The Rocket Flame

Teachers Furthering Their Education


Most people believe that once you earn your degree from college, you are done with schooling. While this may be true for some jobs, teachers at James Buchanan are encouraged and even required to further their education.


“There’s a thing called ACT 48… school districts [in Pennsylvania] require you on top of that to get a Master’s or Master’s equivalent,” said Mrs. Kayla Chambers (Faculty).


Many teachers take classes to get either their Master’s degree or Master’s equivalent. A Master’s equivalent is when you take the number of credits for a Master’s degree, but do not actually have the degree. Act 48 requires that anyone who holds a Pennsylvania certification to continue their education requirements. They must do this every five years to helps ensure that teachers maintain their certificates in active status and keep up-to-date on the criteria.


“It helps me manage time… It also keeps me on task,” said Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty).


The criteria taught helps teachers plan better and helps them with ideas on how to instruct students differently. It will also help keep teaching relevant to the things that are happening and changing within their major. Depending on how they apply their knowledge to their classroom, teachers can help lead their students towards greater success.


“It presents challenges, but challenges are good,” said Johnson.


Teachers are given the challenge to have a full-time job and teach throughout the work day, but also take classes to further their education. They must balance multiple duties at once to make sure that both they and their students are taught what they need to pass. If it presents difficulty, teachers are given the choice to take their classes over the summer instead of throughout the school year.


“I’m really excited [about taking more college courses] because it’s teaching, and I’m always excited to be a better teacher,” said Mrs. Breanna Grove (Faculty).


Teachers not only teach you, but they are also getting taught by someone else, who serves as a mentor. They are applying what they learned in their classes to their own classroom, helping to greater the success of them and their students. It also helps them make more money, making it even more of an incentive for them to take these courses.


Diving In At James Buchanan


Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) smiles on the pool deck at James Buchanan High School.

On October 29, 2018, Ms. Angie Johnson (Faculty) started as the new swim instructor at James Buchanan High School. Prior to her new job as a swim instructor, Johnson had been an aquatics director at the Chambersburg YMCA for 12 years.

Growing up in Hawaii,  Johnson has been around water her whole life.  As a child, her mother and father would always take her to pools and water parks.  Kings Dominion was Johnson’s first water park. She feels most comfortable in the water or on the pool deck.

“Basically water is my life,” said Johnson.

Wanting to put her love for water to good use, Johnson became the Aquatics Director at the YMCA.  Her job entailed teaching swim lessons to all ages, teaching and making sure kids know water safety, and also managing the lifeguards that were on duty to make sure everyone maintains safety. As soon as Johnson started teaching Aquatics, she instantly knew her life came to a full circle.

“Water safety is very important and everyone needs to be aware of how dangerous water can be,” said Johnson. “But it can be so much fun too.”

Johnson has been smoothly transitioning into her new position as the new swim instructor.  Students all seem to agree that Ms. Johnson is an excellent teacher.

Abigail Nagy (9) and Makinna Peck (9) smile for a picture before going to swim class.

“She is very helpful as a teacher and always explains what to do, sometimes even through example,” said Makinna Peck (9).

Peck and Nagy really appreciate the fact that Johnson will go the extra mile by getting into the pool with them and taking the time to explain how to do different skills.

“I think Ms. Johnson is doing a good job of keeping us on task and keeping us busy,” said Abigail Nagy (9).

The students especially enjoy how Johnson changes up the class every day.  For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays, they do water fitness. Tuesdays and Thursdays, they do water aerobics, and Friday is a free day.  

“Aquatics is different this year because there aren’t as many students, sand Samuel Ocasio (11).  “So it’s fun because we

Samuel Ocasio (11) swims during his special aquatics class.

get to change it up every day.”

Johnson is excited to give high school students an opportunity to do a different type of physical education that is water-based.  She is also looking forward to giving the high school students an opportunity to teach the elementary children as she did in high school.

“I am just really excited to be here, and it’s going to be an amazing experience, I just know it,” said Johnson. “Everybody so far has been so welcoming and friendly.”

Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty) teaches Alexis Snyder (9) and Samuel Ocasio (11) about the breaststroke.
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Ms. Angi Johnson