47 new Hopkins teachers, and 47 exciting life stories

The first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 5 wasn't just the start of a new journey for some students; it was also the beginning of new careers for 47 educators.
September 07, 2017

The first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 5 wasn't just the start of a new journey for some students; it was also the beginning of new careers for 47 educators. 

Our new teachers are filling roles in all areas of our schools, including both Spanish and Chinese immersion, special education, and in our alternative learning program. Their backgrounds in education are varied—with several embarking on their first year as a teacher. But together, their cumulative teaching experience equals over 100 years.

They were welcomed during an all-staff kickoff on Aug. 28, where they met with new colleagues and saw their new classrooms before the hustle of the first day. We asked our incoming teachers to share some information about themselves and explain why Hopkins drew them in. A common theme immerged: Welcoming. 

“The warm welcome, energy, and the enthusiasm of current staff members is infectious and makes it easy to be even more excited to be working in the Hopkins School District,” said Ruoxi Song, incoming fourth-grade teacher at XinXing Academy. 

“The warm welcome from the staff in my building and the entire district,” said Madison Aeling, new music teacher at Glen Lake Elementary. “I'm so excited to be a part of an amazing district.”

 Some highlights of our new teachers

  • On their journey to becoming educators, many have studied abroad in places like France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Italy, and Africa.
  • For a handful of these teachers, it is their first year teaching.
  • Teaching at Hopkins is a second career for some of our new teachers. We have a former copywriter, journalist, wilderness therapy program counselor, stay-at-home parent, and one whose first day in the United States was just a few short weeks ago.
  • Elementary music teacher Katie Hoefer is fluent in French.
  • John Keaveny junior high special education teacher, planned, fundraised, and paddled a canoe on an eight-month expedition from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean
  • Juntos Spanish science teacher Sonia Beccaria is from Argentina and lived there for 42 years before coming to the United States. She taught all facets of science.
  • Prior to joining Hopkins, North Junior High special education teacher Christopher Johnson was teaching in Qatar in the Middle East. He taught at an all boys military-style IB boarding school.

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