Meet the new teachers/staff members at Herkimer

There are a few new faces around Herkimer this year, so we caught up with them to ask about their background and why they wanted to come to the district.  Please see their profiles below. We will continue to add to the story as profiles come in.

Picture of teacher Jamie Brown Jamie Brown – Grade 5

Q. Why did you become a teacher?
A. I became a teacher because of my passion to work with children and the magic I see when I see a child learn something new and become proud of themselves. I love to constantly learn something new, and I want to motivate students to always strive to become lifelong learners.

Q. Why did you decide to come to Herkimer?
A. I wanted to become part of the Herkimer team of teachers because of the amazing things I have heard about the district. I also believe that education should enhance the quality of life, and promote enthusiasm in students to become lifelong learners.

Q. What do you want parents to know about you?
A. I am a determined, encouraging, understanding, and positive individual. I too am a parent, and I understand both sides. While I strive to do my best each and every day, I will be a positive influence that your child will learn from, and I hope that they will always feel comfortable and excited to learn in my classroom.

Picuture of teacher Sarah BrownSarah Brown – Grade 2

Q. Why did you become a teacher?
A. I became a teacher because I want to share my love of learning. I am eager to impart life lessons and make a difference in the lives of as many students as possible.

Q. What attracted you to the district?
A. Herkimer elementary fosters a positive and fun environment while encouraging lifelong learning. I knew Herkimer Elementary was the perfect school for me to continue my teaching career.

Q. What do you want parents to know about you?
A. As a parent, I recognize that every child is someone’s world. I will treat each child like my own. With that being said, I will provide a safe and exciting classroom community. I’m thrilled to create new and memorable experiences with my students this school year!

Picture of Roger MaxamRoger Maxam – Grade 2

Q. Why did you become an educator?
A. I got into teaching/ educating by coaching sports and instructing art lessons. I love inspiring children’s curiosity, creativity, and kindness.

Q. What interested you in the district?
A. Herkimer was recommended to me by a friend/colleague. I heard about the great community of teachers here, and have seen it for myself in the past couple weeks while I put my classroom together. A lot of teachers have stopped in to say “hello” and introduce themselves, as well as offering support. The school and teachers go above and beyond to educate every individual student, and I feel excited to be a part of it!

Q. What do you want parents to know about you?
A. I hope parents know that I am here for them and their child. Together we will make great strides in your child’s education and social/emotional growth. Also, I hope they know that I love Dove chocolates, just in case they were wondering!

Jr./Sr. High School

Picture of new high school secretary Mackenzie Rosenberg – Jr./Sr. High School secretary

Q. Why did you want to work at Herkimer?
A. I’m a 2018 graduate and I missed it. There are good people here and it’s a lot of fun. I loved all of my teachers, and they’ve inspired me to become a teacher

Picture of Paige NeffPaige Neff – Family & Consumer Science Teacher

Q. Why did you become a teacher?
A. I became a teacher because I am passionate about baking and cooking, as well as working with students to help them become better versions of themselves. I want to make a difference for all of my students, and have a positive influence towards their thinking and educational experience.

Q. What attracted you to the district?
A. I came to Herkimer because I like the feel of the community and district. I like the close connections of the faculty, and they were all so welcoming and willing to help. I grew up in Waterville, and although it is a smaller town, Herkimer reminds me of my home. It is very inviting for new teachers.

Q. What would you like your students and parents to know about you?
A. I knew at a young age when I was in elementary school I wanted to get into the cooking/baking field thanks to my grandmother. I grew up next door to my grandparents, so I spend so much time at their house. My grandmother used to own a deli/bakery in Waterville, and she is a phenomenal well-known cook and baker. I grew up in my grandmother’s kitchen baking alongside her, and she passed that love and passion for baking on to me. A few years ago, I started creating cupcakes for family and friend events, and it really took off. This past year, my grandmother and I baked 500 specialty cupcakes for my brother’s graduation party!

Picture of Russell RitzelRussell Ritzel – High School Music

Q. Why did you become a teacher?
A. There was an extreme love and passion for music that I had growing up. I’ve never been able to forget when music was there for me when I needed it the most. As I grew, I found that I had a knack for getting to know people, sharing, and educating in my own way. Most teachers have that special teacher of their own, and that was my music teacher. In fact, it was the music team at my school had that made me feel welcomed and important and gave me opportunities and friendships that have had lifelong impact. All I think is, if I can give any student that same experience, it would be my greatest accomplishment.

Q. What attracted you to the district?
A. About 10 years ago I worked as an assistant nurse for the residential facility at Folts Home. I began to meet people, and enjoy the community and what the district had to offer. Even into the early years of teaching, I was fortunate to see how strong the programs were. Knowing that I am continuing a tradition and legacy created by Mr. Krause and many others is a true honor. I’m excited to call Herkimer my new musical home.

Q. What would you like your students and parents to know about you?
A. The music that I program and every decision I make is always to better the student experience. I like to empower my students and help them own the product and performance that they create. At the end of the day this is their chorus, their program, their musical, their show. My job is to make sure every opportunity is given and to show them how to get there. I hope as we continue forward through challenging times that we never take for granted the privilege to sing with family and friends. Thank you for having me.

Courtney Bishop – High School Counselor

Courtney Bishop sits and smiles for the cameraQ. Why did you become an educator?
A. I wanted to become an educator because it would be an opportunity to help others, and to serve a community, and because education was something my family valued. I went into the school counseling field because I felt that I worked better one-on-one with individuals. Plus – and this goes back away – I had the kind of experience in high school where I didn’t feel like I had a counselor to go to. Even if it’s just for one student, I want to make sure their experience is different than mine.

Q. What attracted you to the district?
A. I’m a recent transplant from Brooklyn. Working in an urban environment was a good experience for me but it was time for a change of location and pace. I’ve enjoyed spending time in the Adirondacks, and wanted to find a community that bridged the gap between very rural and very urban. A family friend recommended Herkimer, and here I am.

Q. What would you like your students and parents to know about you?
A. I’m excited to be working in a high school setting; it’s a new experience for me. I might not have all the answers right away but my intention is to support students and the school as best as I can.

Amanda Saunders – LTA at Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School

Amanda Saunders smiles for the cameraQ. What would you like your students and parents to know about you?
A. I want parents to know that I am excited to get the opportunity to be a part of the Herkimer Central School District. I hope I can be impactful and leave a lasting impression on students!





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