Liberty Teacher Feature

Written By Eva Burbidge

Whether students like to admit it or not, teachers play a huge role in any school. They set the atmosphere of the entire school. And whether students realize it or not, teachers really do want to help you become the best person you can be, both in and out of the classroom.

Liberty High School, located in North Liberty, will be opening for the 2017-18 school year. The graduating class of 2018 will only have 27 students in it and total there will only be — students at the school. Despite being small, Liberty is ready to make a name for itself. And some of the teachers that will be teaching at Liberty next year have their own ways to get Liberty off to a good start.


Mr. Colbert

Q: What are your goals for teaching at Liberty?
A: It’s kind of a unique situation in that myself and the other leadership team, kind of get to set the rules we get to set the expectations but then also we have the ability to set the culture and set the tone of the entire feel for the schools, so that’s what we’re excited to get started with

Q: What is one piece of advice you want to give to your future students?
A: Be proud of the new school, same situation on it from my perspective where it’s really cool and really rare to open a new school but from the students perspectives it’s really rare to be able to be the first students to walk those hallways, so to be proud of that and then as a result, in terms of just feeling proud but then make the right decisions that get the school off on the right start.”

Q: What do you think will be the most challenging thing about working in a new school?
A: The unforeseen challenges, so must of us, I’d say every single person that’s going to be working at Liberty has never opened a new school before. We’ve talked to people who’ve had experience, we’ve worked with, for example, Ankeny Community school district who opened a new school 5 or 6 years ago, but none of us have directly done it. So just to know that there’s going to be challenges that we don’t know about yet and being able to face those challenges.

Mrs. Saylor

Q: What are your goals for teaching at Liberty?
A: As far as the art department, I’m really excited about establishing the art culture there and I’m excited about building these programs, I’d love it if more kids got into the art area and I know it’s tough just because you guys have so many demands, but I’d love it if more kids just thought, ‘oh I’m not a great artist but I’d love to take an art class.’

Q: What is one piece of advice you want to give to your future students?
A: I think the big thing is just not being afraid to go out and try things, not being afraid to fail.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you have ever learned related to teaching?
A: Being willing to try new things is what keeps it fun, in teaching, sometimes lessons don’t work but if I don’t try new things then I would get bored so it’s just a matter of trying new things and if they don’t work I just try something else.

Q: What is your favorite memory related to teaching?
A: There are so many great memories, […] It’s the students that come back and visit, that’s not a specific memory but that’s what means the most to me.”

Mr. Gast

Q: What are your goals for teaching at Liberty?
A: Just keep doing what I’ve been doing, for the most part. I will be teaching some new classes so that’s exciting for me.

Q: What is your favorite memory related to teaching?
A: A lot, just overall this school has been a wonderful place to come to everyday so I don’t know if I can pick out one thing, i just think that the relationships, the students, the faculty, the staff, it’s all been a great experience overall and then coaching too, there’s some coaching stuff, winning state championships is something I’ll look back on pretty fondly, but just as a whole just trying to make a difference for students and be the best teacher that I can.

Q: What is one piece of advice you want to give to your future students?
A: They talk about [Highschool] being some of the best times of your lives and sometimes I think when you’re in the grind of it as students you don’t realize that, but there’s a lot of great things that happen in school and out of school at this time in your life, so just kind of enjoy it, but put effort into things and it’ll pay off down the road, but also don’t be afraid to have fun.

Mr. Kelley

Q: What are your goals for teaching at Liberty?
A: Try to provide students with the opportunity to explore American History, try to help them become more disciplined as students and helping them develop their own style and technique for learning skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

Q: What do you think will be the most challenging thing about working in a new school?
A: I would guess that there will be continuous adjustments that are going to have to be made. When I interview with Mr. Kibby, that was one of the things that came up in the conversation, whenever you’re starting something essential from the ground up there are going to be bumps in the road […] and we’ll just get through them.

Q: What do you think will be your favorite thing about working at Liberty?
A: Doing things for the first time. […] It’ll just be that first day in the building, it’ll just be the first time anyone’s ever stepped in that building for the first day of school and I just think that’s cool because that building going to be there for hundreds of years, and so to say 20 years from now, or for the students to be able to say 50 years from now, ‘I walked in that building the very first day those doors opened.’ That’s pretty cool.

Designed By Grace Brusegaard

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Liberty Teacher Feature