Not all beginners
Not everybody is brand-new or in their 20s, Carrillo said.
There seems to be a mix of age and experience in the group. The new teachers seem to be in tune with the importance of building relationships with students and the effect that has on their achievement.
Machelle Arrington, 50, will be teaching English to special education students at Golden Valley. She moved to Mariposa when her husband, a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol, was stationed there.
Arrington taught for nine years at Taft High School in Taft and likes working with high schoolers the best. She received her bachelor's degree in child development from California State University, Bakersfield.
"High school kids are little adults," Arrington said. "Hopefully I will be molding them and make them prepared for life ahead. One of my high school teachers kept guiding me in that direction and thought I had a personality for teaching."
Arrington said her passion is working with special-needs children.
"I have always connected with those kids," Arrington said. "It's not just one thing that holds them back. It's important for teachers to be good examples for their students."
Arrington hopes to pull special education students out of their comfort zone and make them part of the whole school experience, which means not just sitting on the sidelines watching everything go by.
She is gratified when her special-education students excel and develop higher expectations for themselves. She remembers a student at Taft who went on to Taft College and got a great job.
Schiber said the new hires were made possible when 11 teachers took early retirement incentives and another teacher retired last spring. The district has five campuses in Merced, Atwater and Livingston, with 465 teachers.
Schiber said there were about 70 to 75 applicants for each teaching job. Seven of the new teachers will work with special-education classes; four will teach English classes and three will lead science courses.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or email@example.com.