PC will be welcoming four new teachers next fall: Aaron Fitzgerald (choir), Abbie Smith (math), JD Boer (study skills), and Loida Martinez Rabadan (Spanish Immersion). New teachers mean new ways of doing things around the PC campus. “Our hope is that they will bring expertise in the subject area to benefit PCHS students,” stated PC principal Dan Van Kooten, “and also a kingdom perspective and love for Jesus in their teaching and interaction with students. New teachers will learn so much from our current teachers about how to teach well and love students. They will also bring some new ideas to the table which is healthy for any school system.”
The 2020-21 school year marks the start of Fitzgerald’s ninth year of teaching vocal music, having previously taught at Ankeny Christian and Jesup Community schools. In the past, he has taught mixed, treble, and bass choirs, show choirs, jazz ensembles, musicals, and different speech events. He is a 2017 alumni of the Master’s of Music Education program at North Dakota State University. He and his wife Christa, who is from Pella, have two boys, Thorin and Daxton. They enjoy going on walks, taking their young kids to parks, playing tennis, watching NDSU football, and spending time with family and friends.
Fitzgerald recognizes the unique opportunity of praising God while learning skills that music education brings. “By educating and nurturing students through Christian worldview, I can help students attain musical skills and knowledge while collectively worshiping through song. I will contribute to Pella Christian’s mission by helping students become independent musicians so that they can confidently pursue music and serve God in musical opportunities outside of high school,” he said.
Growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, new math teacher Abbie Smith attended public school from K-12, before graduating from Dordt College with a B.A. in math education and psychology. Smith enjoys ballroom and swing dancing; she and her husband Levi taught swing dance for three years at Dordt.
Smith realizes that math can be difficult and discouraging for some students, but hopes that she can encourage them. “As a math teacher, it’s important that I nurture my students and continually remind them of their gifts and worth as an image bearer of God,” she said. “I want my students to not only learn math but also learn how to be faithful stewards of God’s creation with their math skills.”
Classroom learning is important to her, but so is her faith. “I am eager to apply all the academic knowledge that I have gained, but also my experience as God’s child. I have a daily relationship with Jesus and my prayer is to always reflect His character. I have experienced that there is nothing better than serving Him,” she said.