SEFFNER - In a few weeks more than 400 new teachers will begin teaching in 77 schools in eastern and southern Hillsborough County.
Those teachers, along with about 400 new teachers from schools in other parts of the county attended a four-day orientation at Armwood High School this week.
They received training in classroom management, instructional strategies, exceptional student education, professionalism, and meeting the needs of diverse learners. Teachers new to education were assigned a district-based mentor.
Lennard High in Ruskin will have the highest number of fresh faces among its faculty with 23 new hires.
Some teachers are totally new to the profession.
Jimmy Lynch will teach third grade at Wimauma Elementary this fall after receiving his degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida in May.
"I give credit to teachers I had when I was in school who inspired me and got me to love learning," Lynch said.
Some will be teaching in Hillsborough County for the first time.
Roberto Batista is a Robinson High graduate and his mother and a cousin work for the school district. This fall, he will teach English to ESE students at Bloomingdale High School.
He said he didn't always want to be a teacher.
"After college, jobs were hard to come by, so I started subbing," Batista said. "I ended up really liking it."
Batista spent the first three years of his teaching career at Central High School, an alternative school in Manatee County.
"During my time there, we had our classes in 17 portables and we had about 200 students," Batista said. "So Bloomingdale is going to be a big change."
Bloomingdale High's graduating class this year consisted of 572 students.
Then there are teachers like Nichole Warenchak-Sherwood, who will be completely familiar with her "new" surroundings.
Warenchak-Sherwood has been an ESE aide in Hillsborough County for eight years. This fall, she will teach in the very same Ruskin Elementary classroom where she has spent the past five years.
She lives nearby in Apollo Beach and is excited about remaining an active member of her community.
"I love being part of this area, and seeing the kids outside of school," Warenchak-Sherwood said. "It's a great way of developing a relationship with parents."