They May Be New, but They Like Disney too: West welcomes new teachers


Lexy Hairston

Stephen Langford teaches one of his English IV classes in the afternoon. West as welcomed a handful of new teachers this school year.

Leanna Bernish, News Editor

Being green on a new job is often met with scorn, but here, bleeding green is revered. West has gained several new teachers this school year, and they are all eager to encourage and learn along with their students. Now, before writing off these eight fresh Titans as monotonous characters synonymous with Charlie Brown’s teacher, take a moment to get to know them. 


Colin Choat, band

What is your favorite part about teaching?

“My favorite part about teaching is seeing the growth in students from year to year. As a band teacher, I get to teach students for multiple years, so it’s really exciting to see (and hear) what they can achieve their senior year compared to what they could achieve their freshman year.” 

What brought you to West? 

I was involved with the band program here when I was in graduate school and when I taught middle school. I always enjoyed the students and the atmosphere, so when the job opened up, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to be a full-time teacher here.”

Favorite musical artist: Stevie Wonder

Quirk/odd talent:I can run for a really long time…my longest run so far is six hours.”

Favorite travel/adventure memory:Traveling to Budapest, Hungary. It is one of the most fun cities I’ve ever visited.”

Favorite Disney movie: “Aladdin”

Chad Edwards, theatre arts

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

“My favorite part about teaching is the students and seeing them progress from the beginning of the year to the end.”

What brought you to West? 

“My schedule at Mount Tabor, where I usually teach full time, did not allow a full-time schedule, so I was rewarded with two theatre classes at West Forsyth.”

Favorite musical artist: Ben Folds

Quirk/odd talent: “I can snap my fingers using my thumbs and forefingers.”

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Washington D.C. for all the cool museums and walking almost right into a presidential motorcade

Favorite Disney movie: “Pete’s Dragon” (1977, 2016)


Brandon Johnson, math II and III

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

“Getting to see all the little victories kids experience throughout the year. Whether it’s getting a problem right, or making their highest test grade all year, or winning their first wrestling match, seeing kids experience that satisfaction with their self makes it worth coming to work every day.” 

What brought you to West? 

“My wife is a medical resident at Wake Forest Baptist. She started the program in July, so we moved up after last school year.”

Favorite musical artist: The Avett Brothers

Quirk/odd talent: “I’m left-handed, but I play most sports right-handed.”

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Snorkeling and kayaking at a coral reef

Favorite Disney movie: “Toy Story”


Stephen Langford, English IV

What are you most looking forward to this year?

“I am looking forward to getting know the West community more by attending games, performances, and other events throughout the year. I teach all seniors, so I think graduation will be a very meaningful event as I get to see my students walk across the stage and see where their accomplishments take them.” 

What brought you to West? 

“I knew some of the English teachers through Wake Forest and from working with them in the district, and I had always heard that West had an excellent community of teachers, students and parents. So far, I am finding that to be true!”

Favorite musical artist: Surfjan Stevens

Quirk/odd talent: Can quote most of “The Tree of Life”

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Spending 10 months in Uganda after graduating college and getting to live in a rural village, eat local food, watch monkeys and wildlife on my doorstep and forming deep friendships with students I mentored 

Favorite Disney movie: “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)


Kenley Little, social studies

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

“That moment when you know students ‘got it’ from your teaching.”

What brought you to West?

An advisor at Appalachian State

Favorite musical artist: Broadway music in general

Quirk/odd talent: Can say the alphabet backwards

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Seeing “Les Miserables” in New York City

Favorite Disney movie: “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)


Ashley Snider, English

What is your favorite part about teaching?

“Without a doubt, my favorite part of teaching is getting to know my students and being able to share my passion for all things English with them.”

What brought you to West? 

“Both my husband’s job and our desire to move closer to family precipitated our relocation from the Triad to the Triangle.”

Favorite musical artist: The Beach Boys

Quirk/odd talent: I’ve always been a fan of handwriting and typography, and over many years of practicing styles and refining my own, I developed a talent of forgery.” 

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Flying into NYC for the first time

Favorite Disney movie: “Aladdin”


Major Richard Sugg, JROTC

What is your favorite part about teaching?

“My favorite part of teaching is when a young person begins to realize the tremendous potential that he or she possesses. Most people go through life barely scratching the surface of what they are capable of accomplishing, so when a high schooler experiences that “aha moment” and opens his or her eyes to what’s possible… that’s pretty cool.”

What brought you to West? 

“After seven years of teaching JROTC in the district, I was ready for a change of scenery; so when the opportunity at West presented itself, I pursued it.”

Favorite musical artist: Glenn Miller

Quirk/odd talent: Surfed the North Shore of Oahu while living in Hawaii for seven years

Favorite travel/adventure memory: “About 10 years ago, my family vacationed on the Big Island of Hawaii. We stayed in a lodge on the volcano and spent the better part of a week exploring the Island, but the best part of the trip was when we hired a guide who led us on a hike out on the lava flow. Watching my late father and my children poke flowing lava with sticks remains my all-time favorite memories.”

Favorite Disney movie: “The Incredibles”


Kelsey Widenhouse, Exceptional Children Inclusion

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

“My favorite part about teaching is being able to watch students grow in subjects that they enjoy and succeed in the ones they find challenging.”

What brought you to West? 

“I came to West Forsyth because I wanted to be part of a school community that puts the students first. As a graduate of West, I know the high expectations teachers have of their students and how well they help students rise to these expectations.”

Favorite musical artist: Matt Maeson

Quirk/odd talent: Master Candyland player

Favorite travel/adventure memory: Swimming with pigs in the Bahamas this past summer

Favorite Disney movie: “The Lion King” (1994)