FHC welcomes new teachers

September 21, 2015


LeeAnne Trapp on the left, and Kristin O’Brien on the right

With retirements from a variety of departments ranging from the math department to the business department last year,  principal Steve Passinault knew there would be some new faces on staff this year.  When the three positions opened, applications flew in from across the state.

“We usually get a lot of applicants any time there is a teaching position open,” principal Steve Passinault said. “We have usually in the hundreds of applicants from all over the state of Michigan.”

According to Passinault, the first reason is the strong reputation the district has from the quality of students. The second is the financial support from the community, it is unlike any other. Finally, the last reason as to why there are so many applicants is because of the unimaginable amount of support the students bring in and out of the school every day.

Since there are so many applications, it becomes a struggle to try and pick which ones will be best at FHC. LeeAnne Trapp was selected as a new freshman algebra teacher who only teaches during fifth and sixth hour. She spends the rest of her day at Central Middle. She took over Gail Sutton’s position in the math department this year. Trapp was a student here not too long ago, making it easier for her to understand her students and coworkers since she has experienced the atmosphere here before.

“I think I get the high school atmosphere here a lot more, I know what it is like to be a student,” Trapp said. “To be totally engulfed into football games and friendships and stuff like that. So when things like that are brought up in class, I totally just go with it. I was there in their shoes once.”

However, not all of the applicants this year were completely new to the school. Kristin O’Brien is returning from Orchard View back to FHC. She taught here for 9 years before switching school last year due to her position no longer being open. O’Brien’s spot as a business teacher reopened and she jumped at the chance to come back.

“I will continue to work as long as I can at Forest Hills,” said O’Brien, a business and teacher cadet teacher. “I have grown to know so many staff members and I really enjoy teaching at the high school level. When you are in the district like Forest Hills it is an amazing experience. It is like the dream district for me. I love it here.”

The teachers who retired last year — Andy Rundquist, Gail Sutton, and Candice Malivuk — had developed close bonds with their students.  According to Passinault, leaving is always a difficult decision for veteran teachers.

“You can always tell that the [retired teachers] are very torn when leaving because they have enjoyed their years so much it has become a part of their life,” Passinault said.


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