The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Introducing the new faces of Loy Norrix

Hayley+Fuhriman%2C+a+math+teacher+at+Loy+Norrix%2C+explains+to+her+class+linear+equations.+Fuhriman+is+new+to+Norrix+this+year.
Credit: Dady Lo
Hayley Fuhriman, a math teacher at Loy Norrix, explains to her class linear equations. Fuhriman is new to Norrix this year.

Over the past few years, Loy Norrix has experienced the departure of many teachers such as former art teacher Cindy VanLieu, retired English teacher Anne “Bowser” Lewis and former Spanish teacher Christina Holmes.
While it is sad to see these educators leave, their departures have paved the way for new teachers to make their mark.

Timothy Erskine is one of those new teachers stepping up to the plate. Erskine is a Spanish teacher located in room K-12, previously psychology teacher Rebecca Layton’s classroom. Erskine attended Western Michigan University and received both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree in Spanish language, with a focus on Hispanic linguistics and second language acquisition.

Erskine has been teaching since 2008. Before teaching at Norrix, he taught at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Grand Rapids Community College. Currently, he teaches an online course at Western Michigan University.
This is Erskine’s first year teaching at the high school level. Transitioning from teaching at the college level to the high school level has its difficulties, but Erskine is ready to embrace those challenges.

“I’m expecting to learn a lot and to probably fail a lot, and both of those things are connected,” said Erskine.

Outside of school, Erskine enjoys playing board games with his family, practicing martial arts, biking and running.

Although some teachers are new to Norrix entirely, like Erskine, Norrix isn’t all that foreign for some. Cari Anderson, a new English teacher who replaced Michele Coash who worked as an English teacher before moving to be a librarian, attended Norrix as a student and a player for the women’s soccer team. After high school, she went to Allegheny College where she continued her soccer career and studied English literature and psychology.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English literature, Anderson worked on a master’s degree in English as a Second Language (ESL) and studied education at Northern Arizona University and Western Governors University.

Anderson then went on to teach at Hackett Catholic Prep before landing at Norrix. When Anderson is not teaching English at Norrix, she is coaching the girls’ soccer team at Portage Central High School. Since beginning teaching at Norrix, Anderson has thoroughly enjoyed her time here.

“It’s [Loy Norrix is] awesome! I love it here. The students are great and the teachers are so thoughtful and generous,” said Anderson.

Like Anderson, new art teacher Luna Zuniga comes from the Kalamazoo area. Zuniga attended Portage Northern High School. After graduation, she attended Western Michigan University where she got her bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Before she was an art teacher here at Norrix, Zuniga taught as an elementary art teacher.

“There are fundamental differences between elementary and high school education,” said Zuniga.

For Zuniga, these fundamental differences are beneficial.  Teaching high school, she has more time to interact and build connections with students. When she was an elementary art teacher, Zuniga only got an hour or so a week with her students. Now as a high school teacher, she gets to see her students for 70 minutes a day.

However, working with an older group of kids can bring challenges one might not expect.

“I’m nervous about how everyone is taller than me,” said Zuniga, who now has to worry about looking up, rather than down, to speak to students.

Although Anderson and Zuniga have experience in public school systems, new math teacher Karl Meinema has only ever worked in private schools. Meinema attended Calvin College for mathematics education and previously taught at Hackett Catholic Prep for a year.

Even though this is only Meinima’s second year teaching, he feels strongly about the merits of public schools. Meinima expressed that even though he grew up in the private school system and taught in it, he feels that public schools are much better than private schools.

Despite the fact that he has never taught at a public high school before, Meinima says that the school year has gone well for him. Meinima also said he was looking forward to attending Norrix football games and track meets, as well as the upcoming fall musical, “Oklahoma!”

Although Meinema and other new teachers have spent time teaching in the Kalamazoo Portage area, new math teacher Hayley Fuhriman grew up on the West Coast.

“I’m excited to see what the seasons are like here since I haven’t experienced them here,” said Fuhriman.

Fuhriman attended Southern Utah University, where she acquired a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics education. Before coming to Norrix, she taught at a charter school in Utah.

Outside of school, Fuhriman enjoys art, hiking and playing “Dungeons and Dragons.” She looks forward to many years spent connecting with students over these hobbies and her teaching.

Any person can agree that being new to an environment is scary and anxiety-inducing, but despite this, these new teachers are facing it with a smile on their faces.

New Staff at Loy Norrix
Luna Zuniga – Art, A21
Tim Erskine – Spanish, K12
Hayley Fuhriman – Math, B23
Karl Meinema – Math, B17
Cari Anderson – English, C21
Michiele Coash – Librarian
Skylar Lewis – Librarian and Audio/Visual Assistant
Arie Hemphill – Main Office Receptionist
Kyle Robertson – C-Wing Office
Whitni Roden – CIS
Lisa Akins – Athletic Office

 

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About the Contributors
Krystiana Bernstein, Staff Writer
HI! I'm a staff writer for Knight Life. I'm a senior this year and I'm new to Knight Life but I'm really excited to be a part of the team this year. I decided to join because I love to write and I'm passionate about knowledge and spreading awareness about certain topics. When outside of school I enjoy reading and playing games of all sorts, I also play flute and bass guitar.
Dady Lo, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Dady I'm a senior who is new to Knight Life this year. I'm looking forward to finally figuring out what goes on at this school. Outside of here I enjoy watching politics and playing games.

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