Teachers come and go, but the lessons they teach, the stories they tell, and memories they create, those are the things that stay with you for the rest of your life.
So it was with Ms. Kim Trostle.
The 2004 Bellwood-Antis alumnus taught at B-A for nine years. Two years ago, after marrying another B-A grad in Dan Himes, she moved out of state to take on another challenge, going to to South Carolina to continue her career as elementary school counselor in the Lexington School District.
Here is a Q&A with Ms. Trostle.
What is your new school district like?
My new school district, located in South Carolina, is a large school district in comparison to Bellwood. Across the board, the school districts in this state are much larger than in Pennsylvania. But, surprisingly, there is a great deal of camaraderie throughout the district and especially within each school. My school reminds me, in some ways, of Bellwood – the administration, faculty, and staff are close and friendly; everyone is very social, both in and out of school. There is a sense of community throughout the district, which is wonderful.
What do you do at your new job?
I am an elementary school counselor now. My position represents a myriad of roles. My primary responsibilities are centered on working directly and indirectly with students and student services; collaborating with administration, teachers, staff, and parents; spending time in classrooms, observing or teaching guidance lessons; taking part in team meetings in various roles; and, working with outside resources, both at the district level and at the community level, to ensure that students are being provided with the best education possible. On most days, I am spending a limited amount of time in classrooms, meeting with students, attending meetings, functioning as a part of a team with other counselors in my school and district, and responding to crises.
What is it like to teach down south?
Teaching in the south is simultaneously similar and different from teaching in Pennsylvania. For the most part, many of the laws and much of the curriculum are comparable; however, there are, like any large systems and institutions, vast differences in execution and implementation. Because I am now out of the classroom, and because I had never taught in an elementary school in PA, it is difficult for me to compare the elementary education system on a personal level. But, I am very much enjoying my position as a school counselor!
What are some differences from Bellwood, and South Carolina?
The biggest difference is the setup of the school districts across the state. South Carolina, like many other states in this region, structure its districts according to counties rather than individual towns and cities. Thus, the entire county is one district, which creates more cohesion and consistency,which can be both positive and negative, depending on the situation and circumstances. Being in a large school district, there are so many resources and opportunities that are available to both students and educators. But, because of the large size, it is more difficult to diversify and customize projects and expectations due to policies and procedures. So, there are definitely pros and cons – it’s all about adjusting and growing as you learn!
What do you miss the most about Bellwood-Anits?
I love my new career here, but there are many things that I miss about Bellwood-Antis! Inside the classroom, I miss working with students on a consistent, daily basis. I miss working with high school aged students at times, although I am really enjoying the change from a secondary to elementary level. I miss teaching English itself – I especially miss teaching AP Lit, as my love of literature is what drew me to education. But, most of all, I miss the people – Bellwood simply has fantastic people. From the faculty, staff, and administration to the parents, students, and community – I miss those with whom I interacted daily. I do, however, feel very fortunate that I am again in an awesome district and school. I was seeking a positive change and new challenge, and I firmly feel that I have found that and am really finding a lot of joy in experiencing a change, mid-career. Bellwood will always be home and part of me will always miss it, but I continue to look forward to the next step and enjoy what is ahead of me!