Centennial’s New Teachers Reflect on Their First Year

Words: Meghan Moore

Freshmen students are not the only ones who have to become accustomed to the ways of high school during their first year. Teachers new to high schools spend their first year learning how to adjust to the education standards that Howard County has set in place.


This year, Centennial had eight new teachers join the Centennial family.


John Sharbaugh, a first year ninth grade English teacher at the school shared his first impression as being, “a school where the majority of students are well-behaved, focused and ready to learn,” to which he added, “its a teacher’s dream.”


Some teachers never expect to leave their jobs teaching in middle school, while others have always known where they wanted to teach.


Justin Thomas, a first year math teacher here at Centennial stated, “I’ve always known I wanted to teach high school, but I thought it would be later in life.”


No matter where a teacher goes, there will always be that one validating moment during their first year at a school.


For Jessica Pan, a U.S. History and U.S. Government teacher, that moment was “the day after the AP US History test, a lot of students emailed me to tell me how well they think they had done.”


An educator’s first year at a new school gives a lot of insight on how a teacher wants to run their classroom.


“Some things have gone right,” shared Thomas, “plenty of things have gone wrong, but you learn from your mistakes and next year I will minimize the mistakes.”


For some it is about improving upon things that they thought they understood well enough.


“I have a much better idea about classroom management, and what students are like at different times of the year,” established Pan.


Sharbaugh concluded: “I couldn’t be happier at Centennial, and I hope to remain here until I retire.”


“It creates a wonderful educational environment, and I hope that the students who attend this school realize how fortunate they are to go here” said Sharbaugh.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.