Rogers Welcomes New Staff

August 05, 2015 | Clare Thompson

The Rogers Adventist School family in College Place, Wash., is welcoming three new staff members for the 2015–16 school year. 

Nancy Barnett comes from the Ohio Conference, where she was associate treasurer. She will be the Rogers business and facility manager. Merry Knoll, who held that position for the last 10 years, is retiring but staying in the area. Knoll is looking forward to focusing on family interests and spending more time with her grandchildren. She is willing to be on call to help as Barnett learns about her position.

A couple of years ago, when Jeff Andersen was a student at Walla Walla University, he did his student teaching at Rogers. The children loved him and frequently Skyped with him the following year when he taught in Denmark. This past school year, he taught at a small school in Idaho. He will be a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher this fall, filling a vacancy left by Gwen Payne’s retirement. Payne taught at Rogers for the last 29 years and is well-known for her humor and excellent teaching. 

This coming year, two teachers will be sharing one job. Teaching as a profession is notorious for the endless hours of preparation and grading outside the normal school day. This is especially hard on teacher-parents who have their own children to raise and mentor. Toni Busby is finishing her second year as one of the junior high teachers and is excited to share her position so she can have more time for her own family and yet continue with her love of teaching junior high students. 

Melissa Claridge will be partnering with Busby. Claridge, a certified teacher, has spent many hours at Rogers subbing and volunteering in her son’s classroom. This new shared position fits well with the focus on the importance of family at Rogers Adventist School. This will help two moms spend more time with their own families while still enabling them to follow their passion for teaching.