By Lauryn Schroeder
Mason News Staff Writer
Because the Michigan Legislature passed the retirement incentive plan, thousands of new teaching positions were available this fall. By coaxing public school employees into early retirement, the bill’s goal was to save schools money, while creating new job openings.
Lance Delbridge, Principal of Mason High School, hired three new teachers this fall, one being University of Michigan graduate Danielle Smit. After interviewing many applicants, Delbridge and the interviewing staff agreed that Smit would be the right fit for the English teaching position.
“She was energetic, had creative teaching styles, and would relate to our students very well,” Delbridge said. “So far she has done an amazing job adapting to our school district and getting along with coworkers.”
When Smit’s previous employment as a long-term substitute teacher in Birmingham, Mich. ended, she was desperate to find a full-time position. “I found a website that lists all the teaching jobs in Michigan from A to Z. I applied, literally, to every single one of them,” Smit admits.
Smit was called back to many schools across the state including Mason, but found that unlike her other interviews, she felt very comfortable at Mason High School, and was treated as an equal. “Everywhere else I interviewed, they made me feel very little, but here I felt welcomed, and everyone was really nice,” Smit said.
She is currently teaching 9th and 10th grade English and has been working this semester to create innovative ways for her students to learn the material, including a class website. Students will be doing research papers this fall, and using online databases.
The transition into a new school has come easy to Smit, thanks to a very helpful staff and an amazing student body. “I love it so far, everyone has been really easy to work with. It’s been a pretty easy transition and all the teachers have shared their material that they have done in the past,” Smit said and is very optimistic in her future at Mason High School.