District welcomes 15 new teachers to classrooms

There are 15 new faces to be found in the halls of Oxford Schools. New teachers this year include (back row, from left) Krista Brown, Ashley Finkley, Octi Mezin, Carleen Quint, Anne Oliver, Brad Schmaltz and Katelyn Webb. Shown in front are (from left) Janelle Lie, Rachel Pollack, Leslee Klein, Katy Koivunen and Paula Hartwig. Photo by Elise Shire.
There are 15 new faces to be found in the halls of Oxford Schools. New teachers this year include (back row, from left) Krista Brown, Ashley Finkley, Octi Mezin, Carleen Quint, Anne Oliver, Brad Schmaltz and Katelyn Webb. Shown in front are (from left) Janelle Lie, Rachel Pollack, Leslee Klein, Katy Koivunen and Paula Hartwig. Photo by Elise Shire.

Every school year brings with it new opportunities, new experiences, and new friends– even for the teaching staff.

This year, Oxford Schools is welcoming 15 new teachers with a wide range of backgrounds and skill-sets.

The new faces to be found among the Oxford staff are:

Anne Oliver will teach seventh-grade special education at OMS. She attended Michigan State University and has taught special education at the kindergarten, second grade, third grade, elementary, middle school and high school levels. Oliver has also completed the year-long Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) Project. In her previous position, Oliver served as the peer to peer coordinator in her building. She has been teaching for 12 years. Oliver resides with her son, Aidan, 10. In the fall, they enjoy attending MSU sporting events and, in the summer, they enjoy spending time on Lake Michigan, traveling to Buffalo, Las Vegas and California to visit family members.

“I’m very excited to be an educator in the community I live in,” Oliver added. “I am also looking forward to the benefits that the International Baccalaureate Program will provide me with to continue to be a critical thinker who is dedicated to lifelong learning and continuous improvement.”

Kristen Dahlke will serve as content and mentor teacher for grades K-2 at Oxford Virtual Academy. She received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education at Central Michigan University. Dahlke has been a teacher for four years and has held two long-term substitute teacher positions— one for a third-grade class and one for a kindergarten class. She also spent two years teaching a split first and second-grade class. Dahlke lives with her husband and two daughters, Ella, 5 and Kinsley, 2. She enjoys camping, boating and spending time with friends and family.

“I am very excited to take on a different role as a virtual mentor and content teacher to help them grow. I also can’t wait to build relationships with the students.”

Ashley Finkley was hired to serve as a counselor at Oxford High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication disorders and a master’s in professional and school counseling. Finkley has been teaching for four years and previously served as a school counselor at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, MI, where she served for many years as the coordinator for several before/after school and summer programs.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with students and staff and learning all of the things that Oxford schools have to offer,” said Finkley. She resides with her husband and their dog, Delilah.

Krista Brown will teach seventh- and eighth-grade math and science at Oxford Middle School. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit Mercy and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Michigan State University. She has been teaching for 14 years and has taught a variety of grades and subjects in grades 2-8. At the middle school level, Brown has taught math and science courses. She resides with her husband of ten years, Tom, and their children, Claire, 8 and Calvin, 6. Together, they enjoy traveling, kayaking and going to the beach.

“I am most looking forward to being part of a district that has a passion for its learners and offers them many opportunities to be successful,” said Brown.

Leslee Klein will teach Spanish to students, grades K-2, at Clear Lake Elementary. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in world language education from the University of Michigan and is currently working towards a master’s degree in linguistics at Oakland University, along with an endorsement to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Klein has been a teacher for four years and has taught Spanish at both the middle and high school levels, along with ESL to grades K-8 and adults. Klein is originally from West Bloomfield and grew up attending Walled Lake Schools.

“I am so excited to teach in a community that celebrates language learning and acquisition as much as I do. Learning a language, like many new skills, requires daily practice, so I can’t wait to see how much my students will grow this year with having Spanish class every day,” said Klein.

Katy Koivunen will teach Advanced Dance, Credit Recovery and Social Studies at OHS. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in secondary education from Oakland University. This is her fifth year teaching at Oxford High School as Director of the Dance Conservatory. She resides with her fiance and their puppy named Thor.

Janelle Lie will teach biomedical sciences at OHS. She received a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Oakland University and a master’s degree in educational studies from the University of Michigan. Lie worked in the medical field for around four years at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital and a private cardiology office. She also served as a substitute teacher at Oxford and is going into her third season of coaching girls’ basketball at OHS in the fall. Lie resides with her husband of three years, Branden, and their two dogs. Lie loves to travel, read, go to the movies, and spend time outdoors. She and her husband also enjoy being with their friends and family.

“I am most looking forward to working with such a great group of students and staff! Oxford has been such a welcoming and caring community, and I am excited to be a part of that,” Lie added.

Octi Mezin will teach web design and business strategies at Oxford High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University. Mezin has been a teacher for nine years and has taught at the high school level within the Roseville and Warren school districts.

For the past seven years, he has taught technology at a charter school in Hamtramck. Mezin has been married to his wife, Laura, for over 20 years and they have three children together. “I cannot wait to share my ‘real world’ business experiences with my students,” said Mezin.

Brad Schmaltz was hired to teach band at Oxford Middle School. Schmaltz is a graduate of Davison High School and he received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Michigan State University. He has served as a teacher for three years, has worked on-staff with numerous marching bands across the state and has served as a substitute for professional orchestras. Schmaltz joins the Oxford team after having served as Director of Bands for Millington Community Schools. Schmaltz resides in Lapeer with his puppy, Piper and his cat, Ned.

“I’m looking forward to working within the global culture OCS has established,” said Schmaltz. “Exposure to different cultures, as well as different ways of thinking helped form me into the man I am today. I’m very much looking forward to helping create that impact on the students of OMS.”

Ingrid Jensen will teach Spanish at Daniel Axford Elementary this year. Jensen, who graduated from Oakland University, served as a Spanish teacher for Oxford Community Schools for four years before leaving to teach overseas for the past three years at an international school. She has taught general education and served as head of department at the first-grade level and has also taught at the kindergarten level. Jensen has been educating young minds for the past 15 years and has spent seven years as a certified teacher. She and her husband enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures.

“I am honored to return to teach in this district that I call home. This district is outstanding because of its amazing educators, warm community and its philosophy of delivering a quality education as an Interbaccalaureate school district. I am looking forward to joining the team at DA this year,” said Jensen.

Ourania “Nia” Petrovas will teach Spanish at Oxford Middle School. She had four years of prior teaching experience in Bloomfield Hills Schools before moving to the west side of Michigan, where she worked in a long-term assignment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Oakland University and has just earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Wayne State University.

Other new teachers for the 2017-18 school year are Carleen Quint, Katelyn Webb, Rachel Pollack, and Paula Hartwig.

 

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