Ashlee Watt - English/Social Studies
Mrs. Watt is an English and Social studies teacher. When she was younger, she also attended this very school. Then, she went to BYU-I and graduated from there. Her husband is also still attending BYU-I as well. Mrs. Watt used to teach piano a couple years ago before she started teaching and she was a very good piano teacher. Her dad is the former superintendent for the Madison district, Dr. Thomas. Mrs. Watt is also pregnant and is expecting her baby boy any day now! That is why she hasn't been teaching for the last couple of days. She plans to be back in the classroom by the beginning of second trimester.
Megan Deppe - English
Megan Deppe is a new teacher at our school this year. She is teaching English for 7th and 8th graders. Mrs. Deppe graduated from BYU-I and started looking for a job this past Spring. She is originally from Phoenix, Arizona but has family ties to Madison. “When I got the job at Madison, I was really excited,” stated Deppe. Madison “felt like a good fit” for her. When asked what the biggest challenge of being a teacher was, she shared that her biggest challenge is managing everything there is to do as a new teacher, and balancing all of her tasks. Mrs. Deppe wanted to become a teacher because she had some wonderful English teachers when she was in highschool. She says she always thought she would teach high school.
Dave Lau - Science
Mr. Lau is a brand new science teacher whose classroom is located right next to Ms. Julie Parkinson. He recently moved here from Wisconsin to be closer to family. As a young adult, he used to be a forest ranger in Utah, but after a while of being alone on a hill he thought he should probably get married. He decided to go to BYU to meet somebody and got a teaching degree too. Mr. Lau says, “The hardest part about teaching is the grading, and after two papers I'm tired.” Most teachers at the junior high say the students are the hardest part of teaching, but he says the kids here are way more disciplined than in Wisconsin. Mr. Lau decided to teach science at Madison Jr. High because that was the job he found that was close to his extended family. Mr. Lau is a great science teacher. Try to get him next year!
Reg Donkin - Math
Mr. Donkin is the new math teacher for 8th grade. He was inspired to become a teacher because he says he, “is good with kids and loves math.” He wanted a change of scenery, and he didn't want to hop around from job to job. Before teaching here, he was teaching in Portland, Oregon. He taught advanced grades 5-8, and he also taught Geometry. While he lived in Portland, the George Floyd riots were going on, and the whole state was on fire for 100 days. That’s why he moved from Portland and submitted his teaching application to any school he could think of. When he was offered an interview here at Madison, he was super happy. The administration told Mr. Donkin they would call him the next week, and he got a call from them the next day.
“I thought I was good at math until I started teaching it,” Mr. Donkin says. Even though he had a lot of experience teaching at a Catholic school in Portland, he says that there is still a lot to learn. Here he has a mentor, Mr. Mumm. He is excited to learn more and help many students here in Rexburg.
Eliza Stone - Study Hall
Ms. Stone is a keyboarding and study hall teacher at Madison Jr High. Ms. Stone is from Parker, Idaho. The reason she wanted to come to work at Madison Jr. High is because she saw this as a great opportunity and she also didn’t really like her old jobs. She is into photography and running. She’s also into watching classic movies and binge watching TV series. She also likes criminology, which is the study of crime. Ms. Stone has a degree in communications and photography. She is looking toward enrolling in some sort of masters program to enter into so she can get a better job with her better degree. She says she enjoys teaching because it is a new experience for her. What she doesn’t like about teaching is the fact that she teaches something that she doesn't use her talents for. According to Ms. Stone, she would rather teach a photography class of some sort or at least something to use her artistic skills. Ms. Stone has many hobbies. Many of them consist of criminology, running and photography. Ms. Stone likes to look at old classical cars as well. She is very friendly so stop by and say hi.
Ellon Chase - Counselor
This year there is a new guidance counselor at Madison Jr. High. Her name is Mrs. Chase. She came to Madison because she was looking for a job that would accept her, even though her schooling wasn't finished yet. She also said that her husband accepted a job teaching at the high school, so she is happy to be working for the same district as him. Before coming to Madison, she worked for 6 years in Sugar Salem in special education. She said that she loves being at Madison because of everyone’s good attitudes and the fun atmosphere here. Some of her hobbies include golf, hammocking, paddle boarding and being healthy. She said if she had to describe herself, she is like a honey badger because she will just work on something until it is done. Some of her favorite things to eat are apples and peanut butter, humus and tacos. Something that is very important to her is behavioral health because it affects everything in your life. She wants every student to know that she is here for you if you ever need someone to talk to. You can find her in the counseling office adjacent to the main office.
Megan Sanchez - Spanish
This year, Madison Junior High has had the great privilege to get multiple new teachers. One of these is the Spanish teacher, Mrs. Sanchez. She said, “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, I just didn’t know what I wanted to teach.” She then stated, “When I went to Mexico, I fell in love with Spanish and their culture and everything about it.” This is why she became a Spanish teacher. She decided to teach at the Junior High because she says she thinks we are awesome. Mrs. Sanchez enjoys teaching the age group here in the Junior High and she loves this district. “I feel like all the teachers are supportive of each other, and the kids are really good.” She then said, “They want to be here, and it's just a really fun atmosphere to work in.” Well, we're quite thankful for all our new teachers and staff. Thank you for coming to the Junior High, teaching us and being awesome!
Heather LaRue - Assistant Principal
Mrs. LaRue is our new Assistant Principal. She took Mr. Carey’s position because he accepted a job as the principal at the middle school. Mrs. LaRue went to college to get her teacher’s degree at BYU in Provo, Utah. After that, she moved to California where she got her masters in teaching. She taught for thirteen years in California and had some crazy experiences there. These included getting a diamond watch and a free meal at a five-star restaurant. She told me about her first teaching experience in California. She had been put with a class that 3 teachers before her had quit because the students were so difficult. She said she walked in and they were playing hopscotch on their books and throwing airplanes. She said that the kids there just weren't ready to learn and it took her a long time to get the kids to trust her, but by the end of the year she got them desks and got all of the kids in the class to pass. One of them even became a doctor years later. She said it was always her dream to teach, as she used to help her mom who is a teacher in her classroom when she was young. After she moved to Rexburg, she taught for over 20 years, mostly in the 3rd grade. She said her goal as a teacher was to get kids in the position to be taught, saying that, “Kids usually are more worried about other things rather than school, such as their girlfriend, or their brother, or going into a game, or if they will eat today.” After many years of teaching, she decided to get a job as a principal to finish out her career. She is very excited to be here at Madison Junior High and be able to interact with the students.
Tiffany Carey - Counselor (?)
Mrs. Carey is a new teacher here. She does eighth and ninth grade high school\college readiness. What that means is she meets with all of the 8th and 9th grade students to discuss what they want to happen after high school. That may be college, going on a mission, and/or many other things. When asked why she came to work here, she said that she was a kindergarten teacher for the past five years and that it was really hectic. Then her husband, who works at a junior high, said that the environment was nice and that he enjoyed working at a junior high, so she moved into our school. She said that she is really excited to meet every eighth and ninth grader. Not a lot of teachers get to experience that. Also, she said that her husband was right and that the environment is really nice. She said that the kids here look really well-mannered and friendly. Welcome to our school, Mrs. Carey!