Fresh new faces

FHS gains 3 new student teachers for duration of school year


(Left to right) Mr. David Lovett, Ms. Mary French and Ms. Barbara Metropoulos student teach at FHS for the spring semester of the school year.

Jenna Engel, Staff Writer

New faces are roaming our halls and sitting in our classes. Even though “student” is part of their title, these fresh faces are not the teens that are associated with the bustling halls and gossip-filled classes of high school. Three student teachers will be joining high school staff for the next few months. Although Mr. David Lovett, Ms. Barbara Metropoulos and Ms. Mary French are here to help teach, they are also learning a thing or two from our students and faculty.
Ms. KC Hastings is mentoring Lovett through the classroom mostly by leading by example, allowing Lovette to put his own twist on some lessons.
“He and I have had discussions about teaching, math, our families, the Super Bowl and everything else. We have been together in the classroom for eight hours a day for over two weeks,” Hastings said on Feb. 7.
Lovett, formerly a computer programmer, but has changed his sights to become a middle school or high school math teacher. With a degree in math from Westminster and a current goal of obtaining a teaching degree from Slippery Rock University, Lovett has come to FASD. In terms of his FHS assignments, he is currently teaching Hastings’ Algebra 2 class and will soon move on to teach her Honors Pre-Calculus class.
“Generally, I would say time management is my biggest issue,” Lovett said. “More specifically, things [have been] taking longer than I expected. While I’m here, though, I’m just aiming to gain insight from somebody who has already been through what I’m going through. It’s nice to have someone say, ‘Do this, but don’t do that. Try this, but never try that.’”
Currently at Slippery Rock University, Metropoulos is completing her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, while also aiming to gain her certifications for English and Special Education. As of now, she is learning to teach English in Ms. Heather Giammaria’s classes, and has the opportunity to incorporate her own ideals into the classroom setting.
“I believe in letting the student teachers try their own ideas, within reason, and make adjustments as needed,” Giammaria said. “Sometimes this is done during instruction, and other times based on reflection after a lesson.”
The two have built a relationship off of the foundation of age proximity and the fact that both are originally from Beaver County.
“My experience here at Freedom so far has been extremely pleasant. I am very fond of Ms. Giammaria… The students that I work with in her classes are sweet and well-behaved. They are all making my experience here very enjoyable,” Metropoulous said.
French is lending a helping hand in Mr. Nathaniel Langelli’s classes and has had teaching experience at the collegiate level in Alabama and New York for a duration of 13 years. As a mother, grandmother, teacher and dog owner, French has decided to take a step down from the typical college-level classes and begin teaching in high school.
“I was originally supposed to student teach in the fall. I had a stroke, so I had to slow down the process a little bit, and I had to spread out classes that I had over multiple semesters instead of student teaching in the fall, I’m here for the spring semester,” French said. “I would rather have come in the beginning of the school year. Better to start off when everyone’s fresh in the classroom, but, unfortunately, the health issue slowed everything down.”
After the necessary requirements are completed, French wishes to pursue a job in the teaching field, whether it be collegiate or high school is undecided. As of now, she’s focusing her efforts on collaborating with Langelli to familiarize herself with the students.
“I’m excited to see how she teaches and how the students respond,” Langelli said. “I’m hoping to learn things as well to improve my teaching skills.”
As of now, Lovett, Metropoulos and French will all continue their learning and teaching experiences here at FHS for varying amounts of time. Lovett’s departure is currently scheduled for May 11. Metropoulos is leaving the high school on March 17, but will finish the remainder of her year in the middle school with Ms. Lisa Finch. French is scheduled to leave April 28.
Before their departures, the goals of these student teachers remain in their grasp. For Lovett, insight will be gained, for Metropoulos, certifications will be achieved and for French, the quest of finding the fun in learning is being explored.