Librarian Callan Foster transitions to
substitute teacher position
By Emma Deines, Content Editor
Working as the librarian and the club advisor for the debate team, Queer Spectrum Alliance, and Sister Circle, Callan Foster contributes a lot of time and effort to Vashon High School . They are now moving from the librarian position to a full-time substitute teacher position, instated by the school district to help deal with the large amount of COVID related teacher absences. Foster will continue to run clubs and be available for students, but not from the library.
The new full-time substitute position is to help ensure that the Vashon School District has more consistent substitute teachers on hand.
“We have gotten several grants from COVID. That is what is financing this new position. There is one at each school, [and] they are called building substitutes because there have been so many COVID absences and we are not predicting that is going to go away … Essentially, you are in the building every single day, and when they need subs you go,” Foster said.
Foster is currently in grad school to earn a degree to teach Secondary English. They are looking forward to the opportunity for more teaching experience.
“I’m excited that it is definitely more in line with my career path … It’s an amazing opportunity to be in the classroom getting comfortable with that role,” Foster said.
Working full time and being a full time student is hard, but they have an advantage from their previous experience working with students at VHS, especially students who are served by an educational support plan.
“Thankfully I have this really strong background in working in schools, so I came in knowing the nuances between IEPs and 504s because the students here have IEPs and 504s,” Foster said.
Students are grateful for their past experiences with Foster as well. Junior debate team member Lorelei Fitterer appreciates Foster’s support, both as a debate advisor and as a friend.
“Callan is a very supportive person to have at the school. Callan used to babysit me when I was little … We had lots of fun. It’s been really really cool to have Callan as the debate advisor; [they are] very knowledgeable but also very approachable,” Fitterer said. “Callan is like a friend and a teacher.”
VHS Counselor Tara Vanselow is also excited for Foster’s new position.
“I think it’s a good thing professionally for Callan … it will give Callan lots of experience in being in lots of different classrooms. I think that part is really good for them. Of course it is a loss for us in terms of having Callan in the library. But they will still be around and available, so I think it is overall a really good thing for them,” Vanselow said.
Foster also felt that the change is bittersweet, in part because of the great experience they’ve had as librarian these past years.
“There is a reason I commute two hours each way and it’s because I love this job. It means the world to me. All of you mean the world to me,” they said, “It’s really really special. It genuinely changed my life.”