Welcoming the Additions

MURRAY, Neb. – As the school year has come to a start, the new teachers, administrators and other staff members have begun to settle in. The 2022-23 school year has brought in a large amount of new staff compared to years prior. Conestoga Jr./Sr. High school is starting this year off with new teachers, Abigail Plihal, Dennis Wilfong and Claire Boudro.

Along with teaching staff, administration roles have also had a fair share of new staff additions including the Director of Student Services, Nick Krause and superintendent, Michael Apple. Conestoga Elementary, Jr./Sr. High School students and other current staff have been good at welcoming these new staff members and making them feel at home with the rest of Conestoga.

Not only has this year brought on new staff, but entirely new roles as well. As of previous years, Conestoga has only had a principal. Cole Wills has not only taken on the responsibility of being the new activities director, but also the role of the first assistant principal.

“I’ve been excited to get our activities started and to see our students participate in all of the different activities we offer,” Wills said when talking about what he looks forward to surrounding Conestoga and its students. “Our students are a blast to watch on the field, court, stage, and everywhere else they compete. I can’t wait to continue to watch them represent Conestoga Jr/Sr High School this year.”
Change has been a big part for everyone this year with new staff, roles, students and responsibilities. “I feel very supported by everyone. Work has been busy and challenging. It was a great change for me.” Krause said while discussing how Conestoga has been different from his prior experiences. “Previously, I had a role as a special education teacher who worked with a caseload of middle school students and had some administrative roles. Here I focus on the admin role, so it has been an adjustment.”

As of this past year, Conestoga’s IT director retired after many years of servicing the school. Sean Trampe, who has been involved with teaching and coaching Conestoga students for many years, has now taken over this position. He works to assist students, teachers and other staff with their technological needs.

Teachers have also had to accommodate for many adjustments this school year. Along with new teachers being added to the staff, classrooms have been a major factor in the changes being made. Teachers are sharing classrooms meaning they are setting up for different classes in several rooms throughout the day.

“This school year is off to an amazing start. I work in several classrooms, and I’m settling in nicely.” Wilfong stated, “I have my own room too, and it’s starting to come together.” Staff has had to work around unique scheduling and classroom situations which has been unfamiliar for not only new staff but returning staff as well.