Meet the new teachers at DCS

Meet the new teachers at DCS
Posted on 09/30/2021
Please see profiles of some of our new teachers below. We will continue to add to the story as profiles come in.

Taylor Hughes - Grade 8 science teacher

Taylor Hughes became a teacher because she wanted to be a positive influence for students.

“I was a struggling student, and a teacher I had turned my educational career around, and I would love to do that for my students,” she said.

Hughes, a native of Vernon Center, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and adolescent education from Utica College. She joined DCS right after graduation, and says she’s excited to be in the district because of its close-knit community.

“As a young teacher, I know the struggles that the students have faced during the pandemic,” she said.

“I myself was in college during the shutdown, and I know how difficult it can be, and how hard it made students’ lives. I would like students to know they can come to me. The pandemic has impacted everyone differently, and everyone needs someone to talk to from time to time.”

Chris DeNova Grade 7-12 vocal music teacher

Chris DeNovaNew Dolgeville grades 7-12 vocal music teacher appreciates the district’s rich musical history and support of the arts. Those are just two of the reasons he wanted to teach here.

A native of Verona, he has been teaching for three years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and is currently working towards his master’s degree in educational technology from SUNY Oneonta.

He said his teaching style is always changing.

“My teaching style changes all the time because I am constantly learning and adapting my style to better help the students,” he said. “I am excited to be here at Dolgeville. I am ready to bring my passion and love for music to share with each and every student.”

McKensey Castor – Grade 1 teacher

Picture of McKensey Castor“I will do whatever I can do meet the students’ needs and reach them on their level. I offer different strategies throughout the day so students can see that there is always more than one way to do things.”

Those are the words of new DCS grade 1 teacher McKensey Castor as she describes her teaching style.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and childhood education from Utica College, and is currently working towards a master’s degree in literacy at SUNY Oneonta.

Castor says she loves working with children and always knew she wanted to teach – especially in her home town.

“I love this small town and everything about it. Our district has amazing staff who are always willing to help in any way they can. In previous years, I was the director of an outdoor summer program, so I know many of our students in various grades. I love seeing these students every day,” she said.

“Working with children is my passion. I love seeing their smiling faces when they walk in the door and their excitement to start our day. My room is a safe place where all children are welcome. I am so excited for this school year and working with all of my students to help them grow.”

Gary Busch – Grade 9-10 ELA teacher

picture of Gary BuschAs a new teacher, grades 9-10 ELA teacher Gary Busch says his teaching style is still taking root.

“I like to think that I am a relational teacher who likes to tell stories,” he said. “I try to make class entertaining and engaging.”

A native of Buffalo, Busch earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s in English and adolescent education from SUNY Oneonta. He worked as a substitute teacher at DCS for three years before taking his current position.

“The teachers and students here inspired me to return to school to become a full teacher,” he said. “I am a father of three myself and will do my best to help my students while they are under my tutelage.”

New teacher ashley schnookAshley Schook – Pre-K teacher

Ashley Schook became a teacher because she was inspired by teachers from her childhood, and now, she feels like she gets a chance to make a difference in the lives of children.  

A native of Middleville, she describes her teaching style as “adaptable.”  

“There are multiple methods I use daily to interact and engage the students in my classroom,’ she said.

She has taught in the district for six years, but was employed with BOCES. When a Pre-k position opened up at DCS, she knew she wanted to stay.

“I wanted to stay because of its love and dedication for students and families here,” she said  “I want parents to always know that we are on the same team. To provide the best education experience so their child is successful.”

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