Monday, August 17, 2015

New Teachers at Exeter-Milligan School District

Above: Denise Kovanda enters familiar doors this time as a counselor instead of a student.
Below:  Valerie Barnhart will teach High School English at Exeter-Milligan this year.

Exeter-Milligan welcomes one new teacher and a new counselor to the district this year.
Valerie Barnhart will be teaching high school English along with speech this year.  She lives in Lincoln with her husband.  She comes to us from a variety of schools and also substituted in Waverly, Lincoln and Raymond Central.
Barnhart is looking forward to “engaging with the kids and parents.  I really wanted to get back into a small community.”
She is also planning on “making new relationships with the staff as well as students and community members.”
Barnhart will be coaching the Speech team and One-Act.  She worked with both of these groups while teaching at Parkview Christian in Lincoln.  “I really enjoyed the drama.  It’s a lot of fun and it brings another element into the English classroom.”
Barnhart received her education at UNL and Doane College.
She participated in several workshops this summer on writing and effective instructional methods and is looking forward to implementing them in the classroom along with the technology that Exeter-Milligan offers. “This generation will be using technology their entire life and training them now helps their future.”
Barnhart also plans to use the laptops primarily in the English classroom “submitting directly from google docs or from different websites using apps.  I like the technology.”
In the counselor’s office Denise Kovanda will now be guiding the students graduating from her own alma mater.
Kovanda graduated from Exeter High School in 1977 and attended UNL earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Arts and a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology.  She taught and counseled for 30 years at Fairmont/Fillmore Central.  She was coaching Speech and One Act at Fillmore Central along with her teaching duties.
Kovanda will be working with K-12 counseling with career advice as well as offering a listening ear. “I wanted to be back in counseling and wanted to focus especially on the middle school ages,” explained Kovanda.
“A lot of the issues we are hearing about are bullying.  I want to make sure that they understand they have somewhere to go if they need somebody or want to know what to do if their friend doesn’t treat them right.”
Exeter-Milligan hasn’t had a counselor for the Milligan campus in recent years so Kovanda will be breaking ground there.  She plans to have an office in Milligan and will spend time there but she hasn’t set up her hours yet.
One of Kovanda’s goals for the district and the communities is to get them involved in the Fillmore County Relay for Life.  It has become a passion for her entire family which includes daughter Abby and son Clayton.  They along with their spouses are active.
Kovanda lives between Exeter and Milligan where she enjoys visits with her twin two year old granddaughters and her grandson.

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