New teachers bring talent and enthusiasm to MHS

Lauren Taylor and Cassidy Boroughs

    Montevallo High School welcomes several new teachers this school year.
    Brandi Eades is the new family and consumer science teacher.  After graduating from Oak Mountain High School, Eades attended Jefferson State Community College, where she took culinary and food service management classes.  She then attended the University of Montevallo for her education degree.  Eades went on to work at Duncanville Middle, in Tuscaloosa County, where she taught FACS for two years.
    “My mom inspired me,” Eades said. “She taught for 25 years and I wanted to teach to share my love, and experiences in FACS with today’s youth.”
    Eades said her goals for this school year are to “spice” things up in the FACS department. Eades’s other responsibilities at MHS are FCCLA adviser and wellness chairperson. She is married, and recently had a new baby boy Landon. She considers her family’s two dogs, Willie and Daisy, like children as well. She enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, Auburn football, cooking and shopping.
    “I am excited to be a Montevallo Bulldog and can’t wait to learn more about MHS’s rich history and traditions,” Eades said.
    Nicole Ivey is the new teacher for Algebra II, algebra connections, analytical math, Algebra B and math enhancement.  She will also be coaching the girls’ softball team.  She attended Sparkman High School and went to the University of North Alabama for her bachelor’s in education and her master’s in math secondary education.  She also graduated from the University of Montevallo with a master’s in education.  Ivey has nine years of teaching and coaching experience.
    “I’ve always enjoyed teaching,” Ivey said.  “I love kids and enjoy learning new skills.”
    Ivey has two children:  Derrick, 10 and Savannah, 4.  Ivey enjoys sports, water skiing and working with church youth groups.
    Amy Pagurko is now teaching earth and space science, chemistry, honors chemistry, environmental science and physics.  Hailing from Chicago, IL, she attended Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort IL, and went to Northern Illinois University, where she received her bachelor’s in chemistry.  She is currently attending the University of West Alabama for her master’s in biology.  
    Pagurko’s previous experience was at ASPIRA Early College High School in Chicago during the year of 2010 and at Thompson High School, during the year 2011.
    “Peer tutoring inspired me to become a teacher,” Pagurko said, “as well as my high school chemistry teacher; she was so much fun and just really passionate for science.”
    She is married to William Seale, who grew up in Chelsea. Some of her hobbies include jogging, dancing, weight lifting, tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton, kayaking, reading and spending time with her cats.  In the future, she plans on being a teaching teacher to help ensure a hopeful and successful future for new teachers.
    McKenzie Britnell is the new Spanish and ESL teacher.  Britnell attended Shelby County High School, and then earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish Secondary Education at the University of North Alabama.  Having great teachers inspired her to become a teacher herself.
    “I hope I can be that inspirational teacher for someone as my teachers were for me,” Britnell said.
    Her goals for her students are for them to leave her class with a greater knowledge of the Spanish language and cultures that make up the world.
    Britnell has additional responsibilities at MHS other than teaching Spanish; she works with the auxiliary members of the band.
    Lee Pastor is the new American history, sociology and psychology teacher.  Pastor attended D.W. Daniel High School in Clemson S.C. Pastor began earning her degrees in social science at the University of Montevallo, and then transferred to Georgia State University to receive her bachelor’s in psychology.
    After working as a substitute for some time, this is Pastor’s first full year of teaching. Pastor became inspired to teach after she realized that she spent most of her free time teaching Jr. Achievement, girl scouts and at her church.
    “I realized that being a teacher is who I am,” Pastor said.  “I went back for my master’s in education when my youngest started school. I love it!”
    One of Pastor’s goals for this school year is to inspire American history students with a respect of history, and the knowledge they need to become well informed citizens.  In sociology, Pastor hopes to encourage upperclassmen to seek social science degrees, or at least take college classes in this subject.
    “Hopefully they will see the value in learning about how people and societies work together,” Pastor said.
    Pastor’s additional responsibilities include sponsoring SGA and serving as the United Way coordinator.
    Pastor has been married 18 years with two children, and her hobbies include singing, reading, watching baseball and avidly supporting Clemson football.
    Blake Ray is the new teacher for agriscience education, fish and wildlife management and introduction to veterinary science.  Ray attended Shelby County High School, and earned his degree in Agriscience Education at Auburn University. Previously, Ray worked in soil conservation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    “In the past decade, millions of American jobs have been sent overseas because of under skilled laborers,” Ray said.  “I hope to encourage common work skills in students at MHS, so they are better prepared for the workforce today.”
    Goals that Ray has for this school year include ensuring the safety of his students, and meeting many members of the community.
    Ray’s extracurricular responsibilities include sponsoring MHS’s largest organization, FFA.
    Ray is married, and enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, fishing, sod farming with his father, playing guitar and hunting.