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Ranks of Oskaloosa’s teachers include seven new faces

Photo by Rick Nichols  Pictured here are the newest additions to the combined faculty of Oskaloosa Junior-Senior High School and Oskaloosa Elementary School. From left to right are Steve Maltby, Trisha Boyd, Caitlin Terry, Jordan Gray, Spencer Wilson, Lara Wallace and Molly Newman.

Photo by Rick Nichols
Pictured here are the newest additions to the combined faculty of Oskaloosa Junior-Senior High School and Oskaloosa Elementary School. From left to right are Steve Maltby, Trisha Boyd, Caitlin Terry, Jordan Gray, Spencer Wilson, Lara Wallace and Molly Newman.

by Rick Nichols
Presented with the opportunity to teach in Oskaloosa USD 341 for the first time, seven individuals took full advantage of it and found themselves in charge of a classroom when the 2016-2017 school year got underway yesterday (Wednesday).
New to “Bear Country” are Trisha Boyd, Jordan Gray, Steve Maltby, Molly Newman, Caitlin Terry, Lara Wallace and Spencer Wilson, all of whom have taken some time within the past few days to respond to a questionnaire the paper sent to them for the purpose of gathering a little information about them for a story. What follows, then, is the information they collectively provided.
Trisha Boyd is working with special needs pupils in Kindergarten and grades 1-3 in what the district calls an “Interrelated” class.
Boyd spent the spring semester of the 2015-2016 school year working with children at John Dewey Learning Academy in Ozawkie. Prior to that she was employed at A Child’s World Daycare and Preschool for 14 years (2001-2015).
A Tiger on the college level, Boyd attended Fort Hays State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Unified.
Boyd is a native of Oskaloosa and received her formal education by way of USD 341.
Married, Boyd and her husband, Michael, are the parents of three children, Hunter, 11, Makayla, 10, and Carter, 8.
When the duties associated with the classroom are behind her, Boyd likes to spend time with her family, watch her children participate in sports and enjoy the company of friends. She also enjoys going camping.
Asked to select the one, two or three words she would use in describing herself for others, Boyd went with three: “dedicated”, “honest” and “fair.”
Given the opportunity to share her favorite quote or some words to live by, Boyd chose an observation author and artist Mary Anne Radmacher has made and eagerly passed on to her readers: “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
Jordan Gray, a first-year educator, is teaching English Language Arts at Oskaloosa High School.
Gray graduated from the University of Kansas earlier this year with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education. She did her student teaching at Baldwin City High School.
Gray grew up in Ottawa, home of the Cyclones.
When she’s not “on the clock,” Gray likes to read, spend time with members of her family and friends, play with her cat, watch Netflix and drink coffee. She also enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming and exploring the various attractions that can be found in the Lawrence area.
Given the chance to describe herself using anywhere from one to three words, Gray came back with this: “I would say I’m enthusiastic, optimistic, and eager to learn!”
Asked to supply her favorite quote or words to live by, Gray went with a quote attributed to the late Benjamin Disraeli: “Nurture your mind with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”
Steve Maltby is teaching one of the fourth grade classes at Oskaloosa Elementary School.
Maltby brings to the position 15 years of experience as an instructor on the elementary school level. For five years he taught sixth graders at Rossville Grade School, and before that he was on the staff at Madison Elementary School for 10 years.  His students there were fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
Maltby holds a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and a master’s degree from Kansas State University.
Madison, located in northern Greenwood County, is Maltby’s hometown.
Maltby and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud owners of a bulldog. Her name is Lola.
Away from work, Maltby finds pleasure in playing golf and watching the K-State and Green Bay Packers football teams.
The two words that best describe Maltby are “patient” and “entertaining.”
Words to live by – Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
Molly Newman is a mathematics instructor at Oskaloosa Junior-Senior High School.
The spring semester of the 2010-2011 term found Newman at Maur Hill-Mount Academy in Atchison, where she taught Algebra II, Pre-calculus and Calculus. She then moved on to Lawrence’s Free State High School, where she taught Algebra II and Geometry for the next five years.
A Wildcat, Newman attended Kansas State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in August of 2010.
These days a resident of Oskaloosa, Newman grew up in Ozawkie and attended school in Jefferson West USD 340.
