Six new staff members greeted students at Burlington High School when school started.
The new hires were Angela Thomason, Tracy Granados, Gayle McNett, Vaughn Blankenship, Kristin Sciara and Stan Pedersen.
Thomason will be teaching the 3-year-old program.
She grew up in Coweta, where she graduated high school. She went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to obtain her degree.
When asked what led her to Burlington, Thomason said, “I wanted to be a part of a school that genuinely cares about each other and every student that comes through the doors.”
Thomason is married to Kevin and they have two children, Lauren, age 10, and Dayton, age 6.
Her favorite part of teaching is finding fun and interesting ways to help students to learn.
Thomason enjoys cooking and spending time with family.
Granados will be the payroll and encumbrance clerk.
She is originally from Byron, Manhattan, Kan and Cottonwood, Ariz. She graduated high school from Cottonwood, Ariz. She obtained her bachelor’s degree Manhattan Christian College and her master’s from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
When asked what led her to Burlington, Granados said, “I attended BHS through sixth grade and my daughter attends here and my son graduated from Burlington.”
Granados is married to Larry Joe and they have two children, Michael and Savanna.
Her favorite part of education is the kids and learning new things.
Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, church activities and following her children’s activities.
Granados is involved in Purple Pride Booster Club along with any activity in which her daughter participates and anywhere else she is needed.
McNett will be the counselor.
She is originally from Kiowa, Kan., where she graduated high school at South Barber. She went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to obtain her degree.
When asked what led her to Burlington, McNett said, “I was excited for the opportunity to work with students in a counselor’s role. I look forward to encouraging and guiding students during their school years and as they make decisions about their future.”
McNett is married to Tyler and they have four children, Ada, Ian, Evi and Oen.
Her favorite part of the job is building relationships and witnessing “lightbulb” moments when a student understands something new.
Her hobbies are reading, spending time with her family outside and cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs.
McNett isn’t involved in any extra-curricular activities as she is focusing on completing her master’s degree.
Blankenship will be teaching boys physical education.
He is originally from Savanna and graduated from Butner High School. He went to East Central University and earned his bachelor’s and master’s from Southern Nazarene University.
When asked what led him to Burlington, Blankenship said, “I heard great things about the community and administrative team.”
Blankenship is married to Amy and they have four children, Lacie, Britley, Ty and Redick.
His favorite part of teaching is teaching kids life skills and seeing them figure out and apply it to everyday life.
His hobbies are video games, golf and basketball.
He will be the boys’ coach and junior class sponsor.
Sciara will be a special education paraprofessional.
Sciara is originally from Kansas, where she graduated high school from Burns Flat/Dill City.
When asked what led her to Burlington, Sciara said, “I love Burlington and the people.”
She has three children, Kylee, Kade and Kariss.
His favorite part of teaching is the smiles and knowing that she is an instrument of God’s plan to help others.
Her hobbies are reading, animals and the outdoors.
Pedersen will be teaching sixth grade and serve as assistant principal.
He is originally from Franklin, Neb., where he graduated high school. He went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to obtain his bachelor’s degree and Arkansas State University for his master’s.
When asked what led him to Burlington, Pedersen said, “Burlington has always been known for its academic excellence. Also, both of my boys are students at Burlington and we have lived in the district for many years.”
Pedersen is married to Dayna and they have two sons, Colton and Blaze.
His favorite part of the job is working with students and having a positive influence in helping them be successful.
His hobbies are spending time with family, riding motorcycles, kayaking, hiking and watching Husker football.