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Elementary Staff

 

Photo of Val Ruckes

 

Val Ruckes
Classroom Teacher, 1st Grade

I've been teaching for 21 years with Rochester Community Schools. I taught at McGregor Elementary before coming to the Virtual Campus. I taught third grade for 10 years and the rest of the time I've been teaching first graders. First graders will blow you away if given the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do. What excites me about virtual education is having the opportunity to connect more closely with our families and being able to cultivate an environment that promotes great home-school partnerships around learning. I love all things active, including biking, walking, roller skating, and dancing! You need lots of energy to keep up with first graders!

 

Photo of Andy Krupp

 

Andy Krupp
Classroom Teacher, 2nd Grade

I have enjoyed teaching in the district for the past 26 years. Over the last year, I have been very inspired by the experience of teaching virtually. It has opened things up for exploration, new potentials and the ability to teach in new and creative ways. The Virtual Campus has become a learning environment where kids are both learning and thriving. I am excited to see how the virtual experience expands and informs education as we move forward. I have always loved teaching children, their insights continually amaze me and expand upon my own thinking. I am grateful to be a part of the RCS Virtual Campus and to be working with your children.

 

Photo of Sarah Kirby

 

Sarah Kirby
Classroom Teacher

I am so excited to be on this new adventure teaching at the RCS Virtual Campus! During my 15 years with RCS, I have taught first, second, and fourth grade. My favorite thing about teaching is READING! I grew up in Rochester, and now live in Clarkston with my husband and 2 boys, Alex and Ben. When I'm not looking for new books to share with my class, you can find me up north in Traverse City where I loves to hunt for Petoskey stones with my boys! Fun fact about me... I love to cook! My specialty is gluten free chocolate chip cookies!

 

Photo of Brian Peterson

 

Brian Peterson
Classroom Teacher, 5th Grade 

I am thrilled to be on this virtual journey with you! For the last 22 years I taught fifth grade at Musson Elementary School in Rochester. I knew since fifth grade that I wanted to be a teacher and consider myself a life-long learner. This is one of the reasons I love being a teacher, as I constantly feel I learn new things with my students. I am excited about the endless potential that the virtual platform has to offer!

Specials Teachers

 

Photo of Christine Glenn

 

Christine Glenn
Art Teacher

I have been teaching over 20 years and this is my 4th year with RCS. Outside of the classroom, I am a mom of a 2 year old boy and a 9 year old boxer. In my free time I enjoy painting, pottery, music concerts, art festivals, and traveling. I absolutely love the Virtual Campus and spending time with our VC Art Club!

 

Photo from Annie Griffin

 

Anne Griffin
Music Teacher

Ms. Griffin is in her fifth year of teaching, and is so happy to continue working with the wonderful community of students, families and teachers at the RCS Virtual Campus. She loves singing, hiking, practicing yoga, and most of all making music with her students! :)

 

Photo of Shana Poll

 

Shana Poll
Physical Education Teacher

I have been teaching over 20 years and this is my 20th year with RCS. Outside of the classroom I enjoy riding my bike and paddle boarding. You will often see me walking or riding the local trails during the warmer months.  I like to visit my family in Florida often.  I look forward to getting active with all of you this year.

Support Staff

 

Photo of Rebekah Smith

 

Rebekah Smith
Social Worker

I have been a part time school social worker in Rochester or 8 years.  Before that, I was a social worker at schools in Detroit, Ferndale, and Belleville.  In addition, I’ve been providing virtual school social work services since 2014, so I was very excited to have this opportunity in my own district.  I love to work with students from kindergarten to twelfth grade and enjoy the unique experience with each age.  When I am not at school, I am usually happily chauffeuring my three children to their activities or visiting our family cottage in South Haven. 

 

Photo of Amber Filipski

 

Amber Filipski
Speech and Language Pathologist

I have been practicing speech-language pathology in RCS for over a decade and this is my second year with the RCS Virtual Campus.  I love connecting with students in a way that makes them feel confident in who they are and I’m excited to be back here finding creative ways the virtual environment can cater to individual student needs.  When I’m not working you can find me happily mothering my two elementary-aged daughters and chasing after our mini Newfiedoodle rescue puppy, Lola.  When I can carve out some time for myself, I enjoy hiking, reading, spending time in nature, knitting, watercolor painting, and rescuing neglected houseplants from the clearance section.