Every school year, Paly always acquires new staff members, whether they are teachers or administrators. This year, Paly welcomed many new staff members into the Viking community.
Christine Hale is a new art teacher who has been brought on board to teach two periods of Art Spectrum, as well as one period of Paly’s newest art class Graphic Design. Hale first started teaching immediately after she graduated from college. She started her teaching career at a middle school in Portland, Oregon teaching art classes.
“After [I taught in Oregon] I went back to art school in NYC to study illustration and graphic design,” Hale said. “I taught college level design classes at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.”
For many years, Hale was a children’s book author and illustrator. She has illustrated 20 books, along with three others that are set to come out this year. Hale authored two of her three new books.
“I started my own freelance business when my daughter was born, and continued to work as a children’s book author and illustrator,” Hale said. “[In addition, I worked as] a freelance publication designer and art director.”
She had also worked as a designer and art director for several publishing companies in New York.
To Hale, working as an art director is very similar to teaching: the way that she helped illustrators is similar to the way that a teacher helps a student.
After having years of experience, Hale has grown to adore teaching, even though she sometimes feels like a class period is not long enough to be able to provide the help to the students who need it.
“I enjoy thinking of project ideas,” Hale said. “[I] like the times I get to work one-on-one with the students.”
This year, she is especially excited to be teaching the new graphic design class that is being offered, and looks forward to helping develop the program.
Caitlin Evans, also a new administrator at Paly this year, teaches psychology. Before coming to Paly, Evans spent time in the Peace Corps and in Bangladesh for two years teaching.
“For the last ten years I have worked for non-profit organizations in international education,” Evans said. “This meant that I traveled all over the world working with teachers and students on different educational programs.”
Working for these organizations, Evans taught teachers how to use technology in their classrooms, and worked for a number of non-profit organizations that run alternative schools. One of these schools holds classes on train platforms in India for children who sold water or shined shoes.
“I worked on global projects to connect kids in different parts of the world,” Evans said. “I loved the work I was doing but I was traveling too much. I missed teaching in a classroom and decided it was time to go back [to that].”
Evans first realized that she wanted to be a teacher when she taught in Bangladesh: she first realized that teaching was something she could do for the rest of her life.
“I love getting to know my students,” Evans said. “We have such diverse, interesting kids at Paly. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to teach here and meet so many great students.”
Evans was attracted to teaching psychology to high school students because high school is such an interesting time in students’ lives.
Along with her part time job at Paly, Evans has two sons she has to juggle taking care of.
Evans has been having a wonderful time teaching psychology to her students, and is looking forward to teaching a unit on social psychology, which is coming at the end of the semester.