Students and teachers alike are heading back to school. For Mammoth-San Manuel School District there are eight new faculty members added to the roster.
Judith Becker-Rohrer will be teaching art at the junior and senior high school. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a master’s degree in secondary education.
“Children are awesome,” she said, “and I have a true passion of art. Teaching is a perfect blend of the two.”
Judith would like to build a strong studio and after school arts club. She would also like to see a National Art Honor Society and Academic Fine Arts team at the school.
Judith enjoys riding motorcycles and dirtbikes and working out. She also is a sculptor and loves making jewelry and crocheting.
She is widowed and has two children, Evangeline who is 21 and Kane who is 19.
Halie Blauser will be teaching 11th and 12th grade English at the sr. high school.
Halie earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Arizona State University.
She chose teaching as a career “to inspire students to continue learning and exploring the world after high school.” Her career goals are simply to continue teaching.
She lists her hobbies as yoga, reading and hiking. Her partner is Stephen Argentati.
Halie attended grade school at Mountain Vista School in Oracle and is a graduate of CDO High School.
Band students in the district will have a new director at the helm. Laura Galbus will be teaching band for fifth through 12th graders.
She attended Minnesota State University – Mankato and earned a degree in Instrumental Music Education.
“My high school band teacher believed in me and inspired me to continue doing what I love (music) and helping others,” Laura told the San Manuel Miner.
Laura has big plans for her career which include earning her masters and doctoral degrees to become a professor of music. She wants to teach abroad and continue learning new skills.
She lists her hobbies as bicycling, traveling, running, anything music related, cooking and makeup.
Damon Lovato comes to San Manuel High School as the 9-12 grade math teacher. He will also be coaching boys basketball.
He received his M.Ed. from the University of Arizona and also attended the University of Phoenix R.I. He most wants to effect change in young adults and plans to continue growing as an educator.
He lists coaching as his hobby.
Mark Parrish is not a newcomer to San Manuel, but is excited to be back. Mark will be teaching sixth grade at First Avenue Elementary School.
He has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Baker College and chose teaching as a career because: “I had great teachers all through school who inspired me.”
Mark’s career goals are to enjoy being back in San Manuel and getting his sixth graders ready for junior high.” His hobby is simple: “Enjoying the Arizona sunshine!”
Debi Pfaff is also no newcomer to the Mammoth-San Manuel School District. She will be teaching third grade at First Avenue Elementary. This is her 41st year of teaching (congratulations, Debi!) including several years right in the Tri-Community.
Debi holds a B.A. in Special Education and Elementary Education from Kean University in New York. She chose teaching as a career because she had a brother with Down’s Syndrome who she often taught. “(I) knew I’d be a teacher from age 12,” she said.
Debi wants to make learning a joyful experience for her students, teaching the basic skills and standards in a manner that is engaging and memorable.
Her hobbies include decorating, gardening and cooking. She is married to Phillip and together they have Robert (35), Beth (37) and Shaina (19).
Abigail Pitner will be teaching the fourth and fifth grade combo class.
She received her degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.
She told the Miner: “I want to change the way students feel about their abilities. Every person has a talent and is smart in something and I want them to know that, and they know they have a purpose.”
Career goals? “Eventually,” she said, “I plan on going back to school to further my education in curriculum. I would also love to help coach track because I ran track from 7th grade all the way to 12th grade.”
Her hobbies include hanging out with her family and playing cards, board games and video games.
She is married to Tyson Pitner and they have a sweet baby girl, Evelynn, who is five months old.
Richard J. Stocking will be teaching high school history and social studies. He holds a M.A. in History from SUNY Brockpost and dual B.A. degrees in Political Science and History from SUNY Cortland.
He chose teaching as a career “so that I can help foster the intellectual and emotional development of children.” He wants to teach as many individuals as he can.
His hobbies include historical research, reading and writing.
We welcome all our new teachers to the Tri-Community.