Biology teacher moves to the middle school

James Beckers, former biology and AP Biology teacher at the high school, is moving to the intermediate school this year, where he will teach seventh grade science. 

“I have a handful of years left teaching, and I wanted to try a new challenge and have it be something I can really get excited about,” Beckers said. “It may turn out great, it may not turn out great, but that’s the way it goes, you have to take chances. Everyone’s been really great to me here, so I’m excited about it.”

His move to the intermediate school is sudden. The transition was confirmed only a few weeks before the first day of school, and students who are taking biology or AP Bio may still have him listed on their schedule as the teacher. However, it is Kelsi Burke who will be teaching those students this year.

“I am mostly excited, partially nervous just because it’s a new class to me,” Burke said. “But as a biology major in college, I am looking forward to teaching a class of bio.” 

Beckers is filling the position that became vacant after Maria Gitter, former seventh grade science teacher, left in the spring of last year. 

“Mrs. Gitter moved to Nashville at the end of last year, and so we had a process where we were looking for a teacher to fill the position,” said Mike Joynt, intermediate school principal. “He used to teach at the middle school and so he expressed [an] interest in filling the position when it became open. And so we invited him over.”

The intermediate school looks forward to having Beckers in their building. 

“I’m excited for the school year, and I’m excited to have Mr. Beckers here because of the experience he’s had at the intermediate school,” Joynt said. “I think it’ll be beneficial for kids to have someone who knows how to prepare them for the high school. We’re excited he’s here. I know there are a lot of staff here that he’s worked with, and when they found out that Mr. Beckers was coming back to the intermediate school that they were very excited as well.”

Beckers hopes that he can use his experiences at the high school to help prepare his students for their futures. 

“It was really cool and positive to see how the younger kids deal with science and what it’s like here,” Beckers said. “I had a really great time, so I thought it’d be an interesting new challenge. I’m hoping that I can take what I know about science and help the younger kids to get excited about science, and also prep them for the high school at the same time, because I certainly know what that’s all about.”

Though Beckers is excited to teach at the intermediate school, there are aspects of his job at the high school that he will miss. 

“It’s always cool to see the kids come in as freshmen and then in AP Bio see them as juniors or seniors and they’re ready to head off to school, and you see how much they change, and how excited they are about it go into the real world,” Beckers said. “And I’ll miss my colleagues that are still there for sure.