The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

Fresh Faces: Meet the Newest Additions to Olympia’s Teaching Staff

As a new school year comes around, we see the introduction of many brand new teachers here at Olympia. Let’s hear from some of the new Titans!

Chemistry teacher, Ms. Heather Waddell
Ms. Heather Waddell- Chemistry

“I teach chemistry here at Olympia, and my educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical science and a master’s degree in biology. Looking back on the first couple of weeks here at Olympia, I must say that I absolutely love it – this place feels like home to me. What stands out about the student body at Olympia is their remarkable respect and responsibility; they genuinely care about their grades and assignments, which I love. Compared to other schools I’ve worked at, I’ve noticed fewer behavioral issues here, and the students are genuinely eager to learn and pay attention. Failing students isn’t a significant concern. My goals and hopes for this year are centered on having the students be interested in chemistry, motivating them to succeed, and having them take away valuable information from my class.”

Culinary teacher, Ms. Amanda Mercado
Ms. Amanda Mercado- Culinary

“I am currently teaching Culinary 1 classes at Olympia. During college, I majored in both liberal arts and pastry arts. My initial impressions of my first couple of weeks here at Olympia have been very positive; the school appears to be exceptionally organized and thorough. I’m genuinely impressed by the student body here; they are a delightful and enthusiastic group, eager to learn. Interestingly, Olympia marks my first year of teaching so I’m very excited for this year. For this year, my primary hope is to effectively engage with my students and help them grasp the significance and fundamentals of culinary arts.”



ESE teacher, Mr. Nick Balkevicius
Mr. Nick Balkevicius- ESE

“This year I am teaching Access Biology, Career Preparation, Access Theater, Access Personal Fitness, and Self  Determination.  My dream has always been to become an ESE teacher. However, when I was in college, I decided to change my major to entertainment management. My hope with this change was that I could manage famous musicians. Before starting on that path, I went back the next semester to get my master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management. It was during COVID that I decided to ditch management and make a career change where I could pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an ESE teacher. Growing up I was taught that you should find a career that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. For me, that’s being a teacher.  My first few weeks of school at Olympia High School have been filled with both excitement and adjustments.  I’ve been amazed by my students’ excitement and desire for knowledge. Getting to know my fellow teachers and the culture of the school has been a significant component in my journey, and I’m appreciative of their support and camaraderie. While there have been some challenges, I’m excited to continue developing my students’ potential while contributing to their growth throughout the school year. As a new teacher at Olympia High School, I have been impressed by the devotion and involvement of the student body. Their constant dedication to studies and active participation in numerous school activities amazes me. OHS students have demonstrated a commitment to their future by succeeding in the classroom, participating in extracurricular clubs, and serving in the community. Olympia High School differs from the two other schools I’ve taught at in a few different ways. Firstly, the level of student engagement and dedication to academics seems notably higher at Olympia, creating a more stimulating and focused learning environment. Secondly, the diversity of the student body and their willingness to embrace different perspectives also stands out to me. I’ve witnessed on multiple occasions an environment that embraces inclusion for all. As an ESE teacher, all I want for my students is a place where they can be included and accepted, and that’s certainly one major thing I have witnessed here at OHS compared to my previous schools. I have two hopes for the 2023-2024 school year. My first hope is that I can inspire my students to have an appreciation for learning. I want them to see school as a place of curiosity, exploration, and personal growth, rather than a requirement. My second hope is to equip my students with the practical skills and knowledge to make a successful transition into adulthood.”

Anatomy, Ms. Kelly Lyon
 Ms. Kelly Lyon- Anatomy

“I teach anatomy and physiology this year. I went to college as an athletic trainer. My interest is being able to know how the body works, injury prevention, and treatment. In order to know what is wrong with the body and how to fix it, you gotta know the parts. I love the body because it is like a big puzzle, I love puzzles. My shoulder could hurt but it doesn’t mean that the problem is in my shoulder. I enjoy being able to solve that problem while also helping people. I appreciate Olympia so much, the students are very nice and the teachers are all so welcoming and supportive. The Student Body here at Olympia is very impressive, I’ve never had a problem with any of my students. I appreciate Olympia High School because of how the students get involved with pep rallies on Fridays and sports games like football, and volleyball. Olympia High School differs from other schools because of how much athletics is supported at this school. It helps build school spirit and get kids involved. My hope for this year is to have my students be interested in anatomy and want to be engaged and learn.”

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About the Contributor
Kyler Emmett
Kyler Emmett, Staff
Kyler Emmett is a sophomore staff member of The Oracle. He is a member of Film Fanatics, Tabletop Games, and Key Club at Olympia. Kyler enjoys listening to all types of music, watching random movies, and spending time with friends and family.
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