Staff successors bring new light to Chantilly

Rachael Gunn, managing editor

Assistant Principal Mike Astudillo, English teacher Matt Hendricks and others left Chantilly at the end of last school year to pursue other opportunities. Following their absence comes a new group of staff members, ready to join the school community.

In fact, many have had extensive experience in their fields, prior to joining the school.

“I was at Woodson for two years on provisional and long term substitute teaching, then I was at Hayfield for nine years,” English teacher Bobby Nelson said.

Regardless of experience, recent additions enter the year excited for what the school has to offer.

“The way I like to put it is: you have the choice of driving a Toyota or a Ferrari,” English teacher Bobby Nelson said. “I think I’ll take the Ferrari. That’s what Chantilly is.”

Many faculty members are honored to work with students each day and look forward to the experiences the future holds.

“I think [teaching] is beautiful work; it’s meaningful,” social studies teacher Toni Bowman said. “I’ve always been a fan of public service, and it really is fun to see light bulbs come on. It’s a privilege to be here.”

With a whole year of potential ahead, new staff members are adjusting their typical routines in various ways.

“Fairfax is the largest county you’ll find in this area, but I think the biggest thing here school-wise is this school has about a thousand more kids than [the school in] Stafford County where I came from,” science teacher Donald Casias said. “The format on getting information out is different from what I’m used to, so I have to adapt to that; that’s been my biggest slowdown.”

Despite some challenges, the school environment continues to be inclusive and respectful.

“The faculty is great,” Casias said. “The science partners here have taken us in and have been very supportive; you don’t get that everywhere.”

Overall, student attitude uplifts staff members as they begin a new chapter of their careers as Chantilly Chargers.

“The kids here are great; they are very energetic, with a wealth of knowledge,” Casias said. “It’s a good crew here.”

Rachael Gunn
In a summer orientation for new faculty members, attendees were encouraged to stimulate their brains and feed their inner child by engaging in leisure activities before the meeting.
Rachael Gunn
Principal Scott Poole welcomes staff attendees and gives an overview of what it means to be a Charger in the school community.