William Bartrug began teaching both Integrated Science 3/4 and Chemistry courses at Tam on October 7. After six weeks of searching, the administration has hired a replacement for Chemistry teacher Dr. Leslie Hart, after she announced an emergency leave of absence just days before school started in August.
“I am really excited to work with students and continuing to instill passion for both the sciences and for learning in general,” Bartrug said. Bartrug graduated Marshall University with a degree in Secondary Education and an emphasis on Chemistry. He and his wife moved to Mill Valley two years ago after getting to know the Bay Area while at a Nation Science Teacher Conference.
The Tam Administration had many challenges finding a new teacher. According to Assistant Principal Kim Stiffler, it was difficult to find a quality candidate to fill a one-year position so close to the start of the school year.
Without a permanent teacher for the first six weeks of school students were struggling. Ben Davidson, a regular short-term sub for the Tam district, taught the first two weeks of school. Laura Taylor taught the next month.
The last minute change and resulting lack of continuity left some students feeling frustrated.
“I already feel behind the other Integrated Science classes and it is only six weeks into school,” sophomore Aria Twilling said. “I hope I can get caught up to speed with material that I was supposed to learn; I am really looking forward to the new teacher because this may give me a chance to get back on track.”
Bartrug hopes to help students get ready for the rest of the year. “I hope I can help the students get caught up on the material,” Bartrug said. “It will be difficult but I think we can do it.”