New FSMS Teachers: David Heidrick, Janet Fairbanks, Samantha Short

This is part of a series featuring the 26 new educators in USD 234. School starts on August 18.

David Heidrick. Submitted photo.

David Heidrik is a new  seventh- grade Special Education teacher at Fort Scott Middle School.

This is his 11th year as an  educator, all of those in special education.

“I spent 8 years at Prairie View as a middle school resource room teacher and I will hold the same position here,” he said.

“I am married with two boys,” he said.  “My wife , Luisa, is from Peru and we met at Pittsburg State University. Our boys are Matt, age 6,  and Jacob, age 3.”

He has a variety of interests outside of school.

“I am into athletics, I practice Jiu Jitsu, I have a garden, and I study ancient history among other hobbies,” he said.

Janet Fairbanks. Submitted photo.
Janet Fairbanks has been hired to teach sixth grade history.
She earned a bachelors degree from Pittsburg State University in elementary education, certified to teach K-9 .
“I retired from teaching almost two years ago,” she said. “I taught in Osawatomie for 26 years. I have taught elementary physical education, elementary librarian, fourth grade, fifth grade, and even did elementary music.”
She moved to Fort Scott last May.
” I spend most of my free time with my  four married kids and 15 grandkids going to ball games and enjoying all of the different activities that they participate in.”
“Even though I have loved retirement, I miss the classroom! I decided I can do what I love, teaching, and I can also travel with my female companion, Blue, a mini Aussie. I do plan on traveling to all 50 states with her, maybe even get her on a plane to Hawaii!”
“I am looking forward to teaching In Fort Scott. The staff that I have met while substituting last year are pretty awesome! I am pretty excited to join the team at the middle school.”
Samantha Short. Submitted photo.

Samantha Short, 53 is a new Fort Scott Middle School Spanish teacher and remedial English teacher.

She graduated from Nevada High School in 1987.Then earned her bachelors, masters and specialist degrees from Pittsburg State University.

She taught Spanish in the Nevada School District for the last 28 years and just retired this year.

Nevada is her hometown since 1975.

She has been married for 31 years and has three children and two grandchildren. Katlyn is a 6th grade teacher in Nevada; Colton, lives in Connecticut and is an engineer for a company; and Hallie will be a senior at Pittsburg State University studying Construction Management.

“I love spending time with my family, working on our cattle farm, and traveling,” she said.

“I became a teacher because I had such a bad 4th-grade experience that I hoped to make sure that other students didn’t have the same bad year that I did. I hoped to make a difference in their lives.”

“The best part of teaching for me is being with the kids and learning all about them,” she said.

“I have found that the biggest challenge is keeping kids engaged in the learning process. They are so overstimulated with everything that they have to entertain them, that class can be boring, so you need to switch topics pretty often to keep their attention.”

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