New Teacher Hawks


1)Why did you decide to come to East?  2)What is the craziest or unique experience while at work?

3) What do you like the most about East?  4) What do you do outside of school?

John Derby-Sculpture, Jewelry, Ceramics, and AP Ceramics:

 1)“I missed teaching high school students, and working with teenagers. I felt at home the moment I walked into Olathe East last year for my interview.”

2)“I taught in a ski town for a while- Park City, UT. I went on a two-hour mountain bike ride during my lunch/plan, and at the top of the mountain I realized that I was running a little late for the assembly. I rode downhill as fast as I could, and it was cold so I got hypothermia really bad. I taught ceramics so I turned on one of the kilns(ovens) to heat myself up, and stood with my back close to the kiln. I was enjoying the feeling of thawing out, when suddenly I smelled something awful. My nylon jacket had caught on fire and was melting! I had a giant hole in my coat, but I did make it to the assembly on time.”


Andrea Hink-Drawing 2, Painting, and Basic Digital Photography:

3)“I’m enjoying the students. That’s why a teacher teaches. I think the change in education, block scheduling, and Hawk Hour I’ve liked the most.”

2)“That’s a tough one too! I cut my thumb with a paper cutter while I had a class in my room once. I was bit, and have had students eat art supplies when they shouldn’t have and have had students call me mom, we were all embarrassed.”


Rachel Kelly-Algebra 2 and College Algebra:

3)“The staff is very welcoming and the students are great. I look forward to getting to know the students at East.”

2)“Probably when I was in high school when I was working at a hardware shop and my boyfriend – who is now my husband – was cutting plastic for the floor tiles. There was a knick in the tile he was using as a guide. He ended up cutting the tip of his thumb off. I happened to be working that night.”


Donna Bajich-Applied Geometry and Algebra 1:

4)“Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and I am active in my church.”

1)“I was already teaching in the Olathe school district, so when I decided to move up to high school I thought OE would be the perfect fit because my own kids attend this school and I have always had positive experiences attending their activities here. I love it here at East.  I am really enjoying working with high school age students, and the math department has been very welcoming and helpful!”

3)“I have really been impressed with how welcoming and friendly everyone has been…from students to teachers to anyone who works in the building!”


Patrick Lenz- Modern World History and Psychology:

1) “I knew students that went here and talked abut how great of a school it is! I also wanted to move to a bigger district. I love teaching at East! It is extremely busy, but I like it. The students are wonderful and I love being the girls’ tennis coach!”

3) “The staff is very nice and supportive. The kids here are very respectable. I enjoy how the students want to be challenged and have an interest in learning new things in an engaging way.”


Pamela Gabel- ELL Science:

4)“I enjoy golfing, cooking and supporting the Chiefs and Royals.”

1)“I raised my family in Olathe and Lees’ Summit and wanted to be closer to them and Olathe East is a great place to be!”



Tanya Dringman- American History, geography, 9th grade AVID:

1) “I have a family that I spend a lot of time with; I am going to be a grandma soon. I spend a lot of time doing day trips with my husband. We have a motorcycle.”

2) “One of the funniest things was at Santa Fe Trails. We were studying the Civil War so marching them around and practicing. We had to call the police to tell them we were going to shoot of the cannon five times that day and all the neighbors were calling thinking it was gunshots. We shot off the cannons of five times. We alarmed the whole neighborhood.”

Andrew Davis-AP Biology and General Biology:

4)“I do a lot of gardening and reading.  I partake in tabletop games with some teacher friends of mine.  I will admit that I’m really into dungeons and dragons.  Some students at my previous school started a club, and I sponsored and ran a lot of the games for them.”

1)“I also knew some teachers here already, and really connected with some of the teaching philosophies that were supported here at East.  I had done my student teaching originally at Olathe Northwest, and have aimed to try and get back into the Olathe district since that experience.”

3)“I used to work with Kindergartens for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club.  I had a boy who was just really off the walls, and needed a lot of direction and affirmation to make it through the day.  One day, during afternoon snack time, I congratulated him on how well he was handling himself and his interactions with his peers.  He was so energized and elated that he had to go and ruin the moment by leaping out of his seat, tearing off ALL of his clothes, and running through the cafeteria in all his glory.  Took just about the rest of the afternoon to get him dressed and in chair again.”

Blake Iles-Algebra 1 and Intermediate Algebra 2:

4)“I coach a 16 and under club baseball team called the KC Bullets.  I have two kids, Camden (six years old) and Braden (four years old) who play baseball, softball and soccer that I enjoy watching.  I love sports! I’m a Chicago Bears, KC(Kansas City) Royals, and KU(Kansas University) Jayhawks fan.”

2)“At Olathe Northwest we were on lock-down for over two hours and we didn’t really know what was happening.  Having a class full of students who were also wanting to know what was happening. [from 1:00-4:00] Everything ended up being ok and no one was in harm.”

Amy Applebaum-Family Studies, Career & Life Planning, and Human Growth and Development:

4) “My hobbies are traveling, baking, reading, crafting, and exercising.”

