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Social studies teacher moves from middle school

Kaitlin Hermanson, Profiles Editor

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Replacing Dean Jewett this year will be middle school teacher Kyle Mireles, who graduated from Livonia Winston Churchill High School in 2009 and Hope College in 2013, where he double majored in history and political science for secondary education.

Prior to the high school, Mireles taught seventh grade social studies at the middle school for three years.

“I had applied mostly to high schools right out of college,” Mireles said. “The middle school was the right fit for me at the time, but it was time to take the next step.”

Mireles said he is excited to teach at the next level where his students will be capable of higher-level thinking.

“My energy level fits perfectly with the middle schoolers,” Mireles said. “But intellectually, there were places we wanted to go that they weren’t ready for. The high school students can dig a little deeper – that’s what I’m most excited about.”

While his schedule will include American History and World History courses, the curriculum change is not the only thing Mireles is ready for.

“I am excited to have the buzz of a high school,” Mireles said. “It’s a different energy and atmosphere with all of the different things going on; it changes the mood of the building. The students’ life experiences are vastly different from those of middle schoolers, and they’re managing that differently, and how that manifests itself both in the classroom and outside is pretty exciting.”

While the move to the high school is a huge step, Mireles has spent his time since accepting the job preparing.

“A big part of the transition has been eased by reaching out to teachers who made a difference for me.” Mireles said. “The constant study of watching master teachers do what they do best and using that to plan my year has been really helpful. I also had an extensive book list I put together for myself this summer as review to make sure I was up to date on what I needed to know.”

Despite the preparation, there is one thing Mireles has to worry about.

“I was told by one of my colleagues, ‘Aren’t you worried you’re going to be mistaken for the freshman with the bow tie on the first day of school?’ Let’s just hope that I don’t get thrown into a locker,” he said.

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