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New teachers at LEMS share first year experience so far
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Brooke Lord - photo by Tenell Felder

As Kershaw County faculty, students and teachers returned to school, new faces were a part of the crowds heading back to school.

At Lugoff Elgin Middle School, two of those new faces included teachers Brooke Lord and Elizabeth Ketchum.

Lord, who teaches eighth grade Science and Ketchum, who teaches Art to sixth, seventh and eighth graders both come to LEMS from the Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE).

Though both women had previous teaching experience, Lord at the University of Georgia and Ketchum at Montessori school, they decided to do the PACE program.

Ketchum said that PACE was challenging and taught her a lot as she prepared for her first year at LEMS. Lord agreed, “PACE was great. It feels like I learned an entire four year education degree in two weeks. It was very intense. Homework every night. It is a three year program so you have your temporary license for first three years then you get your professional licence,” Lord said.

Both teachers say they have felt welcomed by faculty and staff as they adjust to their new surroundings. They laugh when recalling the struggle to learn all of the new faces and names.

“I actually think I am learning them faster than I thought I would,” Lord said.

As far as teaching, Ketchum and Lord want to encourage their students to enjoy new aspects of the subject being taught. 

“A lot of the students that come into my room say, ‘Im not good at art because I can’t draw’ … I’m trying to break that association ... I want to make art something they are excited about. I want this to be a place where they can express themselves and have fun in a different way. It seems to be working…When I’m asking questions there are hands raised and they seem to be getting into it,” Ketchum said.

Lord agreed, “I want the students to look back on my first year of teaching and be able to say, ‘Mrs. Lord taught me something. I liked it and I enjoyed being in her class.’ I want them to not only enjoy being in here but to learn something while they are here. I like what I am teaching, I hope my enthusiasm rubs off on the kids ... Now I’m in a position to teach these kids that science is something they can do and enjoy.”