There will be a pair of familiar faces in new positions at Marion Elementary School and Marion Middle School this year.
After one year teaching fifth grade at MES, Jona Neufeld will be teaching English at MMS.
“I’ve never been in the junior high before, so I’m looking forward to the new age level and challenges it brings,” Neufeld said. “I’m really looking forward to the literature unit.”
But she will miss the diversity of teaching elementary school, working with students on reading one hour, math another, and history another.
Neufeld said her changing teaching positions was a mutual decision with USD 408. The district needed a middle school English teacher, and she volunteered.
Before teaching at Marion, she taught fifth and sixth grades for 12 years in Goodland. She has also taught first, second, and fourth grades in her career.
Neufeld and her husband, Darin, live in Marion
Former Title I teacher Shannon Cooper is excited to have a classroom of her own again as a fifth-grade teacher.
This will be her fourth position in 11 years of teaching, all at MES. It is her first time as a fifth-grade teacher.
“I am the kind of teacher who enjoys switching positions every few years,” Cooper said. “I enjoy change, and I think it keeps me fresh as a teacher.”
She said reading is her passion, and she has many ideas for how to share that with her class.
Before her two years as a Title I teacher, Cooper taught second grade. Her final second-grade class will now be in fifth grade, so she will be familiar with many of her students from the start.
Cooper said she will miss working with younger students and having daily contact with students of all ages.
“With my previous job, I knew every student’s name and grade and got to know their strengths and weaknesses,” she said.
Cooper has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, both from Emporia State University.
Cooper and her husband, Josh, live in Marion with their two daughters, 4-year-old Addison and 1-year-old Reagan.