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High school teachers part way with school, leave final messages

High+school+teachers+part+way+with+school%2C+leave+final+messages

Staff members recount journeys at Fresno Christian

It is the end of an eventful and memorable era for some teachers as they move on, leaving Fresno Christian. High school staff members Andrea Donaghe, Matthew Vincent and Lesley Bannister are departing from the school at the end of this semester. 

[/media-credit] English teacher Andrea Donaghe.

Donaghe graduated from FPU in 2005, and officially became a teacher at Reedley College, 2006. However, she longed to teach at Fresno Christian, loving the encouraging community where people openly preach and pray.

“I always wanted to teach at Fresno Christian coming from Fresno Pacific,” Donaghe said. “where you can say the Lord’s name and pray.”  

When she first became a teacher Fresno Christian was not hiring, but she didn’t give up.

“I started at Central and the Lord called me to finish my student teaching at Sanger,” Donaghe said. “Then I began my teaching at Reedley.”

Donaghe still wished to teach at Fresno Christian in the atmosphere she wanted. 

“I prayed that the Lord would want me there at Fresno Christian, and then in 2014 they were hiring,” Donaghe said. “I was ecstatic because it’s hard to be a Christian teacher in a public school.”

While teaching at Fresno Christian, Donaghe aimed for students to be able to see Christ through her own words, actions and spirit.

“It was flattering to me when students would say ‘Donaghe you’re different’ or ‘I just want to be in your room,'” Donaghe said. “I want students to be able to like my class even if they don’t like English.”

Donaghe made an impact on many students, including Skylar Higginbotham, ’22.

“I was in her class for three years and I’m her TA this year. I’ve always had a special connection with her,” Higginbotham said. “She doesn’t feel the need to change herself and opens up to her students. I’m sad for the upcoming classes that won’t get to have her.”

Donaghe wants her students to remember her as she leaves. 

“I just want my students to know that they are loved by me,” Donaghe said. “And I will always pray for them.”

[/media-credit] Video productions teacher Matthew Vincent.

Video productions teacher Matthew Vincent shares what inspired him to become a teacher.

“I was originally inspired to start teaching in high school by several teachers,” Vincent said. “I had the experiences within their programs and I wanted to spread that same love of art they had and allow for exploration of various disciplines of production in a judgment-free environment. You could have fun together, enjoy one another’s company and share your love of the arts as well.”

Jacob Thomas, ’24, talks about Vincent as a teacher.

“I love how in class he’s straightforward forward and I like his personality a lot,” Thomas said. “I love how he’s always willing to help me whenever I need it.”

[/media-credit] Band teacher Lesley Bannister.

Band director Lesley Bannister explains her reasoning behind coming to Fresno Christian. 

“I was looking for a place for my daughter to go to school to start kindergarten,” Bannister said. “As I was researching the school I saw that they were looking to hire a new band teacher, which was amazing as I just had my baby twins.”

Bannister shares the challenges she’s faced as a teacher over the years. 

“I love that at Fresno Christian students can do anything like sports, journalism, and cheer all at the same time. That’s an amazing thing that this school has to offer” Bannister said. “With that, it’s also a challenge because students are doing everything so it’s hard for a program to grow because students are spread out over every activity.” 

Although Bannister made many memories, one of her favorites was the Hawaii band trip in 2019. 

“Taking that many students,” Bannister said. “And getting the opportunity to perform at multiple locations was such a dream.” 

As the door closes, Bannister would like to be remembered as a teacher who cared for her students and helped inspire those in her class to become better musicians.   

These teachers leaving will be missed and remembered here at Fresno Christian.

For more Feather articles go to Senior Reflection: Bella Johns or Senior Reflection: Austin Petersen.

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Nathan Bridges, Journalist
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    Silva EmerianJun 1, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Nice job, Nathan! Your writing gets better with every article. Keep it up!

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