New Teachers (2022-23)


Peyton Hoffer, Writer & Designer

This year, there are 14 new teachers at Homestead. Many of these teachers already have experience teaching and helping students in other schools. The new staff is beginning to settle in thanks to the help of the students and fellow staff members. Some of these new staff share their goals and interests.

Robert Irwin has worked at five different schools for a collective 30 years, making him one of the most qualified people for the job of athletic director. Irwin has held several positions throughout his career, such as head basketball coach, JV basketball coach, athletic director, elementary school teacher, and gym teacher. While experienced, some challenges come with each job. “In [his] position balancing time at school and time at home [can be difficult],” he said. “The hours can be very long for several days in a row.” Irwin likes to spend the time he has at home “hanging out with [his] family and playing with [his] grandchildren,” which includes his black labradoodle named Murphy. Although Irwin is an administrator, he still enjoys seeing students “grow athletically and academically,” which is something he finds “extremely satisfying” about his job.

Jacob Dunn, the new business teacher, is ready for his first year of teaching and is excited to introduce students to the business world. “I am brand new to the profession,” he said. “I’m excited to bring my experiences in business to the classroom.” As a Homestead graduate himself, he worked in the area before coming back to teach: “I worked in marketing at a company here in town, where I learned all about the business world.” Although Dunn didn’t follow the standard path of becoming a teacher, his unique outlook on his subject could benefit students learning from him. “I teach because I really value education. I don’t have the traditional background of going into education as a career. I went into marketing worked there for a bit and then transitioned to teaching.” Dunn leads an “active lifestyle” outside of school, playing sports like ultimate frisbee and volleyball and going for runs. He also plays guitar on the side.

Jennifer Burkholder is a new math teacher this year and is settling into her first teaching position, but not without struggle. “The hardest thing about being a teacher a lot of times is getting the students involved and interested,” she said. “Finding a way to keep students engaged while still learning the material can be tricky.” Burkholder, while new, isn’t inexperienced. “This is my first year out of college,” she said. “I did my student teaching at Eastbrook High School in Marion and graduated from Anderson University.” Outside of school, Burkholder enjoys playing volleyball at her church and spending time with her husband and dog (a black lab named Koa!). While Burkholder and all other teachers tackle problems in the classroom differently, one thing remains the same among them all: the greatest reward a teacher can have is the satisfaction attained through giving. Burkholder said, “I loved being able to help give students that moment of clarity, that “ah-ha” moment is something really amazing.”

New Teachers/Certified Staff

Acree, Amy – Media Specialist

Bartel, Camille – Spanish Teacher

Behrendt, Sarah – English/Yearbook

Burkholder, Jennifer – Math Teacher

Busch, Melanie – PE/Health Teacher

Clemons, Shane – Social Studies Teacher

Conley, Kristan – Intense Intervention Teacher

DeHerrera, Anthony (TJ) – Mild Disabilities Teacher

Dunn, Jacob – Business Teacher

Heckber, Kristen – Guidance Consular for eSACS

Hennessey, Ashley – Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher

Robbins, Jakayla – Math Teacher

Wiley, Stephanie – Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher

Zvers, Jackson – Business Teacher

New Admin/Support Staff/LTA

Irwin, Robert – Athletic Director

Arnold, Jamie – Athletic Department Administrative Assistant

Bowen, Sarah – Special Needs Instructional Assistant

Brown, Brianne – Special Needs Instructional Assistant

Carrel, Gretchen – Attendance Secretary & Spartan Help Desk

Dahouk, Amal – Mild Disabilities Instructional Assistant

Fortune, Yolanda – Media Center/Student Testing Support

Gaff, Hidi – Seminar Assistant

Grinslade, Pamela – Mild Disabilities Instructional Assistant

Neuenschwander, Lisa – Special Needs Instructional Assistant

Todd, Rebecca – Assistant Registrar

Batt, Erin – Math Teacher (Ali Meyers 2022-23 School Year)

Mast, Kristen – Guidance Counselor (Mallory Cochran’s Maternity Leave)