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KCC adds Pirotte, Shannon, and Light to teaching staff.
History teacher Chad Pirotte reads the Declaration of Independence along with his students.

History teacher Chad Pirotte reads the Declaration of Independence along with his students.

After lots of prayer and decision making, the KCC staff has added a trio of new teachers.

History teacher Chad Pirotte moved to Kansas City from Chicago, Ill. Before he was a history teacher, Pirotte was a pastor of a predominantly Korean Presbyterian church.

“I’m still getting a gauge for how much content and how to present it, how the students best learn, and how I myself can be the most effective teacher,” Pirotte said.

Pirotte says that being a pastor helps but there has still been a learning curve. While pastoring provides experience in public speaking, theology in history, and relationships, the study and preparation is different. Pirotte said that he studies differently for class, spending only a few hours to prepare for seven class periods instead of 20 hours for only a 45 minute sermon.

Overall though, Pirotte has a clear goal for the year.

“I want students to look back a few years from now when they are in college and I want them to think, ‘Thank you, for preparing me for this,’” Pirotte said.

Science teacher Stephen Shannon explains the day's lesson while his students take notes.

Science teacher Stephen Shannon explains the day’s lesson while his students take notes.

Another new staff member this year is science teacher Stephen Shannon. Fresh out of Wheaton College, Shannon is teaching anatomy, introductory biology and ecology. Shannon was a late addition to the KCC staff.

“We keep resumes on file and we thought of him,” high school principal Ben Williams said. “I was surprised he was available and we are thrilled to have him.”

As a KCC alumnus, Shannon has noticed the changes within the school that have occurred in recent years.

“Most of the old teachers are gone; it was a lot easier back then,” Shannon said. “There was less structure. Now it seems like the classes are a lot better than they were.”

Shannon is applying for doctoral programs starting in the fall of 2014. He has applied to 10 different schools, some of which include New York University and Oxford University.

Music teacher Brad Light conducts the high school band during the pep assembly.

Music teacher Brad Light conducts the high school band during the pep assembly.

Finishing off the list of new teachers is music teacher Brad Light. Light teaches all the music classes for sixth through 12th grade. He previously taught K-12 music and choir at Cass Midway schools in Cleveland, Mo.

“I love being here so far. It’s definitely a challenge. For instance my middle school choir has 54 students, which is a lot bigger than last year,” Light said.

Light interviewed for an elementary position at KCC last year, but he was happy to be put on hold for the time being.

“Teaching elementary school is not my strength,” Light said.

Light has big plans for the upcoming performances.

“I want to do something that explores moving from darkness into light, which is what we get with the advent of Christ,” Light said. “We will also be doing a little bit of Mumford and Sons. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out yet, but I’m excited for that. We are going to be doing a little bit of everything.”

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