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New teachers at Philip School

Left to right, are some new (and some familiar) faces at the Midland School: Teresa Walker, Secretary; Steven Decker, Social Science; Lori Nemec, 3rd & 4th grade; Tracey Hand, 1st & 2nd grade; Steven Fetheroff, 8-12 Math & 9th Science; and Tamara Hunter, 7-12 English. Not pictured: Alice Burgess, Computer/Business.

Mrs. Dawn Backman (Miss Dawn to pre-schoolers, Mrs. Backman to other students) has been hired as the Haakon Elementary School’s new pre-school to sixth grade special education teacher.

Scheduled to work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; she will also work downtown in a private pre-school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The exact number of students under her school supervision is still being determined through referrals and evaluations.

She has taught for ten years. The first few years were in Mitchell and the rest, since 1999, have been in Philip teaching at a private pre-school.

When her husband, Jim, received a position with Golden West in Wall, there was no housing there. The Backmans decided that Philip was a nice place to live, so bought a house here and became part of the community.

Although Dawn is to be part-time, she anticipates giving a full-time commitment.

Miss Bobbie Jo Hix is new to Philip and to teaching, though ready for both. This year she teaches high school science for the Haakon School District.

After graduating from Belle Fourche High School, she went on to Northern State University in Aberdeen. Three years of pre-chiropractic training evolved into two more years of teacher’s training, specifically in science. Scholastically well rounded, her strengths and studies are in many fields.

Bobbie chose the Haakon School District because she wants to teach high school. Other school districts wanted her to teach just middle school. In Philip, Miss Hix will coach middle school volleyball and be the head coach for girl’s basketball.

With school beginning, she says “My class room is done, but my house is not. Last week was my first full week in town.” She adds that, “everyone’s been really nice.”

Miss Hix plays rugby. She helped start the women’s rugby team at Northern State in Aberdeen and plans to travel back there in the spring to play. Also, she and five others in the Rapid City area plan on playing rugby there.

Cynthia Finn is now in charge of the Philip High School chorus which at present is seventy students strong. Specifically, Finn is the music teacher for k-12, high school choir, junior high choir and band, and fifth and sixth grade band.

Barb Bowen has rearranged her computer responsibilities to include leading the grade nine through twelve band. The band is around forty-five to fifty strong.

Both Finn and Bowen are easily qualified, though are under long-term substitute status. Filling a music position, which includes both chorus and band, will be particularly difficult at this time of the school year.