Ten New Faces in Satanta Schools
Satanta schools began the 2019-2020 school year with ten new teacher faces. At the grade school, these teachers include Tiffany Briggs, Christine Cooper, Virginia Grant, Lindsay Heskamp, and Sandra Rubio. At the junior-senior high school, these teachers include Erika Alexander, Vanessa Medrano, Chelsi Randle, Danelle Schiffelbein, and Brent Smith. More information about each of these new staff members can be found here.
By Ryan Burrows
Tiffany Briggs is a lifetime resident of Sublette who joined the USD 507 teaching staff this school year. She said of her decision to make the transition to elementary education and work for Satanta, “At my interview, it just felt right. I knew that I would have an amazing support staff. They have made me feel so welcomed.” Briggs also enjoys the support of the many family members she has in the area, including her two daughters Brooke, who attends K-State, and Bailey, who is active in high school rodeo. Briggs, who is teaching third grade and studying at Fort Hays State University, said of her new role: “I just want to be the best teacher I can for all my students.” Briggs’ students have already made an impact on her, too. “I am not a dress person, never have been. The only time I wore a dress to school this year, one of my little boys said, ‘Ms. Briggs, you're looking good’ and gave me a big high five. I instantly smiled and started laughing. It just warmed my heart and reminded me that one little compliment can brighten your day,” said Briggs. Briggs concluded her interview by saying: “I know that this being my first year I have a lot to learn. I'm willing to tackle that head on and do what it takes to give my students the best education I can.”
By Angel Mendoza
Christine Cooper is originally from Flint, Michigan. She moved to Liberal in 2017 after graduating from Central Michigan University with a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in social studies. She taught middle school history for two years in Liberal. She took a position in Satanta because it is close to her home in Liberal and in a small community. She has adapted to being without family in the area, but she maintains her Michigan roots. Go, Chippewas! This is her first year in an elementary school where she will be teaching fourth and fifth grade science and social studies. Cooper said, “So far, everyone has been super helpful and supportive.” Cooper said that her favorite school memory so far has been when the fifth graders got her a gift, a moment that almost made her cry. Cooper values the individuality of each student. Because of this, she is not a fan of standardized testing. Cooper hopes to earn a master’s degree in the near future.
By Jasmin Salamanca
Virginia Grant was born in Arkansas and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Grant then moved to Liberal, Kansas, where she has lived and raised her children for 35 years. Grant said, “I wanted to teach grade school music, and there were no positions available in Liberal. That is what made me choose USD 507. But now that I am here, I never want to leave. I love it here.” Grant has her husband, three adult daughters, their husbands, and four grandchildren, all in the area. It wasn’t hard for Grant to adjust to a new school. In fact, she said, “It’s fun and interesting to get to know all the students and teachers at the grade school.” Grant received her Associate's degree at Seward County Community College. She then received her Bachelor's degree, which was completed at Grand Canyon University online. Grant’s favorite school subject is music, of course! Grant says if she were in a general education classroom, her favorite subject would be English Language Arts. Grant is known for her high level of energy and her enthusiasm for learning and teaching. Grant would like to start giving beginner piano lessons to kids. Grant’s hobbies are playing piano and singing for community functions. She also likes photography, sewing, reading, gardening, and writing poems. Grant’s favorite school memory is teaching her students a new song and singing it well.
By Damian Salazar
Lindsey Heskamp is originally from Spearville. She graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2019 with a degree in Health and Human Performance and is currently enrolled in FHSU’s Transition to Teach program. She plans include earning her master's degree in education. Heskamp currently serves as Satanta Grade School’s physical education teacher, and she will be head junior high girls basketball coach. She has also worked as a volleyball official. When asked why she chose USD 507 as her new home, she said, “I chose Satanta because it is just the right size of town and filled with good people. The community of Satanta has been very welcoming, and the transition of moving to a new place has been effortless.” Heskamp enjoys spending time with family and watching, playing, and coaching sports.