3) “Two things I’ve liked about being at East so far is the block schedule and seeing former students I had in middle school. I was looking forward to working with high school age students, and a change of scenery from being at the middle school level.”


Jacob Sawyer- Horticulture 1&2:

3) “There is a very highly engaged student body. When they want something done they get it done.”

2)“[Jacob Sawyer previously worked as a funeral director] There was a time when we were cremating a body and when we put the body in and closed the door, I started to hear a loud popping. Apparently, the family of the deceased had put gun shells into the suit of the late family member and they had started to explode.”

Jon Thibaudeau -Physical Science:

4) “I am very involved with my church; I sponsor the Science Olympia Team; I love tabletop sports, and I coach club baseball.”

1)“It was time to make a change and my principal thought working for Kerry Lane would be great and so far it has been. I probably wouldn’t have transferred to any other school.”

3) “I like the administrators, the teachers, and of course the students…”

2) “We would have children who would occasionally go crazy enough and would pee all over the room. It was probably the grossest, craziest thing I’ve seen.”


Michelle Staples- Intro to Education, Educational Practices I, and Nutrition & Wellness:

4)“I’m an avid scrapbooker and I do a lot of reading and then I’m on my sorority’s (PHI MU) executive board and I’m an advisor so that takes up a lot of my time. I’m also an ACCTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) Mentor for the state of Kansas so I mentor someone else who is new to the profession and we get together, to make sure the year is going ok and give her advice and do welcoming things.”

3)“When I first applied here I compared the Little leagues to the big leagues because Olathe as a city is large and has a lot of high schools and everything. Gardner is a one high school town.  I felt like it was just like it was just a shift. I love my students like my students are the same I love my students. I think the school is way bigger like East is huge I heard that is half mile from end to end a lot, I don’t know if that’s true but I’m not going to try it. I really love my rooms they are totally awesome and they just got renovated so they are super cool. The staff is super cool everyone has been awesome to me, everyone has just been great and welcoming.”


Kirk Peterson- Civic Leadership Essentials, Public Administration 1, Modern World History, and Economics:

4)“I enjoy being outside hunting fishing and just exercising outdoors.”

3)“I really have a passion for mentoring students and coaching leadership. It’s I think it’s really important to focus on how you grow relationships and community. If these are going to be the next leaders in the world they need to understand challenges and you don’t understand that by just cramming your head in books all the time. You have to know how to relate to people. That’s a big leadership skill, other than that it associates with public policy which I’m also interest in.”


Caine Kreimendahl-Advanced Placement United States History and Geography:

2)“So I moved to Florida and I got my teaching license there but I moved in the summer without a job so there were no jobs. Friends of mine are property managers so I got my license to do that and I ended up managing property condos. It’s so different, I actually ended up enjoying it. I could prove to myself that I could do something other than teach.”

3)“My favorite part is it feels just like home. I love East; I love the students; I love the teachers. It’s a great place to be!”


Lauren Shultz- French 1 and 3:

2)“I thought it was pretty cool when I was in France and I had a Spanish tourist mistake me as a French person and was very confused as to why I didn’t know very much about the city. There are two Rivers in Lyons (the last city I was in) and there were people swimming in one of the rivers. One man said why, are people swimming in the river I don’t think that should be allowed’. I then replied I don’t know; I couldn’t really tell you.  He then asked, why not, you are French right? And I answered, no I’m actually American. So that was pretty cool”



Karee Schnoring- English 3 and Yearbook:

4)“I love to read; it’s one of my favorite things to do. I’m constantly reading if I have a free moment. I love to spending time with my family and friends. My husband and my dog Louie they are my entire world so just hanging out with them. We love to cook, spending time outside, and taking dog on walks.”

2)“I got to have a sit down interview with Joe Jonas which was a surreal moment as a journalist. One day I was sitting at my computer typing away and my boss comes in with Kendall and Kylie Jenner, so that was pretty wild.”


Shelby Taylor- U.S Government:

3)“My favorite part about East is that I’m back home. This is my home this is the environment I love. I grew up, you know, bleeding orange and having that pride.”

It was my plan it was my dream goal it was my dream job. I didn’t think I had it in the bag but I knew of some positions opening up so ultimately so I went to East I graduated in 2013 and so not that long ago and I kept my relationships with teachers.



Jessica Steinberg- Read 180 and English 1:

4)“Until a year ago I was a pretty serious runner. So I actually completed three full marathons, a couple half marathons and lots of 10Ks I’m also a running coach for a program called “Girls on the Run”. That’s an international running program that’s both at elementary and high school and I’m still doing that right now, I absolutely love to travel and I taught abroad for two years.”

2)“I decided that I would give the Middle East a try so I taught there for two years I taught. We had a middle and high school sort of combined and so I taught sixth grade humanities, then I taught 9-12 English Language Arts. We also had our very first year of a senior

class the first year that I was there, oh, and we had three Palestinian students who were the first seniors of the class; all three of them had come to the [then] states eleventh grade year so they were trying to finish out their twelfth grade year at an American school.



Addis Sharpe // Business Manager

Kaytlin Willis // Staff Writer

Melanie Eszter // Managing Editor