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Six teachers join Wauneta-Palisade Schools, new year began Wednesday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 20 August 2015 16:52

Six teachers joined the Wauneta-Palisade Schools teaching staff this week when school started Wednesday. New teachers, from left, include Allison Cliffords–kindergarten, Terra Bishop–sixth grade, Stephanie Malcolm–third grade, Rod Gaston–high school biology and ag, Joy Farr–high school English and Troy Barger–media K-12, junior high P.E. and science. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | The Wauneta Breeze)


By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze

Six new teachers joined the certified teaching staff at Wauneta-Palisade Schools this week. The new staff members are a mixture of seasoned teachers and those new to the profession. All have expressed their excitement to join W-P. Short biographies for each new teacher are provided below, in alphabetical order by last name.

Troy Barger

Troy Barger will teach fifth and sixth grade physical education, sixth and seventh grade science, seventh grade study skills and serve as the K-12 librarian.

Barger is originally from Culbertson, attended McCook Community College and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

Previously, he has taught in Schuyler, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Wauneta-Palisade (2002-2006), Middletown-Monroe, Ohio and Palmer.

“I’m looking forward to working with students and staff again,” Barger expressed. After teaching at W-P he moved away when he married his wife, Lori. “We are excited to be back living and working in the area.”

Barger and his wife are currently living in Trenton with their two children–Nathan, a kindergartner and Avery who is in preschool.

Terra Bishop

Terra Bishop will teach sixth grade this year at W-P. She will also coach all girls’ junior high sports.

She is originally from Hayes Center. She attended Mid Plains Community College in North Platte on a volleyball scholarship and received her associates degree. She then transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she received her Bachelor’s degree in education with a middle school endorsement.

Bishop previously taught sixth grade at Madison Public Schools. She also served as the head volleyball coach and assistant girls’ basketball coach.

“I am really looking forward to teaching in a smaller, more personal school district,” she said. “I love athletics and I am excited to be coaching the junior high girls.

Bishop went on to say, “It is also wonderful being back in southwest Nebraska, closer to home and around so many familiar faces.”

Bishop and her fiance, Cameron Higgins, recently purchased a home in Palisade. Higgins works at Southwest Public Power District. The couple plans to marry in September.

Her parents, Gregg and Jeanne Bishop live east of Hayes Center. She also has an older sister, Jill Hadwiger, brother-in-law Torey and nephew Maxon who live north of Kearney. She said, “I love spending as much time as possible with Max.” Her younger brother, Michael, recently graduated from Southeast Community College in Milford and is now living in Lincoln.

She added, “We couldn’t be happier to be a part of such a progressive school district and friendly communities. Go Broncos!”

Allison Cliffords

Allison Cliffords will teach kindergarten this year at W-P.

She is originally from Osceola and attended Wayne State College.

This year will mark Cliffords’ first year teaching. She’s looking forward to working with such a friendly and inviting staff and administration and starting, “what I love to do.”

Cliffords currently lives in Palisade with her yorkie puppy, “Joey.” Her parents live in Osceola. She has a sister living in Osborn, Kan., a brother in Montana and another brother who is a freshman at Wayne State College.

Joy Farr

Joy Farr will teach high school English, speech, drama and creative writing. She will also sponsor the One-Act and speech teams.

She is originally from Oberlin, Kan., graduated from McCook Community College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

She has previously taught at Atwood, Kan., Rawlins Colo., and at Southwest in Bartley.

Farr said she’s looking forward to, “Being a part of a positive teaching community, teaching English, directing One-Act.” She noted, “W-P has an incredibly talented group of actors.”

Farr, her husband Mike and two children–Logan, 13, and Rambler, 6–live in Culbertson.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to getting to know the kids,” she added.

Rod Gaston

Rod Gaston will teach biology and agricultre classes at W-P. He will also serve as the assistant boys basketball coach.

Gaston is originally from Grant. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and his Master of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

He has previously taught at Garden City, Kan., South Platte Public School in Big Springs, Dundy County, McCook and St. Paul.

“I enjoy being in southwest Nebraska,” Gaston said. “I have worked many years with the W-P school system and have always enjoyed the people here.”

Gaston and his wife, Pam, live in Wauneta. Pam owns a pet grooming, boarding and training business called “Pet Pros.” She also runs their business “Gaston Lawns and Landscapes.”

The Gastons have four sons–Brian who holds a Master’s degree in wildlife biology and works at Wolf Park, Ind., Cory who is a civil engineer in Sioux City, Ia., Kyle who is a senior at Doane College, on the track team and working towards a biology degree. Their son, Greg will be a junior at W-P this year.

Stephanie Malcolm

Stephanie Malcolm will teach third grade at W-P. She was born in McCook and has lived in Culbertson, Trenton, Palisade and Wyoming.

She graduated from Chadron State College and earned a Master’s degree in 2012. She student taught in Hayes Center and has since taught six years in Wyoming and at Chase County Schools last year, all in elementary.

She’s looking forward to teaching in a “smaller community, working with families I already know and riding my bike to work.”

She lives in Palisade with her husband, Brock, who works for BW Telcom. She has three children–Dharma, a senior, Matilda, an eighth grader and Ruel a sixth grader at W-P.

“I really enjoy parents and community members in the classroom, I can’t teach students without them,” Malcolm added. “Parents are welcome anytime. I look forward to sharing their children.”