Newman and her husband, Vince, have been married for five years and have a 2-year-old daughter, Kimber. She will turn 3 in September.
In her free time, Newman likes to take photographs and go to truck pulls to watch her husband compete against others. She also enjoys just being around the couple’s dogs.
Newman thinks the two words that best describe her are “caring” and “friendly.”
Newman’s favorite quote is attributed to Kermit the Frog. “Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you don’t have one,” the Muppet character once said, no doubt bringing encouragement to many in the process.
Caitlin Terry is teaching one of the third grade classes at OES.
During the 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 terms, Terry taught a first grade class at Mission Valley Elementary School in Eskridge.
A Hornet, Terry attended Emporia State University and graduated from there in 2011, receiving a bachelor’s degree at that time. She has since returned to ESU to begin working on a master’s degree. During her undergraduate years at the university, she was a soccer player.
Terry hails from Shawnee and is a graduate of Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park.
Terry and her husband, Thomas, have been married for a couple of years and have a “rambunctious” (her word) 9-month-old son, Reed.
In her leisure time, Terry likes to be with her family because it affords her the opportunity to make some special memories with her son. She also enjoys the great outdoors in general and hunting and fishing in particular. Finally, she indicated that she is “usually starting or finishing a project around the house.”
In Terry’s thinking, the three words that best describe her are “creative”, “outgoing” and “detail-oriented.”
Favorite quote or words to live by? “Today, I will learn something new and teach something too.” Elaborating, Terry said, “No matter your profession or age, I feel everyone should be constantly learning and teaching one another.”
Lara Wallace is the art instructor at OHS and said she is “extremely excited to be here,” having moved to northeast Kansas from her native state of Utah. She also has lived in South Dakota.
Wallace attended Utah Valley University from 1993 to 1996 on a music scholarship, earning an associate’s degree in General Art while there. She then transferred to Brigham Young University and switched majors from music to art. In 1999, she graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Art degree in Art Education. She is certified to teach art on both the elementary level and the secondary level.
After returning to Utah from South Dakota in 2013, Wallace began teaching full time at Springville Junior High School.
Wallace and her husband of 21 years, Jay, have five living children, Corbyn, 18, Annika, 16, Jenna, 14, Micah, 12, and Garrett, 9. They lost their oldest child, Madison, three years ago while she was saving her younger brother, a deed for which she received a Carnegie Hero Medal posthumously (check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5WaWZ_h9BQ&noredirect=1).
The Wallaces have settled in Atchison, where he is the new professor of Printmaking and Graphic Design at Benedictine College.
Away from work, Wallace is passionate about living a health lifestyle, which includes eating healthy, of course. “It (altering my diet) has changed my life for the better,” she said.
Wallace also enjoys reading about history, going camping and hiking, visiting art museums, dancing, and playing her “dusty guitar once in a while.”
When given the chance to come up with the word or words that best describe her, Wallace selected the phrase “I care” and the words “conscientious” and “creative.”
Favorite quote or words to live by? Wallace indicated that she was a huge fan of Mr. Rogers, the late Presbyterian minister of TV fame, so here’s a quote from him: “There are three ways to ultimate success: the first way is to be kind, the second way is to be kind, the third way is to be kind.” – Fred Rogers
The person responsible for the next quote is unknown, but the sentiment conveyed through these words resonates well with Wallace: “The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one.”
Spencer Wilson is the Physical Sciences instructor at OHS.
A native of Nortonville, Wilson is beginning his fourth year in the field of education, having spent the previous three terms in Mankato, home of the Grizzlies in Rock Hills USD 107.
After graduating from high school, Wilson went to Highland Community College from August of 2008 until December of 2009, when he received an Associate of Arts degree. He then enrolled at Emporia State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in May of 2013.
When he’s not in the classroom, Wilson likes to run, read, walk his dogs and hang out with a few of his friends. He also finds time to continue his education.
Wilson needed only one word to describe himself and that word was “determined.”
Favorite quote or words to live by? “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

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