By Jessica Owens and Rachna Vipparla – Staff Reporters
Jonathan Law has welcomed several new staff members to the community this year.
Here are some short bios of the new staff:
Mr. Walsh is one of the newest additions to the math department this year.
Before coming to Law, Walsh worked in Business, Healthcare Administration, and Market Research in Boston and decided to make a career change by going to Central Connecticut State University to get his teaching certificate. He then did student teaching in Meriden before joining the Law community.
“I’m really happy to be here,” Walsh said. “The administration is very positive here and very positive people like Mr. Thompson, they have good attitude and spirit.”
This year, Walsh is teaching three Geometry and two Algebra 1 classes. He teaches a majority of freshmen and some sophomores.
“My favorite part of this year is getting to watch my students grow in their math knowledge,” Walsh said.
During his free time, Walsh plays guitar in a band.
Ms. Smuniewski is the newest addition to the English department this year.
Before teaching at Law, she worked at Newtown High School. Due to low enrollment in the district, they eliminated her position, which led her to choosing the Law community.
“I have kids who are really motivated and eager to learn and the faculty is super nice and administers are great,” Smuniewski said. “It really feels like the Law family that everyone talks about.”
Smuniewski is teaching three sections of honors freshman and two sections of honors sophomores.
“I have larger classes this year so I’m excited to get to know my students and help them grow as readers, writers, thinkers, and as people,” Smuniewski said.
During her free time, Smuniewski likes to read and go to fitness classes.
Mr. Rodriguez is one of the newest additions to the world language community this year.
Before coming to Law, Rodriguez taught in Hamden at a middle school teaching Spanish, and then moved up to Hamden High School. He taught at an alternative high school in Hamden for two years and then was a media specialist at an elementary school in New Haven for three years.
“Everyone’s really nice here,” Rodriguez said. “The teachers the faculty here is great, the kids are great, and the administration is really nice.”
Rodriguez is teaching two Spanish 5 classes, two Spanish 4 classes, and one Spanish 2 class. He teaches a majority of juniors and sophomores and one freshman class.
“My favorite part of this year is I get to go to the sporting events again,” Rodriguez said. “I missed going to high school sporting events.”
During his free time, Rodriguez likes to work on cars.
Dr. Knipp is the most recent addition to the Jonathan Law staff.
He works in the science department, teaching Physics classes. Knipp teaches part time at both Jonathan Law and at Joseph A. Foran High School.
“Since I teach at Jonathan Law and Joseph Foran, I can’t be truly characterized as being a Law eagle, or a Foran lion,” Knipp said. “Instead, I consider myself a Milford griffin.”
Knipp has taught since 1984 at a multitude of schools including Lauralton Hall and Stratford High School.
However, he spent most of his teaching career as a professor at a university in Virginia.
This year, at Law, he wants to get to know the school better, including the students and his colleagues.
“I sense a real sense of camaraderie amongst the faculty,” Knipp said.
Other than teaching Physics, Knipp loves tennis, playing frisbee, walking outside, sailing, or anything related to nature.
Mrs. Francisco is another new teacher in Jonathan Law High School.
Francisco works in the math department teaching Algebra II and Geometry.
When asked what she loved about Law, Fransisco said, “I love the energy, support, and hard work of the faculty and my students. I love the phrase Lawmazing.”
She is extremely passionate about math and enjoys coaching the girls soccer team at Oxford. In addition, Francisco enjoys traveling with her husband, playing fetch with her dog, and anything outdoors.
Mr. Beale is another new staff member at Jonathan Law High School.
He works in the Technology, Technical Engineering & Communication departments. Beale teaches classes such as drafting, wood shop, and automobile.
He started teaching in the fall of 2010 and this is his eighth year teaching. Previously, Beale taught at Stonington High School.
Beale likes to spend time volunteering and helping out in the community that he lives in. Most frequently, he participates in the organization Habitat for Humanity.
Beale is excited to be a part of the Law community.
“It’s a very open school in a very welcoming environment to a degree that other schools I was at, did not have,” Beale said.
His goals at Law are to have a fun time and have students learn some things from him. He hopes they will have a fun time themselves.
Francisco taught for seven years at Oxford High School and this is her eighth year teaching.
Her goal this year at Law is to help students not hate going to math class and help the juniors succeed on their SATs.