A RASTRICK school has welcomed a new teacher – all the way from Oregon, USA.
Nicole Smith, of Portland, has swapped places with Year One teacher Kelly Sykes as part of a foreign exchange programme for 12 months at Castlefields Infants School.
Ms Smith is living at Miss Sykes’s home in Elland. She is teaching her class and her friends and family have eagerly adopted her
“We have literally just swapped lives. I am still being paid by my district and still paying my own mortgage while Kelly is doing the same here,” said Ms Smith.
“This is the first time I have done this and it is a fantastic experience. Kelly’s parents have been amazing and my parents have adopted her. My friends are inviting her to all their events.”
Ms Smith has been teaching at her school, Deer Creek Elementary School, Portland, for 11 years and has just finished her reading endorsement which is the equivalent to a deputy head qualification in the UK.
“I was just ready for a challenge and a different perspective,” she said. “I love it here. The staff have been incredibly supportive.”