New staff offer their perspective on settling in at BHS


Emily Price

Ms. Kristen Long watches her students present during class last week. Ms. Long is one of 18 new teachers to Bearden.

Zoe Evans, Staff Writer

Mr. Ronald Rupard had heard plenty about Bearden High School, because he lives with a proud alum. Now that he’s a faculty member, though, he’s able to put that glowing review to the test.

“Being a part of Bearden High School has been a surreal experience thus far,” said Mr. Rupard, a recently hired Algebra I and Geometry teacher.

“My wife, a Bearden alumnus, has had nothing but the best things to say about BHS and now that I am here, I can see why.”

Bearden lost four teachers to retirement last in December 2013 and six teachers in May 2014.

In their places, 18 new teachers were hired for this year, including Mr. Rupard.

Another new hire is English teacher Ms. Kristen Long, who officially started work for Knox County Schools on Aug. 4. Ms. Long was an intern at Bearden last year.

“I think the community here is really great; I think it’s a great school where teachers and students are really pushing themselves to be the best they can be,” she said.

Mr. Rupard previously taught at Loudon High School. He says that there are a few differences between Loudon and Bearden, including the use of technology here.

“Every student having a computer . . . allows for endless opportunities to help advance the learning process,” he said.

Ms. Maddie Kind began teaching at Bearden in January to replace a mid-year retiree.

Ms. Kind held an interim position at David Crockett High School previous to being hired at Bearden. She also interned at Colonial Heights Middle School and Elizabethton High School, both in Johnson City.

“I adjusted to Bearden within weeks, maybe days,” she said. “Everyone was so welcoming and helpful.”

All three teachers are enjoying their classes so far this year.

“My classes have been amazing,” Ms. Kind said. “They are a great group of students are so eager to learn.

“We’re having a blast so far.”