New math teacher to RAHS, Edward Tompson teaches students at Highline High School
Photo by Ava Yniguez

A new math teaching position has been filled by Edward Tompson for the 2018-19 school year. He will be taking over both Algebra I and II classes.

Tompson currently works at Highline High School. Being a proud part of the Highline School District for many years, he is excited to start working at RAHS come this fall.

“I am currently teaching geometry at Highline High School,” said Tompson. “I am a product of the Highline School District, being a member of the Highline Community for 20 years.”

He is currently scheduled to teach five periods in the RAHS math department after hearing about the opportunity.

“I heard about RAHS from my supervisor from Seattle University during student teaching. What interests me about Aviation [RAHS], or teaching in general, are students,” said Tompson. “I find our diversity fascinating, and the opportunity to teach at a high performing school is something that I have not experienced, and I look forward to learning from my students and continuing to grow within my profession.”

Tompson also enjoys extracurriculars such as coaching sports, and creating bonds with his students by creating a fun learning environment incorporated into his teaching.

I am a big basketball fan; [I have coached] basketball for ten years,” said Tompson. “I have never lost to a student in a timed multiplication test, recording a record of 220-0. Still searching for a student who can beat me.”

As far as school and class dynamics, Tompson’s presence changes the schedule of other current RAHS teachers; Karen Wilson, for example, who currently teaches Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus, is affected by this as well.

“I will be teaching 3 different subjects that I have never taught before,” said Wilson.

Teaching standard Calculus, Intro to Robotics, and a new class, Bridge to College Math, will be a change for Wilson, but she sees this as a positive thing overall.

“I see this as more positive since we will be able to spread the math classes around to more teachers, thus freeing up open periods for new electives – drones, digital electronics, CAD production classes, etc,” said Wilson.

As far as the hiring process is concerned, it is quite a simple transfer of staff within the District for RAHS Principal Therese Tipton.  

“In our case, because we had the math spot when all of the district [Highline] shuffled out, there were several teachers [where] jobs were reduced in their current school,” said Tipton. “He was already a teacher at Highline High School, and it was just a lateral move over to our school.”

In order to expand the classes offered at RAHS, the math department teachers were dispersed based on personal interest of classes and availability.

“Our math teachers all have other passions that met our school mission and vision and the work that we do here,” said Tipton. “So we were able to take all of the classes that we have from Algebra up to AP Calculus, add in those classes that the teachers are really passionate about, and that freed us up to add an additional teaching position.”

Incorporating new elements into already offered classes is another way the school was able to hire Tompson.

“One thing that we did do was that every school has additional funds that they can use for a variety of purposes that support student learning,” said Tipton. “We were able to use part of that to open college math classes that we don’t already offer. We also got extra funding this year since we no longer offer Ground School, and now offer a drone class starting next year which have elements of Ground School.”

Tompson looks forward to a new experience surrounded by planes and everything aviation.

“What interests me is learning. Aviation [RAHS] does things differently than anything that I have experienced in education,” said Tompson. “I am excited to learn as much as possible and be a positive member of RAHS staff and community.”