New teachers at Highlands join the nest

April 14, 2021

New Highlands Teacher Zach Borgman makes cross country move to HHS


Elly Wira

First year Highlands history teacher Zachary Borgman.

 Zachary Borgman is a new face here at Highlands High School. Teaching social studies for almost seven years. This school would’ve been routine for him if it wasn’t for COVID-19. Focusing on AP World History, United States history, and the United States government, Borgman has his hands full. Previously in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Borgman moved to Kentucky because of his wife’s job search. 

Before moving, Borgman was planning to fly out to job fairs and attend interviews. Instead of participating in person, Borgman appeared in online meetings through Zoom. After landing the job and getting settled in his new home, Borgman wasn’t fully prepared for non-traditional instruction (NTI), just like the rest of the school. 

Switching from NTI to in-person learning can be difficult without knowing what to do, but the Bluebirds pulled through and are still going strong.  

Borgman said, “It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but I think we handled it the best we could.”     

Originally becoming a teacher to interact in the classroom, he is proud of both students and teachers for working their hardest. With being unable to see everyone’s face and expressions, Mr. Borgman struggled to get to know both students and staff alike. Even so, he continues to gain support from his fellow 3rd-floor teachers.

 “Honestly, they are so nice. If I ever need info or help with something I know I can count on them,” he explained. Typically interacting with just 3rd-floor teachers, Borgman regrets not having the opportunity of getting to know the rest of Highlands staff better.  

He has been tremendously proud of his students for keeping up with not just covid guidelines, but all their schoolwork as well. It shows how proud Borgman is to be here at Highlands. 

“High school students have a lot going on in life, with how productive and determined this school is, that’s what makes a tough year so much better,” Borgman closed. 

He hopes to keep on motivating his students to keep moving forward, even with NTI and COVID-19, the new teachers at Highlands are incredibly diligent and creative. 

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New teacher Sam Volphenhein enters HHS


Grayson Thomas

First year Highlands math teacher Sam Volpenhein.

With the change in the world, new teachers are difficult to come by. However,  Samuel Volpenhien stepped up to the plate and has been a great addition to the Bluebird nest.  Originally teaching at Lloyd Memorial high school, which is in Erlanger, Kentucky, Volpenhein moved to Highlands.

“My decision to make a change had a lot to do with the fact that my wife is a principal at my old school. It was nice working together, but after doing it for a few years, it was a good time to move on and try something else, so we weren’t talking about school all the time,” Volpenhein explained.

Volpenhein teaches Geometry and Algebra II, as well as AP Computer Science Principles. He enjoys teaching math because he loves to take what he has learned and pass it on to his students. 

Even though he is  away from his previous school, that didn’t stop Volpenhein from keeping those friendships with old co-workers from Lloyd Memorial High School.

“Although keeping in touch has been made much more difficult lately, I do have a handful of friends from Lloyd I communicate with regularly as I worked there for nearly ten years,” Volpenhein commented.

Volpenhein has really enjoyed his time here and has become close with his fellow co-workers in the math department.

Volpenhein said, “I really appreciate all the help I have received from my coworkers in the math department over the course of my first year. Through conversations about school during lunch and between classes I have gotten to know most of them well, which has been great.”

“I think math class is a great place to work on formulating arguments leading to discussions where we must clearly communicate our ideas. I love when questions in class turn into discussions where people have a difference in opinion that we must work out by talking to each other. I think math class is a great source for those kinds of experiences and that we can learn a lot from them,” Volpenhein added.

Overall, Volpenhein has made a great addition to the Bluebird nest.

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