Experienced faculty join East staff

Vincent Niewald News Editor

Bellevue East has introduced many new staff members during the 2022-23 school year. This influx of new teachers and faculty may be alarming for some, but according to TheEdvocate.org, an organization which aims to revive a national love of learning in America, “new teachers also tend to have a larger energy reserve than veteran teachers. This means that new teachers can draw on this energy to experiment in their classrooms, start new initiatives within their schools, and take on additional leadership positions.”

Last issue of the paper, three staff members, Eric Linear, Nathaly Larios Vasquez, and Matt Malcom, were interviewed. This issue, Sarah Strawn and Cherie Oraivej were interviewed. First is French teacher Cherie Oraivej.

“I’m a French teacher. I teach at Bellevue East and West. We were stationed in England for three years and we moved to Nebraska. I did not teach it while I was in England. It was one over the pandemic, but they don’t have a job at the DoDEA school for my endorsement area. But I did previously teach French at Millard Middle School, where I taught sixth through eighth grade,” Oraivej said.

In fact, Oraivej has quite enjoyed her time here at East. The only point of contention she has had so far is simply a struggle with integrating into the two schools’ cultures. Of course, this makes sense when she has to travel between them throughout the week.

Counselor Sarah Strawn (below), Robert Cote (above), and Cherie Oraivej (not pictured) are just some of the new members of East’s faculty.

“I really like the kids. I have some really great kids in my class, and we have a lot of fun. And we have a little community and they’re just really good kids. I think the big thing for me is just that I’m between two buildings. I’m just not here enough to be fully part of the culture. And that’s not a downside, it’s just part of what happens when you try to travel between buildings,” Oraivej said. 

The next member of staff is Robert Cote, who has safely been able to say that he has enjoyed his time at East so far, and has plans to one day move south and live through retirement on a beach. 

“I teach Intro to STS, Woods, Construction for concurrent credit with MCC, next year I will be the SkillsUSA Adviser. I retired from OPS and was told there was a need for a STS teacher. I really enjoy the enthusiasm of the students and the awesome camaraderie of the staff,” Cote said. 

The next brand new member of Bellevue East’s faculty is Sarah Strawn, East’s new freshmen counselor. Strawn has spent much of her life here in Bellevue, and is very happy to be back here again.

“I am the Freshman School Counselor at East. My job is to provide social, emotional, academic, and college help to all Freshman. Bellevue is my home. I attended kindergarten through 12th grade in Bellevue Public Schools and started my career as a teacher at Leonard Lawrence Elementary. I left Bellevue to become a school counselor in Omaha, but wanted to come back to Bellevue to be closer to my family and be back to work in my community that I love so much. I hit the jackpot when I was offered the position here at Bellevue East,” Strawn said.

In fact, Strawn is so happy to be back in Bellevue that she doesn’t even have a single complaint about working here at East so far. She is exactly where she wants to be.

“I do not have any specific long term plans for my future. I feel that I am in the exact place I have always wanted to be as far as my professional life goes. I would like to get back to traveling the world once my sons have grown up more and I want to continue having fun with my family and friends here in Bellevue,” Strawn said.