Eight years ago Meredith Heber was a eighth grader at Dempsey Middle School, but as of today, she’ll walk the same halls as an English intervention specialist.
Heber graduated from Bowling Green State University in May and was offered a job as seventh-grade English and language arts intervention specialist.
The Delaware City Schools alumna said she was drawn back to Delaware because of the district’s commitment to fostering positive relationships with students.
“If there is one thing I’ve come to really value, it’s the emphasis that the administration and everyone has on building relationships with students,” Heber said. “That comes first. It made it a very easy decision to come back here.”
Another plus was learning that one of her former teachers is now the principal at Dempsey, Heber noted.
“I found out that Dan Bartha was the principal here and he was a former high school teacher of mine whom I had great rapport with and I really valued as a teacher,” Heber said. “So when I saw that I reached out to him and it changed my whole mindset about coming back to Delaware.”
While it’s been strange returning to Dempsey as a teacher, Heber said she was excited to begin the school year.
“At first I didn’t feel old enough to be here, on the other side of things,” Heber said. “But as it’s gotten closer to the beginning of the year, I’ve felt more at home.”
Even though it’s only been eight years, Heber said so much has changed at the school, especially technology.
“The use of technology in the classroom is exciting to see,” Heber said. “When I was a student, we went to the computer lab and now students have their own personal Chromebooks and I think that is such a wonderful resource for students to have.”
One of Heber’s favorite memories was doing labs in Megan Pollock’s science class. She said it’s very strange to now be colleagues with her former teachers.
“It’s a feeling I’ve never really experienced before, but I’m very grateful to have such a unique opportunity,” Heber said. “It means so much to me to have the people who invested so much into my life, teachers and administrators who were here when I was a student, and now to be on the other side, it almost brings my experience as an educator full circle.
“It’s not an experience many educators get to have. I’m very grateful for that opportunity and I’m excited to work with great people.”
Heber said she is looking forward to meeting her students today and forming relationships and creating bonds with the community.
“I am not only here to teach, but I’m here to value the lives of children and of individuals in this community, of which I’m so fond of and have such a special place in my heart for growing up here,” Heber said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG