South welcomes new teachers: Part 1


Deborah Abernathy 

Emma Collins

Any student around the school can notice the new faces of the staff. One of which is Deborah Abernathy, math teacher.

Abernathy has been teaching for over 30 years now. Before working at Olathe South, Abernathy worked in Kuwait teaching Physics and middle school math in Scotland.

She became a math teacher because a previous teacher of hers told her she would be good at it when she got older. While teaching she has learned that she can always learn something from her students.

Usually she takes advantage of helping out around the school by getting involved with as many extracurricular activities as possible, but for right now she is trying to finish her doctoral program so she wont being coaching or sponsoring anything this year.

As she was growing up Abernathy was a military child. She moved around a lot and loved meeting new people everywhere she lived.

Although she is accustom to moving around, she is hoping to settle down here for awhile and see her two grandchildren grow up near her in Kansas City.

Besides teaching, Abernathy loves to be with her husband of 39 years, her three children and two grandchildren and of course her four dogs.

Abernathy describes herself as inquisitive, ethical, and responsible.


Megan Alspaugh 

Madison Bonner


That is the best way to express how the new social worker Megan Alspaugh behaves to anyone around her.

Alspaugh is Olathe-raised and attended Olathe North High School, which taught her to appreciate the community’s diversity.

“I’ve always wanted to work with young people and to make a difference,” Alspaugh said.

Along with Alspaugh’s compassionate and empathetic attitude towards people, she also enjoys lightening the mood with some jokes and having fun.

Now as she influences students’ lives every day, she accomplishes her own dreams as well.

“I have learned that you can learn from the young people you work with,” Alspaugh said.

Previously Alspaugh was a therapist in Kansas City, Mo., and discovered how rewarding helping people can truly be.

While listening and giving feedback, Alspaugh sympathized with many people, and this lead her to what is now her everyday job of working with young people and making a difference.

In her free time, she enjoys going outside, supporting all the local sporting teams, and spending time with friends and family.

“All of these things help me relieve stress, stay positive, appreciate life, and keep me happy,” Alspaugh said.


Ashley Bell

Sarah Buehler

New Spanish teacher, Ashley Bell, would describe herself as energetic, nice and fun.

She has taught Spanish at Blue Valley High School, Olathe East and Frontier Trail Middle School. This year she is teaching Spanish I and II.

Bell said, “I decided to teach because I enjoyed learning Spanish, and I wanted to teach others about the culture and language.”

Growing up in Derby, Kan., Bell has always wanted to be a teacher and has had no other jobs besides teaching Spanish.

As to what she has learned from teaching, Bell said, “To be more patient, more flexible, and to let go of the small things.”

When Bell is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family.


Lindsey Colling 

Mara Gee

Lindsey Colling has been teaching Spanish since she graduated from college. Before coming here, she taught in Minnesota, and then moved here and taught at Chisolm Trail and Olathe East.

To gain a better understanding of the Spanish language and culture, Colling lived abroad for a while. Doing so forced her to “become more extroverted and increase [her] assertiveness and confidence” since she had to figure things out on her own, which in turn “reaffirmed [her] passion for teaching.”

She was inspired to teach by one of her high school teachers who helped her through some tough times.

“I was having a really rough year one year, and she was the only adult that was there for me,” Colling said. “I wanted to go into [teaching] as a pay-it-forward kind of thing.”

In teaching, she has discovered that she loves to work with students and cares deeply for them. “At the end of the day, I’m a people person, and it’s all about making connections,” Colling said.

In her spare time, she reads with her 4-year-old son. He is just learning to read, and she loves to watch his excitement grow with each word.

Having grown up in Minnesota, she has become someone who enjoys the outdoors and being active.

“And I also don’t mind the cold weather as much,” Colling said.


Robin Dennis 

Sion Worley

Robin Dennis has joined the staff this year, and teaches Biology and Physical Science.

Dennis grew up in Olathe, and could not help coming back after college and her first job as a teacher in Ottawa.

“It feels like home to me, and I couldn’t stop coming back,” she said.

She decided to become a teacher during her junior year in high school, when she began tutoring a fellow student in A.P. United States History. She decided that teaching was for her when the student showed great signs of improvement.

“I loved watching her learn, and I figured at that point that teaching would be a great job,” Dennis said.

Over her years of teaching, Dennis has learned that she gets much more excited teaching her current subject than anything else.

Dennis would describe herself as passionate, strong-willed, and a genuinely happy person because of her upbringing and eccentric personality.

In her free time, Dennis satisfies her interest in pop-culture via every media outlet available.

“I love to absorb pop-culture in my free time. I read, watch videos, play video games, and use social media constantly,” she said, “I’m pretty much a nerd by anyone’s standards, but I like it.”


Mike Flenthrope 

Alex Jackson

Combining a love for helping others to learn and a desire to make things fun has made for a successful Spanish teacher.

Mike Flenthrope, Spanish teacher, has always liked to help others to understand and do well in learning. During college, he found that he liked helping others learn, especially in Spanish.

Flenthrope, born in Phoenix, Ariz. learned during his time there that “Every step you make changes your path in life.” He has also found that, after attending college, that classes can sometimes be boring, so he works to make his classes “fun.” Something else important to him in the classroom is his learning from his students.

After college, all of his jobs have involved his Spanish language skills. The  other jobs that he has or had are being a program coordinator, helping at other schools, being a teacher at Shawnee Mission, and  consulting. He taught at Shawnee Mission for about 10 years, before coming to Olathe.

Flenthrope has been described as energetic, which accounts for his ability to make his classes fun, and also as a thinker, which is how he lives his life. He thinks before he acts.

Teaching isn’t all that he does, though; he also spends time with his children. He also likes to play World of Warcraft, but hasn’t had time for it lately.

Mary Glotzbach

Willow Vaughn

Being a school counselor requires a love of working with people, especially students, a love that Mrs. Glotzbach definitely has.

To help students with their problems, she said that she has to be open-minded, “able to look at the big picture” and easygoing in that she “goes with the flow.” Glotzbach said this job has taught her to be patient, not jump to conclusions and listen to everyone’s story. Being very personable makes her a very good counselor and Glotzbach strives to be “someone people feel comfortable talking to.”

Before becoming a counselor here, she worked at Blue Valley High School, also as a counselor. However, before she went back to college to get her bachelor’s degree and began working at high schools, she had worked in elementary. Glotzbach became a counselor so she could “work with kids on an individual level” and “help with their problems.” Glotazbach is very kind and helpful to students, and she’s willing to listen to what students have to say.

Glotzbach said that her growing up in Topeka gave her the morals she has today. She values her family, with whom she greatly enjoys spending time. She spends her free time with them, and working out.


Rachel Gunderson 

Kieran Rippe

Hard working is the best way to describe how Rachel Gunderson works here at OS.

Gunderson has been working on her first year, and she is constantly dealing with stress about her job as a teacher and her kids.

Gunderson has been a teacher since college and has the same reason as most teachers “I just had a few really good passionate teachers in my past and that’s what made me want to be a teacher”.

Gunderson has grown up in Olathe and she said it had not really affected who she was, but Gunderson is a very nice person who is outgoing and hardworking. Overtime she has learned patience from dealing with younger and older students such as preschoolers up to high schoolers.

One of her favorite things to do when she has free time is too hang out with her sporty kids and watch them do sports.”My kids love sports so whenever I do have free time or after work I usually go to watch their games”.

She said she is goofy, strong willed and hard working. As a teacher, she has deal with lots of grading and talking to her students after and befor school and that probably takes a ot of work, plus she has to be aware of stuff going on at home, that definitely takes the time out of someone’s day, especially when someone has work to do like Gunderson.