New Semester, New Staff

Staffing changes are taking place this semester


Photo by Tom Lietz on Twitter

Victoria Viglione, Reporter

New opportunities often lead to changes and adjustments. The start of the new semester is not an exception to this common occurrence. There are going to be many new staffing changes at Utica. Although teachers will be missed, some teachers will also be welcomed back.

On Jan. 2, principal Thomas Lietz sent out an email to Utica parents and students informing them about the new staffing changes.

“It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I announce that we will be lending one of our veteran teachers, Mrs. Yvonne Swanson, to lead this semester,” Lietz said in the email. “Mrs. Swanson will begin an Administrative Internship as an Assistant Principal tomorrow. Having recommended Mrs. Swanson for this opportunity, I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Taking Swanson’s place in AP Government is teacher Collin Syler.

“Mr. Syler is no stranger to the AP Government classroom where he student taught and has been a tutor for the last few years,” Lietz said. “He has been working with Mrs. Swanson and will have a seamless transition forward.”

Teaching the remainder of Swanson’s classes will be teacher Ric Essad. These classes include government and economics. Along with Swanson leaving, teacher Joy Grieco’s earlier retirement has staff moving around once again. Teacher Ryan Hines is taking Grieco’s classes, but until he can start teaching at the end of January, long-term subs will be taking his place.

Although staffing changes are not uncommon, the number of changes is dependent on the circumstances of the year.

“It all depends on the year. This year was unique because we didn’t know we were going to lose Mrs. Swanson. We knew that we need more staff because of the retirement of Mrs. Grieco,” Lietz said. “We are very fortunate to have some candidates that applied.”

Most of the new staff members have previously taught at Utica or attended school here. What makes Utica such an environment where people want to return?

“You get a feel for the school by talking to its staff and students,” said Lietz. “Utica is a community that allows teachers to feel welcome and students to feel empowered”