Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Piedmont Welcomes New Staff
There have been several new staff members who are joining the Panther family and additions have been seen in virtually all academic departments. According to new Spanish teacher Mary Thomas, “I’m looking forward to a great year at Piedmont High School.” Let’s meet some of the new staff...
World Languages teacher Mary Thomas is a Union County native who has lived in the area her entire life. She married her high school sweetheart and they have three children, ages 20, 16, and 11, plus 3 dogs who were rescues. This is her 18th year teaching and she greatly enjoys working with high school students because of their energy and enthusiasm. In her spare time, she makes jewelry, crochets, and paints, in addition to enjoying walking and listening to music.
Colleen Staton joins the English Department and is also excited to be at Piedmont. She has been teaching in Mecklenburg County for the past 7 years but has thoroughly enjoyed moving to Union County. She loves to travel and has previously lived in the Czech Republic, where she discovered her passion for teaching. On the weekends, her family loves to grill and recently competed in the Monroe BBQ competition, where they took home the grand prize! This experience was an exciting start to their move to Union County. According to Staton, “I look forward to a wonderful school year filled with Panther Pride!”
Brian Pitoniak also joins the Piedmont staff after having served in public education for 15 plus years. In addition, Pitoniak holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Pitoniak lives with his wife, Jennie, in the Unionville area and has a daughter, Emily, attending Piedmont Middle School and a son, Aiden, and daughter, Kelly Rae, attending Unionville Elementary. Mr. Pitoniak started his teaching career in Charlotte Mecklenberg Schools teaching Economic, Legal and Political Systems at Harding High School. Aside from teaching, Mr. Pitoniak ran the Kids Voting program, community voter registration drive, and the annual high school community blood drive. In 2006, Pitoniak came to UCPS to teach Civics and Economics at Sun Valley High School. During his time at Sun Valley, he was a co-department chair, sponsor of the Global Trivia Club, Teacher of the Year finalist, and Drivers Education instructor for Piedmont High School. Pitoniak is thrilled to now be a Piedmont Panther this year and is honored to have met and made many positive community relationships. According to Pitoniak, "I have always been impressed not only with the academic and athleticism of Piedmont High School, but also with the character and work ethic of the students. I look forward to helping promote positive growth within the classroom and within the community".
Tommy Arnold joins the Science Dept. and was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He graduated from Cape Fear Senior High School Class of 1977, where he played football, wrestled, was a member of Navy JROTC Drill Team, Future Farmers of America and BETA Club. Mr. Arnold enlisted into the United States Air Force Security Police, December 1, 1997. His duty included postings at Seymour Johnson AF Base, North Carolina; Instructor at the Security Police Academy, Lackland AF Base, Texas; Comiso Air Station, Sicily; Eglin AF Base, Florida. In 1989, he retrained as a Command Post Controller and was stationed at Malmstrom AF Base, Montana; HQ AIRCENT (NATO), Ramstein Air Base, Germany and Tinker AF Base, Oklahoma. Mr. Arnold retired from active duty December 31, 1997, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. Mr. Arnold attended Fayetteville State University and graduated with a B.S. Biology-Teaching Class of 2005. He has been a science teacher at Independence High School, Butler High School and Jay M. Robinson High School. Mr. Arnold has three children and four grandchildren.
We would also like to welcome the following new staff members to the Piedmont family:
- Alice Collins – Guidance Secretary
- Jimmie Quesinberry – Guidance Counselor
- Chris Barth – Social Studies teacher
- Kasey Brooks – Math teacher
- Laura Gardner – Agriculture teacher
- Jennifer Hoover – English teacher
- Justin Nagpal – Social Studies teacher
- Melissa Nicholas – CTE teacher
- Emily Penegar – ASL Interpreter
- Kevan Rosemond – ASL Interpreter
- Colleen Staton – English Department
Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Aug 27, 2014 by Donna Helms