Up for the Challenge:New Teachers, High Hopes as School Term Begins

By Seth Daniel

Four of the approximately 70 new teachers this year paused for a photo last week during the new teacher orientation program for the Revere Public Schools. Here, Erin Chiesa, Francisco Hernandez Salgado, Sarah Bradley and Lina DiCenso are ready to welcome students back to the various schools on Monday, Aug. 28.

A new school year brings a fresh start for everyone, but no more so than for the more than 70 new teachers who are about to teach their first lessons in the Revere Public Schools this coming Monday, Aug. 28.

Back to school is at hand for certain, but around 70 new teachers assigned to every school in the district reported for training as early as Aug. 15, taking a bus tour of the City, stopping at Revere Beach and learning about the culture of the community and the students.

Using Revere High School as a base, the new teachers set their hopes high and learned from veteran, mentor teachers hand picked by the administration to usher in the new crop of educators this year.

Such an exercise happens just about every year, and this year the numbers are about the same as usual, said Supt. Dianne Kelly.

With a mixture of retirements and new positions, new teachers who hail from Revere originally to new teachers who have come from as far away as California are ready for their first year.

Matthew Costa, director of STEM for Revere Public Schools, helped to coordinate the program this year.

“All of the teachers this year have unique experiences before having come to work with us,” he said. “This year, we have around 70 new teachers in the district. Some are new positions and some are filling positions for teachers who retired. We’re lucky. It looks like we have great educators with a lot of promise who have come to join us. Additionally, three of the new teachers are Revere High alums.”

One of those alums is Lina DiCenso, whose sister is also one of the new Revere teacher alums.

DiCenso has been working at the Paul Revere for a few years, but this year she will be fulfilling her life-long dream on Aug. 28 when students walk into her fifth grade classroom at the Paul Revere for the first time.

“I have known and  wanted to be a teachers since I was in second grade,” she said. “After that year, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I’m just really excited about it and to finally have my own classroom.”

DiCenso attended the Garfield Elementary and Middle School, and graduated from Revere High. After attending Stonehill College, she returned to Revere.

“It’s funny because my sister just graduated from college and will be a new teacher in the 9th grade at Revere High,” she added. “It’s funny how that works out.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Bradley will be a new teacher in the district at the Seacoast High School. Bradley just graduated from Boston College in May, and is excited to work with young people in the Seacoast.

She said she came to Revere because her supervisor where she student-taught in Boston heard really good things about Revere schools.

She said she is very excited to help with the new BARR grant school re-design effort, and also said that growing up she moved around a lot and found that it can be difficult going from place to place.

“From moving around so much, I saw the huge difference between different schools and different teachers,” she said. “My first high schools was failing and I moved halfway through high school to a school that was similar demographically, but was exceptional. It’s probably the only reason I made it to BC. I’m excited to be at Seacoast to learn different ways to teach and different ways to reach students.”

Francisco Hernandez Salgado comes all the way from California, with roots in Mexico, and he will be teaching Spanish at Revere High. He just recently graduated from Boston College Graduate School.

He was attracted to Revere due to the Heritage Spanish program that seeks to teach the language to native speakers.

“I think I have high hopes that with the Heritage Spanish program in particular, that I want my students to be proud of where they came from in Revere and also their heritage so they can build a strong sense of who they are,” he said.

Erin Chiesa will be teaching 8th grade science at the Rumney Marsh Academy this year, after having taught at a charter school previously. Before that, though, she worked in the biotech field for 10 years.

“I was pleasantly surprised by what Revere had to offer in terms of student centered learning,” she said. “Coming from a charter school, there was a big emphasis on that.”

However, after taking the bus tour of Revere last week, she said she was really moved by the sense of community in the city.

“See the neighborhoods and communities, you see how strong they are, and not just in the school community,” she said. “I’m excited to be part of that in a small way.”

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