New SES fifth grade teacher

Katie Montchalin is in her first year teaching fifth-graders at Sunset Elementary School in Hermiston.

Growing up in a family of educators, teaching was always a possibility for Katie Montchalin.

“It was always in the back of my mind,” said Montchalin, a new fifth grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School.

Though this is her first year teaching at Sunset, she has a unique connection to the school — her grandmother was a fifth-grade teacher at the same school for 20 years.

A Pendleton native, Montchalin recently spent two years as a substitute in her hometown before coming to the Hermiston School District.

“It’s been really good,” she said of her first year. “It’s been crazy.”

In getting used to the new rules and curriculum, Montchalin has found that much of her teaching job has been about learning — especially to manage the needs of 26 other people.

“You have to make sure each one of them is doing well,” she said. “Learning where you stand in relation to that — how much influence you have over them.”

She has enjoyed getting to know her students.

“Probably one of my favorite things is how much students can impact me positively,” she said. “If I’m ever down, they’re really quick to bring me back up.”

Montchalin said knowing students look up to her is another one of the job’s rewards.

“It makes me feel like I have a positive impact,” she said.

She has also enjoyed being able to work in Hermiston.

“It’s nice to be outside of my hometown and make my own name,” she said.

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