The Harbinger Online

Six teachers join faculty this year

Chip Sherman

The spotlight tends to hover around new head football coach Chip Sherman. He’s been swarmed with the local media recently on TV and in the papers. But in his opinion, the credit should only go one place: his team.

“I hope that the focus of [the recent media coverage] is more on the kids and less on me,” Sherman said. “I don’t need any focus, this is their time.”

Sherman’s never been one for attention or praise. His modest persona is a perfect example of the morals he instills in his players. For 25 years he’s encouraged these traits on the football field and in his P.E. classes.

He’s taught P.E. all over Kansas and Missouri at 5 different schools, has won three Missouri Class 3 state championships and has a 199-40 all time record, but now, in his 28th year, he’s returning to where he grew up. And he’s excited about the upcoming year– not for the attention or the glory–for his team.

In Hau Lau

Chinese teacher In Hau Lau has been all over the world. She was raised in Hong Kong, has taught in Taiwan and now is in Prairie Village. The atmospheres all are discreetly different but one thing is a constant- Chinese.

Lau is now teaching chinese two hours a day at East after teaching at North for eight years. It is her love for this language that has taken her to all ends of the earth. Currently, Lau travels home to Hong Kong each summer to see her 80-year-old mother. Despite the high frequent flier miles, the trips are successful.

“I love to travel, I wish I could do that every day, I travel every summer,” Lau said. “Basically I go to asian countries so I can go back to visit my mom and my sister.”

These yearly trips keep her in touch with her roots. Lau is very proud of her chinese heritage and enjoys teaching about it every day. Whether it be in Prairie Village, or in Hong Kong.

James Meara

Art teacher James Meara has a knack for creativity. Ever since grade school he has been imaginative — not only sketching pictures but coming up with new, original ideas.

In high school, he thought that maybe he could teach art. In college, he started to believe it. But it wasn’t until he started teaching that he knew it was the job for him.

“I really realized that [teaching] was great when I started interacting with students and helping them with projects and watching them grow artistically,” Meara said.

He’s beginning his first year of teaching after working at summer school and the summer enrichment program for the Shawnee Mission School District.

Although his interest for teaching began  in college, he was also involved in most genres of art. Now his favorite genre is video but he is involved in many other styles. He looks forward to including a wide variety of styles — collage, photoshop — in his first art classes.

Andrew Sandoy

Prior to his experience being a tough, no-nonsense teacher, Andrew Sandoy was a tough, no-nonsense army general.

He’s still tough-as-nails, except now in the classroom instead of on the battlefield.

For 27 years, Sandoy was in the army. He fought in Germany after enlisting on a whim, thinking of the cavalry movies he watched as a child. He climbed the ladder and became an Army Cavalry Officer. His job, teaching physical science and Chemistry 1, is inherently different but he still has the same ideas for his class.

“I believe that more work is better,” Sandoy said.

A simple phrase that has defined his life both in the classroom and on the battlefield.

Jason Smith

Teaching in a dimly lit classroom amidst a mass amount of teenagers is not often thought of as a glamorous job. The cell phones, the array of wobbling desks and the frequent earbuds cleverly hidden within a hoodie.Industrial Tech Teacher Jason Smith just can’t get enough of it.

Smith stepped back from his vice president of operations position at Pro Circuit Inc., a large scale electrical contracting company, to teach Industrial Tech at East . It’s his second teaching job he’s held after teaching Industrial Tech, Construction Traits and Cabinetry at West. And although teaching is what he loves, construction has taken up most of his career.

Now he’s excited to return to his passion.

“I’m making half of what I was making before,” Smith said. “But I would give it all away just to come back to teaching.”

Pamela James

Transferring to East from West hasn’t been a tough transition for Spanish teacher Pamela James. She’s already accustomed to the morning fight for a parking space, her fifth hour lunch period and getting to both her fifth floor classrooms. She’s taken in the changes with open arms, unafraid of a new place and new experiences.

The same mentality she’s had her entire life.

James, an avid cyclist, jogger and Aikieo martial arts enthusiast, is not reluctant to pursue a goal or face a new challenge. Her latest challenge is teaching Spanish 1 and 2 five hours a day. Unlike her history with martial arts, James’ career with Spanish has lasted since she was in elementary school. She continued to take the class through middle school and high school. Now, Spanish is a constant in her daily life. She’s in her 10th year teaching, and is excited for the year.

“I’ve got a really good feeling about this year,” James said. “I think it’s going to go well.”

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