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New Faces at SES
Posted On:
Thursday, August 17, 2017
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We have four new faces at Sewanee Elementary this year.  Rosie Pongdee is filling an interim maternity leave in fifth grade math and science for the first six weeks of school;  Holly Curtis is teaching fourth grade math and science; Jalee Walters is teaching first grade; and Corey Baughman is our new Guidance Counselor.  

Rosie Pongdee is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and has nine years of classroom experience teaching fourth and fifth grade math and science.  She began her career in Texas and returned to Tennessee when her husband, Ron, obtained a position at the University of the South.  Rosie worked as an inclusion assistant at Westwood Elementary School in Manchester before transitioning into full time teaching.  She loves teaching math because it helps her students develop the perseverance and organization that they can use in other areas of life.  When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her sons Gabriel and Michael.

Holly Curtis comes to us from Brevard County, Florida, where she lived for over twenty years (20), but she is a native of the great state of Tennessee.  She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her Masters of Science degree from NOVA Southeastern University, and Elementary certification at The University of Central Florida.  She has been an educator over twenty years (20) and believes that American students need to achieve the best possible education to live successful lives as tomorrow's leaders.  She is very pleased to be here in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee teaching Math & Science at Sewanee Elementary School.  

Planning and participating in Project-Based Learning (PBL) opportunities is something she truly enjoys within the Math and Science subject areas!  Already, the fourth grade students have studied lunar and solar eclipses, and are currently making observations with hummingbirds to compare and contrast the effect of color with liquid food.  Also, they have several guest speakers lined up for presentations and experiments to sample  water, air, and soil.   She hopes to be able to scout out interesting sites for local field trips...so look for the fourth grade team out and about in Sewanee!

Jalee Walters, a sixth year teacher, will be teaching first grade this year at Sewanee Elementary. As an Atlanta, GA native, she graduated from Kennesaw State University with her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and immediately began her teaching career in Charlotte, NC where much of her family resides today. She taught in third grade for three years and fifth grade for two years. While in Charlotte, Jalee was an active member of her district’s math committee and Personalized Learning committee where she was able to further her instruction and knowledge in and out of the classroom as well as provide professional development sessions to her peers. She carries a passion for technology and became Google Certified while working in the upper grades. When Jalee is not in the classroom, she enjoys hiking to waterfalls, traveling to new places, and gardening. Jalee is thrilled to be a Sewanee Tiger and to be working alongside the SES staff and faculty!

Corey Baughman, a third year school counselor, will be the new school counselor at Sewanee Elementary School.  She is replacing long-time school counselor Bo Jackson who retired at the end of last year.  Corey will teach weekly guidance lessons to the students at Sewanee Elementary and provide group and individual counseling as needed.  She is a great resource for the parents and the teachers and she can be reached by phone at the school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday or by email.

Corey holds a MEd in school counseling from the University of West Alabama and a BSEd in middle grades education from the University of Georgia.  Corey has been an educator for five years and began her teaching career in Quito, Ecuador, at The American School of Quito, where she was a primary teacher in the international section of the school.  During her tenure in Quito, she traveled to many South American countries and went to Europe for a summer.  She was a Destination Imagination group manager and traveled to Cartagena, Colombia to compete in the South American Destination Imagination Competition.  Upon return to the United States, Corey taught high school Spanish in north Georgia for three years and then re-located to eastern Indiana where she was a school counselor for a junior-senior high school for the past two years.

Corey enjoys traveling, football, reading, and spending time with her family and she is excited to be at Sewanee Elementary and to be a Sewanee Tiger!      

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