District veteran shares thoughts on overcrowding

After 30 years in the district, gifted services facilitator Carmen Shelly gives her opinions on crowding


By Madeline Lamons

Gifted services facilitator Carmen Shelly has spent 30 years in the De Soto district, 16 at De Soto High School and 14 at Mill Valley.

This is part of an inside look at overcrowding in the De Soto school district.

Since you’ve been teaching at Mill Valley, how has your student load changed?

I had 25 students in 2000 and [Mill Valley] was 8-12 grade; now I have 59 students and it’s only 9-12.

Over the years, how has Mill Valley changed?

It’s [changed] so gradually that I haven’t noticed it as much. The physical footprint of this building has grown so much; we’ve had three additions and one was when the building was only five years old.

How is crowding currently affecting Mill Valley?

It’s causing us to look at the need for more teachers and class offerings. It’s causing students to find alternative routes to class.

What were some of the benefits of teaching at a smaller school?

I really got to know the students individually [and] it was easier to communicate … knowing the faculty better was advantageous. The faculty was more supportive of each other because we knew we were all we had.

What are some of the current benefits of teaching at a larger school?

You can find your own group and make friends within the faculty. Some people like the anonymity. We have much nicer facilities. You can collaborate with others teachers of the same subject, too.

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