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Purdy R-2 welcomes new staff

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nine new employees are joining the Purdy R-2 School District for the 2011-12 school year. In the front row, from left, are: Debbie Carpenter, library aide; Katie Whitehead, counselor; and Michelle Flehmer, language arts. Second row: Mickie Brown, food service; Kimberly Holz, ESOL; and Molly Strickland, high school math. Third row: Tina Warren, food service; Christine Scott, art; and Kayla Branstetter, high school language arts. [Photo courtesy of Bob Vice]
Nine new faculty and staff have joined the Purdy R-2 School District for the 2011-12 school year.

* Molly Strickland, new high school mathematics instructor, graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor of science in mathematics education in May 2010. She performed her student teaching at Central High School in Springfield and in the Pleasant Hope School District. Strickland's family lives in Woodbridge, Va., where she graduated high school. A self-professed "Navy brat." Strickland said her family moved every two to three years when she was growing up. She enjoys bike rides, jogs with her dogs and reading.

* Katie Whitehead is the new seventh through 12th grade counselor. Whitehead is also a Missouri State University graduate, where she received a master of science degree in counseling in 2011, and was nominated MSU's Outstanding Teaching Graduate Assistant. She also holds a bachelor of science degree from Missouri Southern State University in French and communication. Her husband, Gabe, teaches science in the Billings School District. Whitehead enjoys reading, baking, anything to do with France and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

* Christine Scott, new art instructor for the middle school and high school, received her bachelor of science degree in art education from William Woods University in Jefferson City in 2011. She completed her student teaching in the Jefferson City public school system. Also, as a part of her educational technology class at William Woods, Scott taught English and art curriculum via Skype to students in Taiwan. Because of her success in this course, she was one of three students chosen to travel to Taiwan to teach her students during the summer of 2010.

* Michelle Flehmer will be one of two new language arts instructors at Purdy High School. She will also assume duties as the high school speech and debate coach. Flehmer is a Missouri State University graduate, where she was awarded the College of Education Graduate Pin for Excellence in her major. She has taught in both the Logan-Rogersville and Hollister school districts. She will be getting married to Justin Hilburn in October.

* Kayla Branstetter will also be instructing language arts at Purdy High School this year. Branstetter is a 2006 Purdy High School graduate. She received her bachelor of science in education degree from Missouri Southern State University in May 2011. Branstetter performed her student teaching in the Cassville School District in the spring of 2011. Her husband, Chris, is the assistant boys' basketball coach at Purdy schools. She enjoys reading novels, taking pictures and loves traveling to new places.

* Kimberly Holz will be the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor at the middle school and high school. Holz comes to Purdy from the Exeter School District where she taught for three years. Holz received her master of science degree as a reading specialist from Drury University in 2010 and has a bachelor of science in elementary education with an emphasis in English as a second language from the University of Nebraska, where she also received a bachelor of arts in Latin American relations.

* Debbie Carpenter will join the Purdy staff this year as a library aide. Carpenter has already spent several years in the school district as both a reading coach and food service staff member.

* Tina Warren has also been previously employed at the Purdy School District in the food service area. She will join the food service staff full time this year.

* Mickie Brown joins the food service staff this year. She has lived in Purdy for 20 years and is married to Larry Brown.

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