, Salem, MA

Local News

August 23, 2013

There's a new crop of teachers in Onion Town

DANVERS — They rode on a school bus, met their mentors and ate pizza in the cafeteria of the newly renovated Danvers High.

No, this was not an incoming crop of freshmen, but a group of more than 20 new Danvers teachers taking part in an orientation program, which also paired new teachers with veteran educators.

Classes in Danvers start Sept. 4, Superintendent Lisa Dana said.

While these teachers may be new to their positions, not all of them are new to the system.

Several have worked part-time for the schools, graduated from Danvers High or have relatives who work for the schools, Dana said.

New high school nurse Susan DeBenedictis graduated in the class of 1975 at Danvers High. She grew up in Danvers, and attended the former Tapley and present Great Oak schools before attending Danvers High. For 20 years, she worked as a clinical chemist before going to nursing school, becoming a nurse and working for more than 10 years. She always wanted to be a school nurse, she said.

“I just love children and I love Danvers and I’m invested in the community,” DeBenedictis said.

Rookie teacher Max Travers’ father was a longtime “engineering for design” teacher at the high school who has since retired, Dana said. Travers served as a teacher’s aide for a number of years, became certified to be a special education teacher, and will work with the life skills program this year.

Hannah Lombard, who worked as an elementary aide, is the daughter of Jim Lombard, who is charge of the high school’s TV studio. She will be a second-grade teacher at Smith Elementary School.

Dana said there is a balance of new teachers and their varied experiences.

“We have teachers coming from out-of-state, one of the teachers grew up in Connecticut,” Dana said. Patrick Haigh hails from Vermont and will be teaching at Danvers High. New Holten Richmond Middle School French teacher Emilie Rey is a native speaker of the language, Dana said.

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