Bakersfield hires two new teachers and a cook for 2020-21 school year
Bakersfield School District is gaining two new teachers for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
Sherry Anstine has been hired as the new special education director and elementary special education teacher, and Jordan Grigg has been hired as the new high school agriculture teacher. Kirsten Jarvis is also joining the Bakersfield staff as a cook.
“We are fortunate that we have very little turnover,” Bakersfield Schools superintendent Dr. Amy Britt told the Times. “The turnover we have this year is due to long-term employees retiring. I believe the small turnover can be attributed to the atmosphere. At Bakersfield, we have a very supportive community and culture within the school that values each person and the family/community structure behind each person. Time for families is valued. Time to work is valued. Time to play is valued. Time to worship is valued.”
‘We all do our part’
Britt says that goodwill doesn’t just extend between school staff and faculty.
“People are just eager to help each other. This is seen in the community with pie auctions that raise thousands of dollars when a neighbor is in need, as well as the many volunteer projects. Inside the school walls, teachers help each other with tasks, curriculum, sponsoring events for the kids and even with tasks in their personal lives. In my 10 years here, I have witnessed staff help each other with everything from becoming Google certified and developing apps to share with classrooms all over the world to catching a goat that was loose on the playground. Teachers meet at the school many Mondays to plan and work to improve the instructional week. I see the support among students when they cheer each other on in classroom academic competitions, athletic competitions or even just conversations at lunch or in the hallway.
“We are not perfect and make mistakes every day, but we try to do the right thing,” Britt said. “I also believe respect and common decency is what is largely missing in the world today. Hopefully, the kids who graduate from Bakersfield will carry the lessons learned here and the examples set by the adults in our school and community, into the world and make it a better place in the future. I think this is why we have little turnover. . . it takes us all to make the school and community work. We all do our part.”
Bakersfield’s three new hires will help fill positions left open by Troy Weisner, who retired after working in the Bakersfield School District for 29 years, and Patricia Britt, who has worked at Bakersfield for eight years. Before her employment at Bakersfield, she taught for 19 years at Couch School District. Marcille Davidson has also retired after serving school lunches as a cook at Bakersfield for 23 years.
A retirement reception will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, in the FEMA building on the Bakersfield School campus. The reception is scheduled just before the school’s open house, which begins at 5:30 p.m. the same night.
“All family, friends, former students and colleagues are welcome to stop in for the reception,” Britt said.
Sherry Anstine, special education
Sherry Anstine will be joining the Bakersfield School District this year as the special education director for students in pre-K through 12th grades. She’ll also be teaching early childhood and elementary special education classes. Anstine previously served as special education director for the district from 2013 to 2017.
“I’m looking forward to my new position at Bakers-field. I’m anxious to meet all our students, parents, faculty and staff. I’m replacing an excellent special education teacher, so I am getting prepared to fill really big shoes in the elementary education classroom,” she said. “I enjoy teaching all aspects of the education curriculum to my students and assisting other teachers and parents with educational questions or practices when needed. Special education, I believe, is my calling in the educational field that I have been so blessed to have a career in.”
Anstine earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar in 1998, a master’s in educational leadership from William Woods University in Fulton in 2003 and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Missouri State University in Springfield in 2008. She also holds a special education director certification from William Woods University.
The 2020-21 school year will be Anstine’s 24th year in the public school system, time she’s spent as both a teacher and an administrator at all four of Ozark County’s high schools. She was employed with Dora School District for 16 years, teaching first and sixth grades and serving as elementary principal for six years and superintendent for three years.
She then taught high school special education and was the special education director at Bakersfield for four years.
She served as the Lutie K-12 principal for two and a half years and taught sixth grade at Gainesville for the last half of the 2019-20 school year.
“I relate very well with the parents and students and play a small role in preparing them for the wonderful world beyond their time spent in obtaining an education,” she said. “I appreciate every day that I get to spend teaching and learning from my students and others. I am looking forward to a wonderful year and meeting all the excitement and challenges it will bring.”
Anstine and husband Jeff live on a small farm in West Plains and operate a cow/calf operation. The couple have a blended family of four children: Tiffany Grogan, a nurse in the Ozarks Medical Center Women’s Clinic; Zachary Stokes, the owner/operator of Captain D’s Restaurant; Jessika Hatten, a medical assistant at OMC Heart Care; and Reece Anstine, a service technician at Heart of the Ozarks Medical Equipment. The couple also have one grandson, Stetson Stokes.
“He keeps us all busy,” she said. “He is very precious!”
Jordan Grigg, high school ag teacher
Jordan Grigg is joining the Bakersfield School District as the new high school agriculture teacher.
Grigg graduated from Ozark High School in 2014. He received his associate’s degree from Ozarks Technical Community College in Spring-field in 2017, and a bachelor’s degree in ag education in May 2020.
“Before COVID hit us all, I was student teaching in Bowling Green. I really enjoyed my time there learning from other agriculture instructors and getting their feedback on my teaching,” Grigg told the Times. “Before I decided to pursue a degree in ag education, in my spare time, I worked on many types of farms ranging from row crops and dairy to beef cattle operations. I have also worked in an automotive shop since I was 13 where I’ve learned many mechanical and electrical abilities from other technicians.”
Grigg married his wife, Rachel, on June 27, and the couple bought their first home and a 40-acre ranch in Ozark County this month.
“Being born in Mountain Home, Arkansas, I have a lot of family not too far away. So we are already starting to feel at home,” he said.
“I am very excited for this upcoming year at Bakersfield High School and would like to thank Mr. Doyne Byrd, Dr. Amy Britt and our school board for the opportunity to start my career here in Bakersfield,” Grigg said. “Mr. Weisner has done an amazing job with the ag program here at Bakersfield and worked very hard this summer to help make the task of a first-year teacher taking over an established ag program a very smooth process. I’m very grateful to him for that. I wish him well in his much-deserved retirement. I look forward to interacting with students and the community on a daily basis in just a couple short months.”
Grigg’s course lineup consists of ag science I, an introductory class to the Bakersfield agriculture program that gives students an in-depth look at the FFA organization that helps them choose a supervised agriculture experience project (SAEP), teaches them how to keep accurate financial records over their SAEP, gives them a hands-on shop safety training and teaches them some basic plant and animal science.
After taking ag science I, Grigg says students are then able to choose any of the other courses he’ll be teaching: livestock management, ag construction I and II, introduction to welding, ag power and structures, greenhouse (spring semester) and introduction to small engines, a new class being offered at Bakersfield that Grigg says he’s particularly excited about.