Excited about teaching -- and learning

New teachers join the ranks of Steamboat Springs School District educators

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Editor's note: Following are short bios about some of the new middle school and high school teachers in the Steamboat Springs School District. Elementary school and some middle school teachers were introduced in the Aug. 28 Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Steamboat Springs Middle School

Amanda Anzalone, seventh-grade resource teacher; junior varsity volleyball coach

Anzalone previously has worked in Steamboat schools as a resource severe-needs aide, and she decided to become a teacher because she enjoys spending time with children and learning from them. Her teaching style involves being open-minded and flexible. She thinks teaching should be something in which both teachers and students are active in the teaching and learning processes. When not teaching, she likes spending time with her husband and their two dogs as well as gardening, photography, reading and horseback riding.

Kathleen Huron, 32, sixth-grade resource teacher

Huron started as a severe-needs aide at Steamboat Springs Middle School more than five years ago and enjoyed working with children so much that she moved to Denver to get her teaching license and master's degree. She taught in Denver Public Schools for three years and is happy to be back in Steamboat. Huron aims to support her students, teach them new skills and help them be successful in life. She looks forward to watching them grow into successful and happy adults.


Steamboat Springs

High School

John Ameen, 25, American studies, psychology and sociology teacher

When teaching history, Ameen's goal is to make the subject relevant to students. Through a diverse and passionate teaching style, he tries to give students a different view of history. He previously taught in Littleton, where he also coached basketball. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing basketball and tennis and watching college sports. He's looking forward to working with students and interacting with staff members.

Jaime Bell, 25, English teacher

Bell thinks that teaching is one of the most important careers because it helps shape the future. She loves learning and helping others learn, and she describes her teaching style as student-centered. She also has taught at Fairview High School in Boulder. When she's not teaching, she likes to ski, hike, read, cook, make pottery and help her husband with his film business.

Lisa Derning, 39, art teacher

Derning decided to become a teacher because she loves students, learning and art. She previously was an art instructor in Aurora, and she only recently moved to Steamboat. She is married and has children, and when she is not teaching, she can be found skiing, biking, hiking, painting and taking photographs. The aspect of her new job that she most looks forward to is being with students.

Dusty Dike, industrial arts teacher

Dusty previously taught technical education at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. He is married and was born in Steamboat, where he has lived for 26 years. He was encouraged to become a teacher because of the role models his teachers were to him, and he is looking forward to forming relationships with his students. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking and woodworking.

Larry Gravelle, 26, American studies, literature and word study teacher; speech

Gravelle previously taught honors American literature and world literature at a high school in Birmingham, Mich. He's known since he was in middle school that he would become a teacher. He teaches with an interdisciplinary curriculum and encourages students to investigate each issue through many people's eyes. He wants to help students become analytical, critical and creative thinkers. In his free time, he spends hours on end fly fishing, and when winter comes, he'll be on the ski mountain. He also enjoys photography.

Tamara Lobb, 47, Spanish teacher

Lobb has taught Spanish at a high school in Memphis, Tenn., and at the University of Memphis. Teaching Spanish is her passion, and she is looking forward to sharing that passion with her students. When teaching, she uses humor, visual aids and interesting cultural facts to grab the interest of her students. She is married and has two daughters, ages 20 and 24. In her free time, she reads, plays with her dog, paints birdhouses, swims, travels and shops.

Erin Moore, 24, French teacher

Moore loves French and shar--ing it with others, especially high school students. She thinks that learning a foreign language can help people communicate in their own language and bring the world closer together. Before coming to Steamboat, she taught English in France for one year and was a teaching assistant and French tutor at the University of North--ern Colorado. As a teacher, she likes to have fun with students and encourages them to think and act for themselves. When she's not teaching, she hikes, reads, swims, watches "The Simpsons" and reads the news.

Chula Walker-Griffith, 31, art and drama teacher

Teaching has been a lifelong goal for Walker-Griffith, who was inspired by her parents, who also are teachers. She describes her teaching style as respectful, fun, creative and organized. She is a professional muralist and has student-taught in South Routt County. She looks forward to creating a top-notch drama program and encouraging students to discover their artistic abilities and potential as human beings. When not teaching, she enjoys painting, hiking, backpacking and backcountry skiing.

New teachers who could not be contacted include Jenny Gabriel, high school English teacher, and Clint Koehler, high school math teacher.

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