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Chamber recognizes new teachers ahead of 2017-18 school year

By Staff | Aug 18, 2017

CHARLES TOWN – The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce hosted the 55th annual Recognition Luncheon honoring new teachers in Jefferson County last Thursday. The event was held in Charles Washington Hall in downtown Charles Town, a building that has recently been renovated by the City of Charles Town. The revision includes a new theater, restaurant and future farmer’s markets.

The new teachers of Jefferson were seated in the upstairs theater where they were welcomed by Chamber President Amy Panzarella.

“The Chamber is proud of the relationships we have with our school system,” Panzarella said. “We support you and we are here today because of you.”

Following a luncheon, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson said a few words to her new staffers.

“This week will be full of advice,” she quipped. “This will happen for the rest of your life.”

Each new teacher was introduced along with the name of their school. Blue Ridge Elementary will have three new teachers while Blue Ridge Primary has two. C.W. Shipley welcomes one new teacher. Five new staffers are now at Driswood Elementary with one at Page Jackson and Ranson Elementary welcomes three new teachers while Shepherdstown Elementary has three new staffers. South Jefferson will see four new members, while T.A. Lowery welcomes three. Wright Denny Intermediate sees three new staff members.

On the middle school level, Charles Town Middle will welcome four new staff members; Harpers Ferry Middle welcomes five and Wildwood Middle, one.

Jefferson High and Washington high schools see the most new teachers coming to their facilities, with six at Jefferson and 12 at Washington.

In addition, there are six new additions to the Board of Education staff.

One new teacher who drew a bit of attention was incoming fifth grade teacher Paige Palmer. While Palmer ranks no higher or lower than any other new educator it the system, it was pointed out that she comes from a long line of devoted family who also serve the system.

Paige, an attendee at C.W. Shipley, Harpers Ferry Middle, Jefferson High and Shepherd University, was born, raised and educated here. She now joins her grandmother, Jean Reed, who has served as secretary at C.W. Shipley for 44 years; her aunt, Connie Reed-Davis, who teaches at C.W. Shipley; her aunt, Nikki Reed, and her mother, Lisa Palmer who all have served as educators in the county. Joining the staff at Shipley shows, according to Panzarella, “Home is where the heart is.”

Also speaking to the group was 2017 Jefferson County Teacher of the Year, Kaitlin Thorsell. A teacher a Washington High School, Thorsell is also a member of the Jefferson County Fair Board and a members of Citizens Fire Company.

She offered three points of advice to the new staffers: Always make sure you are having fun. She encouraged them to laugh at mistakes and especially at themselves. Secondly she said, Begin each day with a clean slate.

“Never forget those at home and in the community who support you,” she said.

She stressed the importance of making time for friends and family, because once that time is gone, one can’t get it back.

The Chamber recognized Thorsell with a plaque and a seat in the upcoming session of Leadership Jefferson.