Students Meet New Teachers
By Nancy Rineman
Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Day one for kindergartners and first-and second-graders at Centre School last Tuesday was an Orientation Day, giving students and parents opportunity to visit classrooms and teachers at their convenience, morning or afternoon.
Principal Nancy Andrews encouraged visitors to be sure to stop by the music room to meet Victoria LaFavre, Centre School's new music teacher.
"We'll sing a lot. We'll dance even more," LaFavre told one student who appeared timid while meeting his music teacher for the first time.
LaFavre said this is the age group she has always wanted to teach. Teaching doesn't stop at Centre School for LaFavre, however. On weekends, she teaches at "Music Together" in Exeter.
"It's a worldwide program, like a 'Mommy and Me' program," LaFavre said.
LaFavre is a University of New Hampshire graduate, where she majored in music education. She sang in all the choruses, including the concert choir and chamber singers. She has had classes in all instruments and is a pianist as well.
"I've known since third-grade that I wanted to be a music teacher," she said.
She credits her music teachers from Braintree, Mass., for years of encouragement.
This year, Centre School students can look forward to singing, dancing, and playing instruments every week. They will learn about music from "all over the world," LaFavre said.
"I'm very excited to be here," she said. "It's a great school."
In the Art Room:
Down the hall, students and families were streaming in and out of the art room to meet Susan Haight, this year's "new" art teacher. Haight is a familiar face to returning students since she taught kindergarten at Centre School last year. She is assuming the role of art teacher this year while teacher Kim Olson is on maternity leave.
Haight is not new to Hampton either. She is a Hampton native who went through all the Hampton schools, and now has two children in the Hampton schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in art education at the University of Vermont.
Her path has included many stops, as she went from teaching music in Vermont to studying and exploring art in New Mexico. There she worked in art galleries for local painters and taught art, kindergarten, and preschool. After receiving her master's in Early Childhood Education at UNH, she had her own preschool in Hampton for six years. Haight has also found time to teach at Brainwaves in North Hampton. She said she loves this age group at Centre School. "They're not inhibited," she said.
Next year, she will return to teaching kindergarten, where she will continue to do "a lot of art through the curriculum," she said.
Haight said she has been happy to be back in Hampton all these years.
"It's great to have a sense of roots," she said.
LaFavre and Haight will be working with 365 students at Centre School this year.