The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

A Year of New Beginnings: Staffing Changes

With 12 new teachers starting at Dominion since the end of last school year, many departments have had a staff revamp.
Cynthia Gonzalez
Mr. Hicks works with students during Titan Time in the TAGS Center

While some staff changes are expected each year, Dominion saw a total of 12 new teachers and staff hired since last June, with 13 teachers leaving. This surge in job openings at the school during a nationwide teacher shortage means it is more difficult to fill positions on short notice.

According to Assistant Principal Jamie Braxton, Dominion successfully combated this issue by interviewing and hiring staff early, avoiding hiring over the summer when they would’ve possibly lost out on good candidates. “It worked well. We were really fortunate this year that we were given additional staffing,” Braxton said.

The social sciences department has been impacted the most by the staffing changes since last June. Sara Barton, Joseph Haberman, Julia Marnell and Catherine Pendry all left this past year, some of them retiring or switching professions due to lifestyle changes. “All four of those are absolutely huge losses. Especially to have happened in one year,” social sciences Department Chair Steve Hicks said. “But, ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,’ which is one of my favorite Albert Einstein quotes,” he added.

Mr. Robinson’s students engage in a classroom conversation about the Great Awakening (Photo: Cynthia Gonzalez)

Three new hires, Jalen Alford, John Robinson and Laura Hoyler will be teaching academic and AP geography as well as academic and AP US History classes. “We really needed an infusion of new ideas. I was worried about who was coming in and it makes me so happy that we got three people that I think are going to be absolutely solid,” Hicks said.

Administration also experienced a notable staffing change with the addition of new Assistant Principal Dr. Jason Allison after the former Assistant Principal Jon Signorelli’s resignation in May of 2023. 

After English teachers Kelly Coleman and Nicole Korsen left in June, there was a need for more classes to be covered by the remaining teachers. English teacher Amy Anderson is now teaching six classes: four English 9 Honors classes, an AP Literature class, and a Film class. “I love being in that kind of space where I’m challenged [but] it can be a little stressful at times,” Anderson said, “I think we’re working incredibly well together to lift each other up and figure out how to give the students what they need and also give each other what we need as professionals.”

According to Braxton, the school is in a really good place in terms of staffing. “New people bring fresh energy, and enthusiasm, and I think for those of us who have been here a while, it’s really nice to get that fresh excitement,” Braxton said.

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Cynthia Gonzalez
Cynthia Gonzalez, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Cynthia Gonzalez is Co-Editor-in-Chief, and is a senior serving her fourth year writing for DHS Press. Her favorite pieces to write are ones relating to Latin and Hispanic culture and mental health. You can usually find her listening to her endless Spotify playlist of spanish music or on the pickleball courts.

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