Puyallup welcomes nearly 120 new teachers
Puyallup welcomes nearly 120 new teachers
Posted on 09/09/2018
Puyallup welcomes nearly 120 new teachers

You can feel the excitement beginning to build. Puyallup school offices are open, educators and support staff are coming together for training and professional development activities, and students are preparing to return to the classroom in early September.

And nearly 120 new teachers are being welcomed into the Puyallup community.

It was all smiles at Aylen Junior High on August 23 as the new Puyallup School District teachers were introduced to staff and community members during a luncheon held in their honor.

The annual event is hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Puyallup. This year’s host was Puyallup Kiwanis President Dennis King. The Kiwanis Club of Puyallup was founded in 1921 and has hosted the annual new teacher event since 1944. The Kiwanis members greeted the new teachers and joined them at their tables for lunch.

Superintendent Tim Yeomans welcomed the new educators and thanked the Puyallup community for their support. “We have a place for all of you who made the choice to come here. We are a family, and you will find that the community shows up, and they will show up for you,” says Yeomans.

“I can’t wait for you to get started and make a huge impact on our kids.”
Puyallup School District Superintendent Tim Yeomans

Each of the new educators has a unique story. Some have had successful careers in the public sector and decided to become an educator as a way to give back to the community. Others are at the beginning of their career, having recently graduated from college. Many are former Puyallup students who are returning to their own community in a new role. And there are those who worked in the district as paraeducators and returned to college to earn their teaching degree.

When the teachers were introduced, the audience learned where they had been before joining Puyallup Schools. One was returning from Abu Dhabi. One came from Mexico. Many came from other states such as Arkansas, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Indiana.

Many have grown up in Puyallup. Elementary teacher Kelsey Noble was introduced as a fourth generation Puyallup educator.

Puyallup High School teacher and Rogers High graduate John Anderle will be an art instructor after a 30-year career as a designer, including ten years in California. “I’ve always loved teaching and coached for a number of years. With a degree from the Art Institute, I’m starting with a clean slate,” he says.

Puyallup High’s new Biology and Natural Resource teacher Katie Coats has worked as a scientist for the past 21 years, and says she is ready for a change.

When asked why so many educators are hired for the coming year, Director of Human Resources Staffing and School Support, Ailene Baxter said there are many reasons. Seasoned educators have begun to retire in recent years, some have left for other career opportunities or the need to relocate for family, and the student population in Puyallup continues to grow.


Nancy French
frenchnl@puyallup.k12.wa.us