By Maggie Deller
McNicholas High School introduced six new faculty/staff members at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year: Chelsea Almer as librarian, Trey Aultman in the English Department, Steve Dalton in the Mathematics Department, Emily Materna as Director of Educational Technology, Laura Rupp in the English Department, and Roberta Veleta as Director of Finance.
Almer is McNicholas’s new librarian, following Anne Jones who returned to the English Department. Almer received her undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati, and her masters in Library Science at the University of Kentucky. Before joining McNicholas, she worked at Guardian Angels for four years as a librarian and technology assistant. She also worked at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County as a children’s librarian. Almer said she chose to become a librarian because, “I believe in access to information for everyone.” She added, “As a librarian, I learn new facts every day.”
Almer said she enjoys the students and staff of McNick the most. “I have been so amazed on how kind everyone is,” she said. Her hobbies include reading, camping, going to concerts, leading girl scouts, and doing crafts. Almer’s family consists of her three daughters, her husband, her dog, her cat, and her turtle. “I’m really happy to be here,” Almer said. “[I’m] excited for a fun year.”
Aultman has joined McNicholas as an English teacher. He graduated from the University of Dayton, and before working at McNicholas, he worked at St. Antoninus School. He chose to become an English teacher due to his interest in writing and literature. “You get a new perspective every time you read a book,” he said. “English is, in my eyes, fun,” he added.
One reasons Aultman said he likes McNicholas is because the students are “always very attentive” and “very kind.” His enjoys playing baseball and hockey and doing home improvement projects with his wife.
Dalton, who has joined McNicholas as a math teacher, received his undergraduate degree in Integrative Math Education from Bowling Green State University and earned his masters at Mount St. Joseph University for religious studies. Prior to McNicholas, Dalton worked at LaSalle High School. Dalton said that he always knew he wanted to teach math. While he was a senior in high school, he tutored a student in algebra, and after the student got an A on his exam, Dalton felt he was “making a difference in the world.”
Dalton said he enjoys working at McNick because “the students and staff are some of the most supportive people I’ve ever met…. It’s more of a family.” He added that “there’s a strong sense of religion here,” and “a very strong sense of humility.” At home, Dalton’s hobbies include working on cars, refurnishing his home, camping, and hiking. Dalton, with a laugh, described his family as, “imagine being in a tornado and a hurricane at the same time.” Dalton and his wife have two sons, aged 10 and 4, and a daughter, aged 7.
Materna is McNicholas’s new Director or Educational Technology stationed at the library’s help desk, now located on the stage. She received her undergraduate degree at Miami University, and her masters degree at the University of Akron. She worked at Deer Park schools and Nordonia schools in Cleveland, but said she loves being at McNicholas now. “All of the students are so nice and focused on learning,” Materna said.
She added that she enjoys using new technology to assist student learning. “I’ve always been interested in helping teachers use technology in their classrooms.” Materna’s favorite sport to play is soccer, and she also enjoys cooking. She has a husband and three sisters, one of whom lives in Chicago and two in Dayton, along with her parents.
Rupp also joined the English Department. She received her undergrad at Miami University and went to Xavier University for grad school. Before McNicholas, Rupp worked at The School for Creative and Performing Arts, a year at Hughes High School, and then at Purcell Marian for 21 years. Rupp credited her love of English to her love of stories and how they “connect us as human beings,” she said. “I love stories, any kind of story…. I’d like to help people communicate their stories through their writing.”
Rupp enjoys working at McNicholas because, she said, “My students have such an enthusiasm for learning.” Outside of school, Rupp loves watching her daughter’s swimming events, going to book club, and traveling. While at Purcell, she led eight trips to Europe, and said she “would love to do that here.” Her family includes her three daughters, Hayley, Caroline, and Jessica, her husband Walt, and her three cats.
Veleta is McNicholas’s new Director of Finance. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University, and before McNicholas, worked at Beth Adam Synagogue. Veleta said she chose to become the Director of Finance because, “It fits my skill set,” and added, “I wanted to be a part of the McNick family…. I like the liveliness and energy of the McNick family.” Her loves include yoga and photography, and she described her family as a “very adventurous” group of “world travelers,” who are “very close-knit.” She also added, “I would like to invite people to come by and meet me!”