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PERRY COUNTY - The students and staffs at Cannelton City Schools, Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. Schools and Perry Central Community School are welcoming new teachers and administrators. Here is a short bio for Perry County's newest educators.
Brandi Springer joins Perry Central Elementary School as its newest first-grade teacher.
A Paoli resident, she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a focus in social sciences from Indiana University. She taught kindergarten and second grade at South Central Elementary School in Elizabeth.
This year she said she plans to create a curriculum that meets the needs of each of her students so each of them can have success at whatever level they're on. "It's important to remember that 'success' has a different meaning for each student," she said.
Springer said she also wants to learn about the Perry County community so she can better relate to her students and therefore embed their local lives into their curriculum and have fun.
Her husband, Brian Springer, teaches agriculture at Perry Central High School and is the FFA adviser.
Ashley Meyer is teaching fifth graders this year at Perry Central. A Forest Park High School graduate, she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and reading from the University of Southern Indiana.
Meyer isn't a new face at Perry Central. She was a Title One teacher and taught first, third and sixth grade while teachers were on medical leave. This year Meyer said she hopes to actively engage students during instructional time and to keep learning herself to be able to help her students achieve their best.
She also teaches gymnastics at Hodgini, is the varsity cheer coach at Perry Central and is the chairwoman of Ferdinand's Heimatfest Pageant Committee.
Valerie Knieriem is teaching special-needs students at Perry Central. She graduated from Tell City High School and Baylor University in Texas.
She worked as a special-needs teacher at Maple Elementary in Jeffersonville, North High School in Evansville and at Culver Elementary in Evansville. Goals for this year are to "instill confidence in my students as learners" and "help my students become successful members of our community." She and her husband, Kyle, have a son, Luke.
Lewis Anderson of Tell City joins the Tell City Junior High School staff as an eighth-grade math teacher. A 1999 Tell City High School graduate, he earned a degree from Purdue University in 2003. He joined the U.S. Navy Seals in May 2005 and continues his service as a reserve.
"I've been told too many times to count that I have big shoes to fill since I'm taking over Chris Hollinden's classes," Anderson said of his goals for the school year. "I hope to meet everyone's expectations. He and his wife, Gina, have two sons, William, 2, and Maxwell, 9 months. He also took over as the Tell City swim club coach.
Jeff Miller joins TCJHS as its study-skills coordinator. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor's degree in social sciences. He worked as a history teacher in Lanesville and at Fastenal for 12 years.
"I want to encourage each student to achieve success by setting the stage for a successful future," Miller said of what he wants to accomplish. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Reese, 14; Grant, 12, and Bren, 6.
Shelly Masterson joins the Cannelton Elementary School staff as a special-education teacher. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and with a master's degree in exceptional education and is certified in learning and behavior disorders. Masterson worked at Hancock County Public Schools as a substitute teacher and special-education teacher. She previously worked at Cannelton City Schools as a summer-school teacher and instructional assistant.
"My goals for this year are to help my students develop a love for learning and be successful in school," Masterson said. A lifelong Cannelton resident, she said she attends Seventh Street Baptist Church and enjoys reading, taking photos and spending time with her pets and boyfriend, Vince.
Jamie Powers joins Cannelton Elementary School as a third-grade teacher and math teacher for third through fifth grades.
She graduated from Perry Central High School in 2000 and from Western Kentucky University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She was a teacher's aid at Cannelton and at Rockport Elementary School and was a substitute teacher at Cannelton and Hancock County schools while completing her college degree.
"My primary goal is student involvement and success," Powers said. "I plan to create a positive classroom environment and ensure each student receives the support they need to become successful. I also hope that I make a positive impact on the students in both their learning and personal growth." She has a son, Devyn, 6, with her husband, Shaun and is the daughter of Gary and Sandy Jones of St. Marks. Powers attends St. Paul Catholic Church.
Danielle Naviaux is teaching fourth-graders at William Tell Elementary School. She graduated from Indiana State University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a middle-school language-arts endorsement and a kindergarten through 12th grade computer-literacy endorsement. She also graduated from Brescia University with a master's degree in kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum and instruction. She worked as a sixth-grade teacher for Bishop Cotton Elementary and for Cloverport Independent Schools as a seventh grade language-arts teacher, as a fifth-grade teacher, as a Title I resource teacher and kindergarten teacher.
"My goals for the school year include opening my students' mind and increasing their imagination to allow them to gain knowledge about the world through fun adventures and mysterious investigations," Naviaux said. "I also hope to increase academic success through collaboration with my students' parents and guardians. I believe it takes a strong bond between the home and school to achieve true academic success. I look forward to being a part of William Tell Elementary this year." She and her husband, Patrick, have three children, Bryson, 9; Jaxon, 5, and Kason, 1.
Angela Berg joins William Tell as a third-grade teacher. She graduated from Heritage Hills High School and from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
In her first year of teaching, Berg said she plans to get to know the community, get involved with different organizations within and outside the school and help the students achieve their best. Berg resides in Fulda with her parents and brother.
Heidi Zellers is teaching special-needs students at William Tell. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in health services from the University of Southern Indiana and with a master's degree in exceptional education at Western Kentucky University.
She taught special needs at Fordsville Elementary in Fordsville, Ky. "I hope to establish collaborative relationships so students with various needs can be successful in the general curriculum," Zellers said of her goals.
She and her husband, Phil, have a son, Luke.
Bridget Watts joins William Tell as a fifth-grade teacher. She graduated from Hanover College with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and from Indiana University Southeast with a master's degree in elementary education.
She was a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at New Washington Elementary School and a fourth grade teacher at Deputy Elementary School.
"My goal for the school year is to provide my students with creative and engaging instruction that will stimulate a desire for lifelong learning," Watts said.
She is the daughter of Christopher and Dorothy Watts.