Taking over the job of someone like James Farnen is no easy feat. From weird, random knowledge to inspirational advice, the sophomore English teacher is a fan favorite. However, if anyone can fill Farnen’s shoes, not only in the high school’s English department but also in the hearts of its students, it’s Halee Andrushchenko. The Southern New Hampshire graduate will be joining Hiawatha High School for her first year teaching in August.
Although education was always the clear choice for her, the original plan for Andrushchenko, was actually elementary education. After a while, though, it was obvious to the new teacher - who agrees to being called Mrs. Halee - that teaching English is what she's truly passionate about.
The school’s new addition described her style of teaching, saying that she is aware that students learn in their own ways, and so she will be taking a “student-centered approach” in her classes. She is hoping for great discussions with next year’s students and would like them to make real-world connections with the course material.
The caring, down-to-earth teacher wants to focus on critical thinking, student collaboration, and activities that feature problem-based learning. Meeting students and colleagues is something that Mrs. Halee is looking forward to above all else. Something that sparks slight unease in Andrushchenko is the idea of teaching her first lesson, though she can’t deny her excitement for that same event. Mrs. Halee will also be taking over the school’s journalism department, and she is ready to help the students create new and exciting stories in the upcoming school year.
Mrs. Halee has four children, ranging in age from two years old to eleven. The approachable mother of four says that her favorite things to do in her spare time include reading, spending time with her family, and working on photography. Mrs. Halee also explained that she has a side business that consists of taking portraits. When asked about her favorite Disney princess, the teacher-to-be said it was Pocahontas because, “She's got a great sense of humor, she's caring, she follows her own path, and she doesn't wear shoes. She also has amazing hair.”
Although Halee’s face will be a new one at Hiawatha High School, it isn’t in other places. For instance, Mrs. Halee has been to Russia two times and though she isn’t quite fluent in Russian yet, she knows a little bit of the language. Her favorite thing to say in Russian is я хочу кофе, пожалуйста (Pronounced: Ya Hochu Kofe Pzahaluysta) which translates to, “I want coffee, please.” The school’s newest addition has a color preference of blue and her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Hiawatha High School is excited to introduce many new teachers, including Mrs. Halee, to the Red Hawk team as the upcoming school year approaches. Hiawatha’s students are also eager to welcome Mrs. Halee and the others to their school next year, in hopes they are saying hello to the next step in the shaping of their futures. Next school year obviously holds promise within its teaching staff and, while students will definitely miss teachers like James Farnen, they can’t deny their excitement for the new teachers that are rising to take their places.