Q&A With some of Eureka’s new teachers


Ms. Elizabeth Foss, Language Arts

Mentor: Mr. Keith Pardeck

Education: Graduated from Truman University

Experience: First year teaching

Plans: “I would love to stay here at Eureka,” Foss said. “High school is interesting because great conversations with students and I got all different responses from them.”

Favorite part of being new: “It is still exciting,” Foss said. “Learning is interesting every day because it’s still all new.”

Random Fact: “What most people don’t know is that I’m a vegetarian,” Foss said. “I think that’s pretty random.”

Mr. Matthew Whiteford, World Language

Mentor: Ms. Jeannette Oberg

Education: Graduated from Pittsburgh State with a bachelors in psychology and history and received three masters from Oral Roberts

Experience: Fourth year teaching

Plans: “My goal is to teach Latin and build up the program so that there is eventually an AP Latin for seniors,” Whiteford said. “I’m interested in getting a Classics class started here as well.”

Favorite part of being new: “Eureka is by far the best school I have taught at,” Whiteford said. “I love the students; they are great, respectful and hard working.”

Hardest part about being new: “Having to switch rooms is difficult,” Whiteford said. “I still have very limited knowledge of where things are and where to find teachers and administrators.”

Mrs. Lisa Walther, Math

Mentor: Mrs. Cynthia Sieloff

Education: Graduated from Mizzou

Experience: “I taught for a year at a rural school district in the small town of Milan, Missouri up near Kirksville,” Walther said. “I also taught at Pattonville High School for a year.”

Favorite part of being new: “My favorite part about Eureka is how welcoming, friendly, and helpful everyone has been,” Walther said. “I feel like I now belong to a family of wildcats.”

Least favorite part: “My least favorite part is all the grading I have to do each day,” Walther said. “My students would probably say to stop assigning so much homework.”

Random fact: I got married in April at the Missouri Botanical Garden,” Walther said. “I was hired 3 days before New Teacher Orientation.”


Ms. Kirsten Brauch, Language Arts

Mentor: Ms. Sarah Goodman

Education:graduated from Maryville University with  Bachelor’s in English and Master’s in Secondary Education

Experience:  “Last year, [experienced] through my teaching internship for my Master’s degree,” Brauch said. “This means that I basically co-taught with another teacher who was certified. I spent the full summer semester, half of fall semester, and the whole spring semester at Parkway South High School. The other half of the fall semester I was at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis City.”

Goals: “My main goal is to help students make real life and personal connections to the information taught in my class,” Brauch said. “In English, I teach information and skills that can be applied down the line in life. Everything I do in the classroom is for a purpose. Thus, I want students to understand the purpose for learning the material I teach and how they can apply it throughout their lives.”

Favorite part of being new: “My favorite part about being new is becoming a part of the Eureka High School community,” Brauch said. “From the very beginning, everyone has been so welcoming. After seeing how other schools operate, it was a pleasant surprise to find a school that is so tight-knit. Around every corner, I can find a smiling face, support when necessary, and dedicated staff and students. I am proud to be one of the newest members of the Eureka family.”

Hardest part of being new: “The hardest part of being new at Eureka is learning the building,” Brauch said. “Sometimes I still get lost when I am looking for a classroom or teacher. And, I honestly have only been on the second floor twice.”

Mr. Paul Schmanke, Social Studies

Mentor: Mr. Justin Morris

Education: college at the university of Missouri and graduate school at Missouri Baptist

Experience: “I taught for two years at Wentzville Holt High School teaching American History and Street Law, one year at Farmington Middle School teaching seventh grade Social Studies , and four years at Owensville High School teaching American History and Government,” Schmanke said.

Goals: “My goal is to ensure our studies have an excellent opportunity to learn in a productive and enjoyable environment,” Shmanke said.

Favorite part of being new: “My favorite part is the high standards of achievement among students, teachers and administration,” Schmanke said.

Random fact: “My wife gave birth to our first child, a boy, Reed Victor Schmanke this summer on July 4th,” Schmanke said.