New Year, New Ways, New Bulldogs


Nusaiba Mahmud, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time in the history of SBHS, students and teachers will be conversing through screens in their homes instead of classrooms, while it isn’t considered ideal, all of the new members of SB  are excited to be helping their students grow.

As Stone Bridge enters its 21st year, more than 30 new staff members join the school as new bulldogs. There are many new things happening this school year: the 100% distance learning, the introduction of Schoology, and even the new bell schedule. However, the one familiar new change are the new teachers that are set to teach this year.

“I am ecstatic about my opportunity to teach at Stone Bridge,” Mr. Brian Wolf, a new Special Education teacher, said, “I am getting to know the students and parents in the SB community and how I can support their needs.”

From math teachers to new guidance counselors, some with years of experience, while others are just starting out, this year there is a whole range of new teachers.

“Last year I taught at Willard Intermediate.  Before that, I taught for 19 years in Nebraska,” Ms. Natasha Ludwig, French teacher said, “Go Big Red!”

Some teachers have also been Loudoun County graduates themselves.

“I am a first time teacher, but I was a Behavioral Assistant for the last eight years in the county.” Mr. Zach Collins, Social Studies teacher and the sponsor for the Sunshine Squad said, “ I am also a student from LCPS, graduating from Loudoun County High in 2008.”

Replacing Google Classroom, Schoology is the new primary platform for distance education, the new teachers are excited to start using it to meet their new students.

“I have learned so much about teaching online, and I think my technology skills are so better,” Ms. Lisa Hughes, CTE teacher, said, “ I really, really, really love making Bitmoji Classrooms and I even figured out how to use Snapchat to move me to put in my Gourmet Foods kitchen.”

While the traditional in-person classes have been put on hold for the time being, the teachers are disappointed but not discouraged. Despite setbacks, every new teacher is excited for the new school year.

“I’ll be honest, this is not how I imagined starting my dream job of being a high school theatre teacher,” Ms. Caroline Marks, theater teacher, said, “but the great thing is that we have an amazing support network. I took classes all summer on how to teach theatre online and I feel ready. However, I will be very relieved when we return to the school building.”

Along with the teachers, there are also a few new assistant principals and a guidance counselor. These new Bulldogs bring a lot of new experiences and heart warming stories. 

“ I love seeing people grow and make connections. Connections can last a lifetime, and leave a lasting impression,” Mr. Lucas Lauer, a new guidance counselor said,  “One of the connections I am proud of is a former middle school student who lost her mother in 7th grade to cancer. About 8 years later, I was getting my mail and she had sent me a graduation announcement from George Washington University with a personal note thanking me for helping her through a difficult time in her life. The sad thing is she actually made me cry with that note. I remember the little girl I found in the corner of my office crying the day her mother passed away, but what really got to me is that she remembered me and wanted to share her accomplishments.”

Many are hesitant and unsure of how this year is going to go. Teachers and students are both surrounded by new challenges as time goes on. However, the new members are optimistic about the future, and strive to do their best to overcome these new challenges.

Every school year is filled with different challenges, it is how we live up to and attack these challenges which will determine how the school year will go. I choose to look at every day as a challenge to be better than the previous in whatever I do, be it teaching, coaching or being a father,” Mr. Wolf said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of each day so as not to miss out and become regretful.”