Marshfield opens its doors to new teachers

Eight new faces are among the staff members at MHS. Some have had previous jobs in the education system while others are becoming part of it for the first time.

By Chelsea Pettett & Natalia Taylor | Collaborative Reporters

As a new school year rolls in, there are several new faces around MHS. After a number of staff members left Marshfield, due to retirement or pursuing other professional opportunities, eight new staff members were added to the Pirate crew.

The new members consist of choir teacher Tony Baker, registrar Lori Croff, physical education teacher Doug Fendall, math teacher Megan Free, math teacher Corey Goll, English teacher David Kline, special education teacher Paula Smith and physical education teacher Brooke Toy. They were carefully interviewed and hand-picked by a committee, including Principal Greg Mulkey, or transferred from another school in the district.

“I’m very pleased and excited about our new additions,” Mulkey said. “They were the right fit for Marshfield.”

Fendall, who has been in the district for 19 years, enjoys seeing the students he taught in the past.

“I like seeing the differences in the students and how much they’ve grown up,” Fendall said.

Free, who has been in the district for four years, agrees.

“I love being at the high school with my previous students,” Free said.

For some, working in a school with both high school students and eighth graders has been an exciting change.

“It’s fun working with the different levels and I’m excited to keep going,” Goll said. “It’s a nice place to be and I don’t want to leave.”

While some already had teaching jobs before coming to Marshfield, several had other occupations.

“I was not doing what most people were doing,” Kline said. “I previously worked at two bars in Portland.”

Working at MHS is Kline’s first professional teaching job aside from previous student teaching. He tried for two years to find a firm teaching job.

“I was actively trying every day and applying constantly,” Kline said.

Kline also believes that fellow staff members, as well as students, have been very welcoming.

“People are really nice here,” Kline said. “I was surprised at how nice everyone is.”

Not only do staff members appreciate Marshfield, some are enjoying their new hometown as well and moved here simply because they love the environment.

“I want to know more about Coos Bay,” Kline said. “I’ve always loved the Oregon coast.”

Toy, who grew up in Drain, enjoys Coos Bay because of its proximity to her hometown.

“I feel at home,” Toy said. “I’ve never felt uncomfortable.”

Although MHS has been welcoming, Mulkey believes the new staff members are under some pressure.

“There’s always nervousness,” Mulkey said. “Being in a new environment is always something one can have a difficult time coping with.”

Students have had a positive look on the new teachers. Some like the different teachers, while others, such as freshman Rosa Gutierrez-Camacho, do not have set expectations for them and their way of teaching.

“I just expect them to be like any ordinary teacher,” Gutierrez-Camacho said.

Though there may be difficulties in being a new addition, Free said she still enjoys the job.

“This is like my dream job,” Free said.

According to Mulkey, the new members have been a pleasure to have and Marshfield as a whole will do great with a change.