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Centre schools welcome three teachers

Staff writer

Centre schools have three new teachers this year but just two new faces.

Tim Vinduska

Tim Vinduska has been involved in Centre schools since before he graduated from Centre High School in 2014.

As a senior, he was a student assistant coach in football, and he continued coaching while attending Tabor College. He also assisted the junior high football coach and did some substitute teaching.

Vinduska also was the announcer at basketball games.

After student teaching last semester at Hillsboro and Centre, he graduated from Tabor this past spring with majors in history and secondary education and a minor in coaching.

He will continue coaching along with teaching world history, American history, and American government. He and Kelly Steiner will share the activities director position.

“I’ve got a lot of learning to do this year,” he said.

Vinduska said he always wanted to stay in the area, and things fell into place to allow him to do that.

“It was a dream,” he said. “I had a great experience at Centre and I wanted to return the favor. I love teaching history in different ways and plan to take my students to historic places.”

Sitting at the teacher’s desk Monday in the history room, Vinduska marveled at being in charge of the same classroom he attended in high school.

“It was Mr. Wyatt’s room, and now it’s mine,” he said. “It’s an honor. I love the teachers. Working here is a wonderful opportunity. I want to do my best to help students reach their goals.”

Vinduska lives with his parents, John and Gerri Vinduska, and assists them on their farm west of Lincolnville.

“I like being around them and hearing their stories,” he said.

He enjoys traveling whenever he can.

Bertina Barrett

Bertina Barrett of Herington is Centre’s new kindergarten teacher. She expects to have about 15 students.

Barrett has a bachelor’s degree in education and is certified in early childhood and English as a second language. She has taught for 14 years.

She comes from Abilene, where she spent nine years as a kindergarten teacher and one year as a first grade teacher.

She grew up in Herington and enjoys being closer to home and living in a familiar area.

Barrett said she dreamed of being a teacher since first grade.

“I had a bad experience in first grade, and I decided I was going to become a teacher and do things differently,” she said. “My teacher acted like she didn’t want to be there.”

Barrett works part-time at The Spot in Herington. She likes reading, watching movies, and spending time with family.

“I think Centre is great,” she said. “Everyone is friendly and eager to help.”

Mary Miller

Mary Miller comes to Centre from Peabody-Burns High School, where she taught business and social studies for three years.

She said she came to Centre to pursue new opportunities.

“I had heard wonderful things about Centre,” she said. “I have been really impressed with the staff. They are professional and welcoming, and they work as a team. I’m enjoying that.”

She has a degree in elementary education from Newman University in Wichita and a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in accounting from Friends University.

She is in her 21st year ot teaching, having taught in Wichita and Winfield before Peabody-Burns. She will teach eighth-grade business essentials and five high school business courses, including personal finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing, and applied business development.

She hopes to revitalize the Centre Perk and possibly help students develop another business.

She also will sponsor Future Business Leaders of America and run concession stands for ball games.

Miller grew up in Rose Hill and lives in Andover, an hour and 10 minutes from Centre. She said she uses her driving time to listen to audio books and do some last-minute planning.

She enjoys quilting, a skill she learned from her mother and grandmother.

Last modified Aug. 14, 2019

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