Zoe Hecht’s week has been consumed with hauling furniture into her classroom, evaluating her lesson plans and undergoing new hire training at Gainesville Middle School.
Hecht, who will teach physical science for eighth graders, is one of many new faculty members in Gainesville and Hall County Schools getting ready for the upcoming school year.
Before joining Gainesville Middle, she worked for 20 years as a kindergarten teacher at Gainesville Elementary School.
“It’s a whole new start,” she said. “I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.”
Hecht will serve as one of the 59 new classroom teachers beginning the year with Gainesville City Schools. The school system is also hiring 35 other staff members, including food service employees, maintenance workers and a school nurse.
Andrea Loureiro, assistant principal at Gainesville Middle, said she is looking forward to filling the halls back up with students.
“We have some new hires and transfers, which is always a good sign,” she said. “We’re excited for a new year and just getting ready for the kids.”
While the Gainesville City Schools new hires underwent training in their respective facilities, Hall County Schools met at the Ramsey Conference Center at Lanier Technical College on July 24 and 25.
Nancy Sykes, customer relations specialist at Hall County Schools, said the teacher training entailed break-out sessions in their areas of expertise. Jarious Norwood, a former running back for the Atlanta Falcons served as the motivational speaker.
Hall County Schools will have 214 new teachers and 72 other staff members this school year.
Kayla Gillispie, who will start as a speech therapist at Myers Elementary School, said this school year marks her first job working full-time for a school system.
“I love working with kids, and I’ve done placements in schools,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d like it, but I ended up loving it.”
Elaine Wade retired in 2012 after teaching in Hall County Schools for over 20 years. Deciding that she couldn’t get enough of the system, she returned this year as a ninth grade environmental science teacher at Chestatee High School.
“I just love being around young people, it keeps me young,” Wade said. “All the faculty and staff at Chestatee are just wonderful. It’s like going back home.”
Open house schedules
Hall County Schools
Elementary: 3-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
Middle: 4-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2
High school: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1
Gainesville City Schools
Gainesville High School: 3-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2
Gainesville Middle School: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2
Centennial: 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
Enota: 3-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
Fair Street: 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
Gainesville Exploration: 4-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
Mundy Mill: 3-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
New Holland: 3-6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5
First day of school for Hall County and Gainesville
Wednesday, Aug. 7