Whitman welcomes six new teachers

By Sarah Tong

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With the start of the new school year, Whitman welcomed six new teachers to its music, science, special education, art and engineering departments. All six teachers have taught at other schools prior to Whitman; administrators and students are excited to work with them.

Music

Michelle Kim came to Whitman after teaching as the Instrumental Director at Seneca Valley High School for 20 years. Before Seneca Valley, she was the choral director at Westlake High School in Charles County from 1996 to 1999. This year, she’s teaching Treble Choir, Men’s Choir, Freshmen Choir, Women’s Choir and Chamber Choir. 

Though Kim was nervous coming into the position, she said that her students have been extremely warm in welcoming her to the choral family. 

“I am excited about the high level of achievement the students here have,” Kim said.   “Almost all of the students put forth an enormous amount of effort and care greatly about what they do. I am excited to see how the choral program will continue to expand and grow.” 

Science

Daniel Prettyman, who teaches Honors Biology, discovered his love for teaching while he was in high school when he had the opportunity to teach a fifth-grade science class.

He also taught science classes throughout college while working toward his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Before coming to Whitman, Prettyman taught Honors Biology at Annapolis High School in Anne Arundel County for one year. 

Prettyman is excited to engage in Whitman’s school spirit and to take part in the “passionate and driven” learning community, he said. 

“I want to get my feet on the ground and honestly have fun this year,” Prettyman said. “In my opinion, the best part about science is that students can work with real-life phenomena. You can’t always do that with other classes.”

Special Education

Raymondo Williams is teaching in the special education department, serving both Learning and Academic Disabilities and Facilitated Communication resource periods. 

Having been in his elementary school’s special education program himself, Williams was inspired at a very young age to become a special ed teacher.

“The support and encouragement I received from my teacher and paraeducator inspired me to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” Williams said. 

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education in 2013 and began substitute teaching in 2015. Before coming to Whitman, Williams taught as a paraeducator at Aiton Elementary School in D.C. for two years. 

Williams hopes to positively impact the Whitman community, whether it be coaching wrestling or working with clubs, he said. 

“For my career at Whitman, I honestly had the thought of helping change this school from the inside-out through my treatment of students and my fellow staff members,” Williams said. “And if those I affect with my positivity can then turn around and do the same for others within this school, then I think my time here will be well-spent.” 

Art

Katherine Kern joined the art department, teaching Photography 1. Over the last 10 years, Kern has taught different types of art at four different schools: Commodore John Rodgers School, Belmont Elementary School, Wildlake High School and Atholton High School. 

In addition to teaching at Whitman, Kern also teaches at Magruder High School in the mornings. 

Although this is her first year teaching photography, Kern studied the subject throughout high school and college. She’s excited to try teaching the photo class at Whitman, she said.  

“Students at Whitman are so motivated,” she said. “I can focus more time and energy on creating new content rather than classroom management, and I can try out more new and exciting ideas.” 

Engineering

Ryan Krueger and Roberto Fabian joined the engineering department, both teaching Introduction to Engineering Design. They were unavailable for comment.

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