South welcomes new teachers: Part 2

Kim Hoglund

Alex Jackson


This is the best way to describe how the new French instructor, Kimberly Hoglund, feels about teaching, music and her students.

She has also taught at Kansas State University, Barton Community College and Manhattan High School.                  Hoglund said that she “decided to teach in order to make a positive impact on students and to help communicate by helping them develop their language proficiency and cultural proficiency.”

She has also found that through second language learning, language and cultural analysis, students may benefit as well as when they use cross cultural understanding and see the world in a new light.

Hoglund grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and “developed a passion for music of all types.” She was a violinist for her school and, afterwards, played for the Independence Symphony in Independence, Mo., the Kansas State Orchestra in Manhattan, and the Université de Montpellier III in Montpellier, France.

Hoglund also described herself as caring and dedicated-caring because she cares about most things in her life, including her family and friends, and dedicated because she loves to teach and also loves to help her students to learn.

Reading is one of her many enjoyments, as it essentially allows people to discover a new world and helps to enhance student learning.

She also enjoys playing violin. She said, “The ability to express and interpret music is a talent that must be shared with others so that others also experience the joy of music.”

Matt Johnson

Willow Vaughn

As an assistant principal and athletic director, Matt Johnson has his hands full, but he says that he had “missed working with the staff and students” when he worked in the district office as the Olathe district athletic director.

He said he “belongs in the school system”, which his history of working at several schools bfore his current job proves. He’s worked at Shawnee Mission, Shawnee Mission NorthWest, Westridge and Hocker Grove. Johnson also worked at the Juvenile Detention and the Crittenton Residential Treatment Center before he came to work here. Johnson enjoys working in the school district and helping students accomplish their goals. He describes himself as caring, because he wants tocreate a fruitful environment and motivated, because he works hard. Both of these attributes certainly suit his job and will serve the school well.

Johnson is someone who cares abou their job and the environment they help create, so he gives it his all to do their best to make sure everything is running smoothly and everyone is happy and working hard.

In his free time, Johnson enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and watching movies, also with his family. He was born in Johnson County and said it gave him his Midwestern values of being neighborly, honest, and welcoming, and these traits show in his work.


Traci Johnston

Drew Houfek

New counselor Traci Johnston made the decision years ago to follow her gut and try something new by returning to school to switch from a social worker to a school counselor, and it’s safe to say that it has worked out.

“I’ve loved every day since,” she said.

Johnston, who was born in a very small town in southeast Iowa and has been working in schools for 10 years in four different states, will work with students grades 10-12 with last names A-F for the 2016-17 school year.

As a self-described kind, laid back, “sugar-loving” mother of three, Johnston believes that the most important thing she’s learned from working with and raising kids may be the most important thing of all: “Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.”

And through that motto, she has been able to do more than she thought she ever could, from helping kids to conquering her fear of speaking in front of large crowds.

While most people become teachers after having one that they looked up to when they were young, Johnston’s route to become a counselor occurred after quite the opposite experience.

“My high school counselor didn’t involve [himself with students], and when you had a question he would just point to a wall without even trying to help,” she said. “Being a social worker allowed me to see what a good counselor should be.”


Craig Lewis

Tristan Allen

A love for sports has brought the new coach, Craig Lewis, here to teach weightlifting.

This is Lewis’ first year coaching here, and is also involved with guided study.

In the past, he has also taught psychology for a while. While teaching, he took a few personality tests that he uses to describe himself as positive, sketchy, and friendly.

He originally wanted to be an FBI agent, because he knew a baseball coach that served as a U.S. Marshall. That plan did not work out, so he then went to a police academy, but got injured so decided to teach, and he loved playing sports growing up, so decided to coach.

He last taught at Staley High School, in Kansas City, MO., and has taught in 5 different high schools, including Park Hill, Truman, Oak Park, Shelbyville, and Trenton, and also has coached at Eastern Illinois University for a year.

From his time teaching, he has learned that he is good “dealing with situations” and “doesn’t get fired up.”

One flaw he admitted was that he was not well organized at first.

In his free time, he loves working out, especially outdoors, and hanging out with his kids. He is originally from Kansas City, MO.


Liz McClain

Khadija Ceesay

A passion for math and her love for teaching young people are the main reasons the new Pre-Calculus and AP-Calculus BC teacher Liz McClain came to Olathe.

She had been a teaching supervisor before she came and had liked it because she was “always in the know about new teaching trends.”

McClain grew up in Overland Park and still resides there along with her family. She describes her home as a “great community” and “very open.”

After earning her Ph.D at the University of Kansas, she was a teacher at Olathe North, St. Louis Community College, and KU for the past six years.

Prior to being a teaching supervisor for student teachers at KU, she was the assistant director for the Kansas Algebra program. She was responsible for curriculum training with the teachers she supervised as well as administration.

“I enjoyed that job because I worked with college kids.” McClain said.

McClain admits that through the years, she has learned a few things about herself, like that she has become flexible with change and that she is indeed a perfectionist.

She describes herself as creative, in that she finds new ways to teach her students. She does see herself as spontaneous and open to new ideas. Dedication is also a part of her personality as she is committed until the very end.

Aside from teaching, she loves to spend time with family, go on runs when she has the time, go out for movies and watch her children participate in sports.


Panther Mohsenein

Mara Gee

Panteha Mohsenein, math teacher, is quite the world traveler. She grew up in Iran, moved to England for high school, and then came to the United States to study at college.

However Mohsenein has not always been teaching. In college, she studied to become a civil engineer and was doing just that after she graduated.

“Then I got a full ride scholarship back to school,” Mohsenein said. “That’s how I got involved with more studying.”

Since then, she’s been teaching in Kansas City, Kan., public schools.

“I’ve learned that it’s cool working with students. We also can learn so much from each other. Learning is a process and you can’t learn overnight,” Mohsenein said.

When she isn’t swamped with grading math homework, she likes to snap photos of everyday life.

“I enjoy photography because I can see life through lenses, and I enjoy being [able to] capture a moment,” Mohsenein said.