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New Denton ISD teachers listen in as Superintendent Jamie Wilson addresses the crowd during an employee reception Friday co-sponsored by the district and the Denton Chamber of Commerce.

That’s a wrap on summer, everyone.

All those pencils, backpacks and folders (both with or without brads) lining the shelves of the grocery store can only mean one thing: It’s back-to-school time.

By this time next week, Denton County students and teachers will either be back in class or soaking up some last-minute pool time. Denton ISD kicks off the new year Wednesday while other schools like Liberty Christian start back five days later on Aug. 20.

The Denton Record-Chronicle spoke with some new Denton teachers, along with two veterans at Liberty Christian, to find out what they’re looking forward to this fall and what they’ll miss about summer (hint: it’s sleep).

Cesar Rosales — Myers Middle School Spanish teacher



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Cesar Rosales

What are you most excited for this school year?

I’ll be working with the GOAL [Guys and Girls Operating as Leaders] kids so I’m excited to learn with them and lead the way for them. Denton ISD is a really good district and that’s one of the reasons I always wanted to teach here.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

I’m going to be teaching at a Title I school. Some of the students don’t even have proper food at home so how can you expect a student to learn when they’re worrying about something like that?

I’m bringing granola bars to school and providing for them that way so I can capture their engagement in the classroom.

What will you miss most about summer?

Traveling. I just got back from Japan and I want to go back.

Meghan Hitchcock — Providence Elementary School second-grade teacher



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Meghan Hitchcock

What are you most excited for this school year?

I’m excited to work with the kids. I’ve always loved kids and I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I’m excited to get to know them and pour my best into them so they can be the best they can be.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

I’m a little afraid of everything because I’m a new teacher. I’m just going to look up to my leadership to help me figure things out as I go along.

What will you miss most about summer?

Sleeping all day. That’s the one thing I’ll miss.

Sandy Lytle — Liberty Christian Middle School English teacher



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Sandy Lytle

What are you most excited for this school year?

This school year is off to a great start with my department focused and intentional in reaching each student’s potential in reading and writing.

We spent a week at the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City in June to be a part of its Writing Institute.

We are always excited to continue learning ourselves and then impart what we learn to our students.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

Teachers’ lives are always met with the challenge of really getting to know each of their students and how each student learns best.

As I walk through this next school year, my heart is to build genuine relationships with my students and their families, while imparting the love of Christ, literacy and writing.

What will you miss most about summer?

The flexible schedule that was spent with family and friends.

Noelia Thompson — Alexander Elementary School bilingual kindergarten teacher



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Noelia Thompson

What are you most excited for this school year?

Actually, everything. I just moved from North Carolina two months ago and I’m from Costa Rica. This is going to be my seventh year in the United States so I’m excited to learn about Texas and Denton County and education around here.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

Getting familiar with the expectations and the curriculum of kindergarten. Even though I’ve been teaching kindergarten for six years, it’s a different state and district.

I’m going to try to solve it with the help of my administrators and co-workers. So far they’ve been wonderful.

What will you miss most about summer?

Sleeping late in the morning. I’m not a morning person at all.

Ronisa Lee — Providence Elementary School fourth-grade teacher



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Ronisa Lee

What are you most excited for this school year?

I’m excited to be in charge of a group of little people’s education and success and giving them the best part of me.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

Fourth grade is a STAAR testing grade and I’m really intimidated by it, but I’ve got great leadership around me so I’m sure I’ll be fine.

What will you miss most about summer?

Nothing. I’m a mom so I’m never really off. I’m excited about going back to school.

James Ciolino — McMath Middle School English teacher and coach



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James Ciolino

What are you most excited for this school year?

I’m excited to be back in the area. I left for five years to go to school in Oklahoma.

Once I graduated, I knew I had to come back and find a teaching job here.

Luckily, I landed in a good spot.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

Being a first-year teacher and having to deal with that experience — having your own classroom, planning the rules and making sure that students follow them.

You need to do enough to get their respect. It’s something you have to earn from them and it’s going to be a year-long thing.

What will you miss most about summer?

Sleeping in. I enjoyed having all that sleep but now I’m going to have to cut back.

Sharon Ramsey — Liberty Christian Upper School social studies teacher



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Sharon Ramsey

What are you most excited for this school year?

I am fascinated by the subjects I teach. I always look forward to coming up with fun ways to get students excited about history and geography.

Social studies seems to have taken a back-burner to STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art and math] classes in the minds of some, but I feel very strongly that studying human interactions is more important than ever before in today’s global society.

What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face?

We are switching to a block schedule this year in Upper School.

I think it will be a challenge to adapt, but I know it will allow time for more in-depth lessons and activities.

What will you miss most about summer?

Morning time with my pets. I enjoy hanging out with my two dogs and my cat while drinking coffee or reading.

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @CjonesDRC.

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