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New Faces at BV West

Rachel Pickett, Editor-in-Chief

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Below is a sneak peek of the 13 teachers, administrators and coaches who will be joining the Jaguar family this year.

Name: Krystal Blackmon
Subject: LIFT
Hometown: Pensacola, Florida
Any previous teaching experience: I began my career working at a center school that serves students with disabilities exclusively. I taught reading to middle school students with moderate to severe disabilities. After spending five years there, at Escambia Westgate School, I transferred to the Hospital Homebound Department and worked with students unable to attend school for various reasons.
Children or pets: I have two children 21 year-old daughter and a 19 year-old son – they both attend college in Florida. I have two dogs – Carmen, my Viszla, is a dual certified service/therapy dog – I’m looking forward to exploring the possibility of perhaps bringing her to Blue Valley West for a visit or two. I also have a quarter horse named Rusty.
Favorite hobby: Under normal circumstances – first on my list of hobbies – would include riding horses and working with students with disabilities using equine assisted activities – but Rusty hasn’t made it to Kansas yet – so in the meantime, my hobbies include: birdwatching, decorating beehives, learning more about history of this area!
Fun fact: The high school that both my children attended in Florida had the term “West” in its name – school colors were black & red – mascot was a jaguar.

Name: Katie Filina
Subject: AP English Literature & ELA 11
Hometown: I grew up in Dallas, Texas, went to high school in Shawnee, KS, and graduated from The University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!).
Any previous teaching experience: This will be my 4th year teaching—I spent the last three years teaching ELA in the Mississippi Delta with Teach for America.
Children or pets: I have a mischievous (but very cute) golden retriever named Evie.
Favorite hobby: I love to spend time outside—reading in my hammock, hiking, or going for walks.
Fun fact: My absolute favorite TV show is Lost and I rewatch it almost every Winter Break (yes, the entire thing… one of my hobbies should also include marathoning tv shows!) 🙂

Name: Catie Madderom
Subject: ELA 9 & 11
Hometown: I was born in Chicago and moved to Overland Park in middle school. I now live in KCMO.
Any previous teaching experience: I have no previous teaching experience, but I did just graduate from K-State (Go Cats!)
Children or pets: None
Favorite hobby: My favorite hobby is to try new things. This includes new music, restaurants, events, places, etc.
Fun fact: A fun fact about myself is that I live off coffee and humor!

Name: Carla Roberts
Subject: Digital Imaging, Design Fundamentals, and Drawing 1
Hometown: I grew up in Olathe and now live in Overland Park with my husband Tony and three children.
Any previous teaching experience: I taught at Olathe South High School for 19 years and Aubry Bend Middle School last year.
Children or pets: My children are Faith and Connor Steiner (ages 13 & 7,) and Elizabeth Roberts (age 4.). Our family dog is a morkie named Daisy.
Favorite hobby: My favorite hobby is taking photos of my family.
Fun fact: Interesting fact: I owned a photography business for 15yrs.

Name: J.J. Quillin
Subject: Honors Biology & Chemistry
Hometown: Caldwell, KS
Any previous teaching experience: Prairie View High School (La Cygne, KS) (8 years)
Children or pets: Wife and two daughters – ages 3 and 1.
Favorite hobby: Playing guitar
Fun fact: I have played for bands that opened concerts for Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Justin Moore, and Diamond Rio (just to name a few).

Name: Kaitlin Smith
Subject: Algebra 2
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Any previous teaching experience: This is my first year of teaching. I just graduated from Kansas State University this past May.
Children or pets: I do not have any children but I have a Golden Labrador named Douglas.
Favorite hobby: My favorite hobby is to listen to music, especially when it’s nice enough to drive outside with the windows down and the radio on.
Fun fact: About a year and a half ago, I lived in Italy for 4 months.

Name: Mason Anthony
Subject: US History & World History
Hometown: Norman, OK
Any previous teaching experience: Del City HS (Del City, OK)
Children or pets: No pets or kids
Favorite hobby: All things football!
Fun fact: I have small graphics business in my spare time. 

Name: Spencer Merryfield
Subject: Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School. He directs the Spirit of Blue Valley West Traditional Marching Band, conducts the Symphonic Band, assists with Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Ensemble II, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, The Red and Silver Brigade, as well as all other aspects of the band program. In addition, he is the Beginning Band Director at Lakewood, Liberty View, and Sunset Ridge Elementary Schools.
Hometown: Spencer is a native of Shawnee, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in with a Bachelor’s in Music Education.
Any previous teaching experience: After graduation, he picked up his wife and moved Austin, Texas where he taught at Murchison Middle School for the past two years. In his time there, his concert ensembles earned UIL “Sweepstakes” ratings both years, and he was constantly involved in all things band grades 6 through 8.
Children or pets: first-favorite pet is Chief, and his second-favorite pet is Kitten.

Name: Nick Tomasic
Subject: Ceramics and Design
Hometown: He was born in Kansas City, Kansas as the 5 th of 6 children. Nick received his BFA from Kansas State University, followed by an MFA from Northern Illinois University.
Any previous teaching experience: He has taught and worked in Chicago, California, and Maine, before returning to Kansas City. The past 11 years he was an art teacher at Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City Kansas.
Children or pets: Nick lives in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas with his wife Nicolette, daughters Marangely and Selah, 2 dogs, a cat, fish, and a rabbit (all of which are females). His oldest daughter Marangely will be a freshman at West.
Favorite hobby: traveling or spending time with his family
Fun fact: He traveled throughout Asia and Western Europe while studying in Taiwan, China, and Italy.

Name: Katie Bonnema
Subject: Curriculum and Instruction
Any previous teaching experience: Blue Valley West – Special Education, Blue Valley Southwest – Special Education, Blue Valley Northwest – Associate Principal
Children or pets: Married with two children, Caleb (6) and Connor (3)
Favorite hobby: hanging with my boys and watching sporting events
Fun fact: I can’t whistle

Name: Ryan Hintz
Subject: Business & PASS, Head Boys Basketball Coach
Any previous teaching experience: Last year I was at Turner High School, previous to that I was at Blue Valley North for 3 years.
Favorite hobby: Enjoy anything basketball, Chiefs, Royals, sand volleyball.

Name: Jan Berghaus
Subject: Geometry and Algebra
Any previous teaching experience: Shawnee Mission
Children or pets: I have 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 4 grandchildren. I absolutely LOVE being a grandma.
Favorite hobby: I love to read and am a K-Stater who has had season tickets to the football games for over 40 years.

Name: Michael Riley
Subject: Modern World History & Sociology
Hometown: Cameron, Missouri
Any previous teaching experience: Center High School (Kansas City), Sunset High School (Dallas, Texas)
Children or pets: Five Children – Drew (19) Olivia (18) Taylor (9) Annie (4) Reylin (4.5 months)
Favorite hobby: Football, Fishing, Boxing, Musical Theater
Fun fact: I have performed in a musical ensemble at Carnegie Hall

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