New staff, from left to right: Savanna Gonzales, Sandy Andrus, Cathy Nielsen, Jessica Ross. Submitted photo.

With the start of the new school year, Beaver Dam Elementary School has added four faculty members.  Each comes to the Eagles’ nest with the commitment to education which has become the norm for those working with the beloved eaglets.  The positions being filled are speech therapist, preschool, third grade, and fourth grade.

Mrs. Cathy Nielsen is the new speech therapist.  She and her husband, Tom, make their home in Pine Valley, Utah.  They have one daughter who is a resource room teacher in Spanish Fork, UT and a son who is studying to be an oral surgeon in Nashville, TN.  They have six grand-children and one on the way in February.  Mrs. Nielsen enjoys working on stained glass and making pine needle baskets in her free time.  She often joins Tom for some four-wheeling fun.  Cathy received her M. A. degree from BYU and has experience in both private practice and public education. She is happy to be working at Beaver Dam and is looking forward to getting to know the kids.

Mrs. Savanna Gonzales is returning to her roots with the move to Beaver Dam.  A high school graduate of Virgin Valley and college graduate from UNLV, she now resides on Jones’ Flat with her three children.  Her oldest is Caysen who will be entering 7th grade, David, or D.J., who is starting fifth grade, and Emma who will begin third grade.  Mrs. Gonzales enjoys traveling and going to amusement parks with her family.  She comes to Beaver Dam with a background in Head Start and over three years’ experience teaching preschool in Yuma, AZ.  She knows preschool requires a lot of patience and enjoys working with the little ones because they can play and learn at the same time.  Mrs. Gonzales is looking forward to working in the small Beaver Dam community with its friendly environment.

Mrs. Sandy Andrus comes to Beaver Dam after retiring from Clark County where she completed twenty-nine years of outstanding teaching.  She was a much-beloved and respected Virgin Valley Bulldog and J.L. Bowler Bighorn.  The Eagles are lucky to have her swoop to their nest!  Mrs. Andrus makes her home in Bloomington with husband, Chad, and two sons.  Cameron is a senior this year and quite a musician; Jackson will be entering the 7th grade and is active in all sports.  Three daughters, Danielle, Jenna, and Amber are grown and have brought the sunshine of three grand-children into the family fold.  Roscoe S’Mores rounds out their family; he is a rascally Welch corgi. Sandy will be teaching third grade.  She is looking forward to a fresh new start at Beaver Dam and is very excited to see what the year will bring.  Third grade is her very favorite!

Jessica Ross will be teaching fourth grade.  She grew up in Phoenix, moved to St. George in ninth grade, and loves the sunny Southwest.  She and her husband Jason have one son, Jason Jr., who is starting first grade this year.  Jessica made a promise to her second grade teacher that she would get a college degree, and she kept that promise!  She graduated from Dixie State with honors and a degree in elementary education with an ESL endorsement.  She enjoys her musical church activities and has recently used her artistic talent in remodeling her kitchen at home.  The family has four turtles, all named after the Ninja turtles, and one Guinea pig named Jupiter.  It has been Jessica’s dream to be a teacher and she is thrilled to have realize it as she becomes a part of the Beaver Dam School community.

Top Eagle, Phyllis Leavitt, is proud to have these dedicated and competent educators joining her staff.  They will be a positive addition to the successful educational excellence which is Beaver Dam Elementary School.