By Ismael Siezar
Sandra Rubio is originally from Muleshoe, Texas. She moved to Sublette and attended the 7th and 8th grade there before moving to Satanta her freshman year. She graduated from Satanta in 2001. She is married and has three children: Anthony, who is a freshman, Gissell, who is in the 4th grade, and Natalie, who is four years old. She is currently attending Fort Hays State University where she plans to finish her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood. She currently teaches pre-kindergarten. She loves life in a small town like Satanta. Rubio said that her goal is to improve at teaching and eventually get her master’s degree. Her favorite teaching memory so far has been when her students say: “I love you, Mrs. Rubio.” She continued, “They can touch your heart faster than you can touch theirs.” Rubio also said that she “loves new adventures.” Teaching preschool will certainly be one.
By Sami Small
Erika Alexander is a home grown Indian, born and raised right here in Satanta, Kansas. Alexander attended and graduated from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City. This was where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Social Studies. Later on, came a Masters of Business Administration from Mid-America Christian University. After 16 years in the workforce, the opening at Satanta Jr.-Sr. High School gave her the opportunity to get back to doing what she loves. Being born and raised in Satanta, Alexander is still in close range to the rest of her family. She is currently teaching 6th-8th grade social studies, and her favorite subject to teach is geography. In addition to her teaching duties, she will be the assistant junior high boys basketball coach. Though she doesn’t have a favorite memory yet this year, she says, “It has been a good start to the year, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.” In her spare time, Alexander likes to spend time with her family and watch Hallmark movies.
By Jasmin Salamanca
Ms. Medrano was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but was raised in Satanta. Medrano says, “It wasn't a very difficult decision to work here. Satanta has always been my home, and I am so proud to be a part of the district now. Most of my family lives in the area. Ten of my relatives are a part of the district. I have eight cousins who are students, my aunt Monica is the custodian at SGS, and my sister, Lisa, is the administrative assistant at SHS.” Medrano is currently attending FHSU to complete her teaching degree. Medrano’s favorite school subject is mathematics, and she enjoys coaching the junior high cheerleading squad. Medrano wants to inspire students in the same way that her high school teachers inspired her. Medrano’s hobbies are cooking and being around family. Medrano’s favorite school memory came on the first day of school; she liked going into the school year with team building exercises.
By Nestor S. Salcedo
Chelsi Randle holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Education through Fort Hays State University. This year she is teaching junior high reading and English, which are her favorite school subjects. Randle also is the junior high assistant volleyball coach and will coach track in the spring. Before joining the faculty at Satanta Jr.-Sr. High School, Randle was the elementary school secretary at Moscow, which is her hometown and her alma mater. Randle said of her decision to work at Satanta: “I chose USD 507 because I felt very comfortable from the moment I interviewed. The rest of the staff has made it very easy to transition into the classroom because they are always so kind and helpful.” Randle continued, saying: “Because this is my first year, I feel like I have a lot to learn from other teachers and from the students. I know that this year will be a lot of trial and error, but I am excited to be in the classroom and I have a positive outlook for the future.” Among Randle’s favorite memories at Satanta is watching the junior high volleyball team amass a 7-1 record in league play. When Randle isn’t teaching or coaching, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.
By Edith Delacruz
Danelle Schiffelbein was born and raised in Satanta. Most of her family resides in the area, and her heritage in Haskell County dates back over 100 years. She has lived in Satanta for eight years after coming back from the Kansas City metro area. She attended Washburn University and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art. When the art position came open at Satanta High School, she decided to take the job and enter the Transition to Teaching program through Fort Hays State University, where she is pursuing a Masters in Education. Schiffelbein is a local artist whose favorite medium is photography. She is currently teaching 6-12 art, and she is also working on getting Art Club going again. She is looking forward to rebuilding the program and getting students excited about art; she is also excited about furthering her education and spending time attending workshops and learning new art techniques. Schiffelbein said, “Fine arts are extremely valuable to the school system, and I hope we can get back on track at the state level, so these programs are appropriately funded and utilized.” A
By Damian Salazar
Brent Smith was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but some members of his family come from small towns, so he adjusted smoothly to life in Satanta. He chose Satanta High School as his new workplace because of how nice the community and staff are here at USD 507. He attended Southwestern College and graduated in May of 2019 with a B.S. in Physical Education. His favorite school subject is, obviously, PE, which he teaches to students in grades 6-12. Smith is not only a PE teacher but will also be an assistant coach for the high school boys’ basketball and a coach for track and field. Smith’s personal goals include improving the creativity of his lesson plans so his students can be more engaged and understand more of what he intends for them to learn. In his spare time, Smith enjoys playing video games and watching professional wrestling.