In one respect, it’s a misnomer to label Jessica Ensley a “new” teacher for Marion-Florence schools, as she’s been substitute teaching in district classrooms for the past six years.
What’s new for Ensley is a full-time position as a first-grade teacher at Marion Elementary School.
Ensley enters the fall term fresh off of a summer trip to Ghana with her husband, Chris.
“We have been part of an organization called Feeding the Orphans for several years,” she said. “We were able to go hang out with those children and spend 10 days experiencing the culture of Ghana. We love to travel and serve others.”
Ensley studied elementary and special education at Kansas State University, and was a kindergarten teacher for three years in Geary County and Shawnee Mission school districts.
An essential element of Ensley’s teaching style is to reinforce the worth of each student.
“The teacher that left the greatest impact on me was the one that made sure every student in the classroom knew they were valued on a daily basis,” she said. “I carry that same concept into my classroom.”
The Ensleys have lived in Marion for the past eight years and have two daughters, Shaliah, age 11, and Anani, age 4.
High school science teacher Brea Campbell is on the other end of the experience spectrum; it’s the first teaching job for the Fort Hays State University graduate.
Campbell majored in biology secondary education and did student teaching at Salina South High School in that subject. At Marion High, her teaching load will be more diverse, including physical science and introductory chemistry.
As befits her expertise and subject matter, Campbell will encourage students to explore and question science topics.
“My goal is to have my students learn about the world of inquiry,” she said. “That is my greatest teaching style.”
Campbell also will be volleyball head coach and assistant softball coach.
She said she grew up in a family of six that includes three older sisters.
Tomas Lambotte will teach vocal music to grades 3 through 12. He falls in the middle as far as experience, having taught at Burlingame for one year and Manhattan-Ogden for two. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Kansas State.
Before the school year began, Lambotte was already working hard for the district alongside other volunteers building the new Warrior Stadium press box.
He’ll be working out there again in the spring as throwing coach for high school and middle school track. Lambotte also will be assistant high school girls’ basketball coach.
Lessons learned from his upbringing will find their way into Lambotte’s teaching.
“Coming from a farming background, I’m looking for hard work and a never-give-up attitude,” he said.
Lambotte’s wife, Kriste, is a paraprofessional at MHS, and works at Miles by Design as a massage therapist.
Two teachers new to Marion County Special Education Cooperative will be spending time in USD 408 classrooms this year.
Marilyn Bartel of Hillsboro will split her days as special education teacher between Marion and Hillsboro middle schools.
She’s no stranger to the district, either, with seven of her 16 years in education having been spent teaching interrelated special education at Marion Elementary and Goessel.
Bartel has a master’s in special education from the University of Kansas, and did her undergraduate studies at KSU.
Her husband, Wilmer, works at Tabor College and farms. Her eldest son, Peter, works in Marion at Prairieland Partners, and son John works for YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. Her daughter, Amy, is majoring in nursing at Oklahoma Baptist University.
Andrea Fish is the new Extended Learning Program teacher working with gifted students in the county.
This is her first year teaching, after having completed an elementary education degree at FHSU. She also is working on a master’s degree in gifted education.
Fish and her husband, Nathan, reside in Hillsboro.