As the 2020-2021 school year kicks off, the Primero School District would like to introduce the community to two new staff members: Fourth Grade Teacher Tamera Kingham, and Title One Teacher Risa Byall.
Kingham is joining the Primero teaching staff after spending much of her professional career in Texas. “I graduated from high school in Panhandle, Texas. I will celebrate my forty-sixth wedding anniversary this October. My husband, Danny, and I have two sons and seven granddaughters.
After high school, I worked in an insurance and real estate agency, getting licensed in both areas, while attending college classes as much as I could. I graduated from college 18 years after completing high school. I obtained my B.S. degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Special Education from West Texas A. & M. University.”
“Danny’s work in the oil and gas industry has caused us to be transferred several times, so I have taught in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and now Colorado,” said Kingham. “While living in Kansas, I obtained my Masters in Special Education from Wichita State University. I taught for 22 years in a variety of classrooms, working with students from the ages of 3 to over 21. I obtained additional certification to become an Educational Diagnostician from West Texas A & M University and spent my last four years in that capacity.
My husband retired in 2018, and we bought a home outside of Weston. I continued to work for one more year in Texas, and then took early retirement at the end of the 2019 school year. This past year, I have done some subbing at Primero, and now I have been hired to teach fourth grade for the 2020-2021 school year.”
While new, Kingham is already feeling the camaraderie of the Primero teaching team. “I was just recently hired, and am exceedingly grateful for the other elementary teachers who have kindly opened their doors and helped me get my feet on the ground,” Kingham said. “I love the team spirit I have observed. I am still meeting a lot of the staff, but am blessed that even with the challenges this year has brought, the staff is demonstrating a willingness to do whatever needs to be done to make it possible to have the kids here with us, but are also willing to meet any challenges that may come.”
“My goals for this school year are to move my students forward on their skills, both social and academic, and work to nurture them to prepare for the future ahead of them.”
“I look forward to working with Primero’s administration, staff, students and their families to help our students be successful and productive citizens.”
“I was raised on a farm outside of Longmont, Colorado,” said Title One Teacher Risa Byall. “I attended Lyons Junior/Senior High, where I met my future husband and current Primero Principal Blake Byall. My formal college started at then Delaware State College (now University) where I began my degree in Elementary Education, moved onto University of Northern Colorado where I graduated with a BA in English, and finished at Walden University with an MS in Science Education K-8.”
Throughout her teaching career, Byall has worn a number of hats, providing instruction in multiple grade areas and subject matters.
“My first job after graduation was as a substitute; I also tutored English to students as a second language and worked as a special education aide. My first contractual teaching job was in Cheyenne Wells working as one of the fifth grade teachers. After four years there, we moved to Rush, and I taught one year of sixth grade English/Social Studies at Ellicott before moving into a Title I position at nearby Miami-Yoder (where I also taught fifth grade for a year).
We then found our beautiful property outside of La Veta where I was able to teach sixth grade for six years, and then onto Walsenburg for four years of fourth grade and one year of second. The next two years saw a move to Woodlin School for a stint in a third/fourth grade combination classroom, followed by three years in Kim as a secondary English teacher and sixth grade Math/Health instructor. I ventured back to Walsenburg where I taught second grade for a year-and-a-half, and then found myself in Primero as Mrs. Massarotti’s long-term sub last semester,” said Byall.
“As luck would have it, I have been assigned an interesting position at Primero for this school year. I find myself teaching two sections of sixth grade social studies, one section of sixth grade math, science from second grade to fifth grade, and Title I for the elementary. I will also be the ‘ride along’ person on the Wet Canyon bus.”
With such a diverse schedule, Byall knows that organization and a positive outlook are the keys to success.
“My major goal for the 2020-21 school year is to stay organized so I don’t go crazy trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. Seriously, I want to give every student I see throughout the day (whether in person or online) a reason for being back at school. I hope to accomplish this by being a positive role model in their learning experience. Learning is hard work, but hard work does not mean drudgery. It can lead to increased self-confidence and a world of amazing opportunity. If I can help Primero students accomplish that, I’ll have a very successful year!”
And Byall anticipates a year that will indeed be successful, both for herself and her students. “One of the things I love about being at Primero is the camaraderie. Almost everyone is willing to help out where they can to make a new teacher feel comfortable figuring out the ropes, for which I am already thankful. Of course, the beautiful setting, smaller class sizes, and being with my husband aren’t so bad either.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to work in such a wonderful community. I look forward to working with and getting to know you this year.”