grade and has eight students.
Patterson said she likes the small class size.
“You can make it personal and do so much more,” she said. “I love that Centre focuses on the whole child, including his or her social and emotional health. I can provide individualized instruction.”
Patterson was heavily involved in Tabor life. She played on the Tabor soccer team and was stage manager for theater productions. Stepping away from that was an adjustment, but now her whole focus is on teaching.
“I love it at Centre,” she said. “It’s like a little community, like a family. I have great support. If I have questions, I can ask for guidance from anyone.”
Patterson grew up at Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and came to Tabor as a soccer recruit. She lives in Hillsboro.
Les Allison has a lifetime of experience in various occupations including teaching vocational education with Earl Wineinger at Marion High School, being plant superintendent at Reynolds Aluminum and Iowa Beef Processors, and spending 23 years in the U.S. Postal Service.
At age 74, he is embarking on a whole new experience as a business teacher.
After Allison retired from the postal service, he began substitute teaching. He was working as a full-time paraprofessional for Marion County Special Education Co-op at Centre last fall when he was asked to finish out the first semester as a substitute business teacher for Ashley Courier, who resigned in October. He has been retained as a long-term substitute through the remainder of the school year.
Allison grew up at Florence and graduated in 1963 from Florence High School. He received bachelor of science and master’s degrees in adult and occupational education from Kansas State University in 1968 and 1972.
He is spending all of his time these days on figuring out how to teach business. He also sponsors Centre’s Future Business Leaders of America organization and oversees Centre Perk, a business class enterprise. He will be taking FBLA students to district competition at the end of the month.
“It’s keeping me busy,” he said. “I’m just getting used to the time and effort it takes. There’s definitely a learning curve. Centre has a good staff who help me.”
Allison is active in the Florence community, including Florence United Methodist Church and Florence Masonic Lodge. Allison’s wife, Linda, is a para educator at Marion Elementary School.
They had a heart-breaking experience when their son, Jason, contracted ALS and died in May 2016. Their other three children are Lane of Kansas City, Raquel, a teacher at Peabody schools, and VanDee of California, Missouri. Allison didn’t have exact numbers but said they have more than a dozen grandchildren and some great-grandchildren.