Saturday, July 21, 2007

Richmond or bust!

Okay, so this is yet another divergence from my normal "theological" posts, but I've got to pass along the news: I got my first "real" job! The thirteen-hour drive down to Richmond, VA, on Tuesday did not end up in vain; I am the new chemistry (and perhaps biology) teacher at Hermitage High School, Henrico County Public Schools. (To keep this going, though, I promise that I'll write about some of my lessons from Turkey. It's just that I've been so busy since I got back to the States that I haven't had any time.)

Their human resources science specialist, Libbey Kitten, told me before that of the four candidates, I was her choice as the best fit for the job. I interviewed with the principal, assistant principal, and the two science department chairpersons. Our one-and-a-half-hour interview felt less like a formal interview than a conversation, and I felt remarkably poised and comfortable compared to other interviews I've had. The HHS faculty were very warm, enthusiastic about students and their school, and I noticed a unity and teamwork among them that was different from other schools.

After the interview I got lunch at Panera Bread with Libbey Kitten. One of the funny things she told me was that a major factor in her confidence in me was that I had spent the past two years in Turkey. She knew I could easily handle relocating to a new part of the U.S. and starting life out on my own with little difficulty, having already done so on a much greater scale overseas.

As we were driving back to HHS, Libbey got a call notifying her that I was chosen to fill the position as the new chemistry teacher. Almost simultaneoulsy I got a call from HR head Patrese Pruden with the congratulations. I was so excited and relieved to have a job--and at a good school with supportive faculty and administration, too! I think it's an environment where I can grow as a professional while continually facing new challenges from the racially and socioeconomically diverse student body. I'm a little bummed that I won't have my own classroom, but even one of the young department chairpersons had to do likewise her first few years. As the rookie on staff, I'm willing to pay my dues.

On top of that, Richmond is a pretty darn cool city. The district that I hope to soon call home, "The Fan," is really cool, with neat little indie shops, cafes, and clubs; the real highlight, however, is the non-stop blocks of refinished brick row houses. There is certainly a lot of history here, too. Not only was Richmond the capital city of the Confederacy, but even the site of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty, or give me death" speech still stands (St. John Episcopal Church).

Now only two big decisions stand before me. (1) I don't have housing locked up yet, but I'm really hoping to land a really nice one-bedroom apartment that I looked at today on Grove in the Fan. It's a beautiful and safe neighborhood of some rental units mixed among families and young professionals. (2) It's my choice whether I want to teach full-time chemistry or split chemistry/biology, which mostly hinges upon whether or not I can get a cross country and track coaching position within the district. But compared with the pressure and uncertainty of not yet having a solid job, this is a huge load off.

Thank you so much, heavenly Father, for this job and for everyone who has aided me along the way. I feel your hands of blessing open toward me; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

1 comment:

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Oh that is such wonderful news Drew - congratulations to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yes, Richmond is a wonderful city - fun and rich in history as you have already said. I have cousins that lived there for 30 years before moving to Williamsburg. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and your new position - and now we'll move the "coaching" position up to the place of the "real job" prayer on the prayer list!