New year, new yearbook: Spotlight on Ms. Rinehuls


Ms. Rinehuls in the auditorium on Picture Day — Photo courtesy of me

2023 marks an important year for Tuscarora High, for it’s the 20th anniversary of the school’s opening back in 2003–when there was only a freshman and a sophomore class. For many staff members it marks their 10th, 15th, or even 20th year working in the building–but for Ms. Rinehuls, it’s her first.


“I love [Tuscarora]. It’s very different from where I’ve taught in the past. Because I’ve taught elementary school for nine years, and then I taught middle school for nine years, so it’s a beautiful thing to be here until I retire.”


Surrounding her are vintage film cameras of all shapes and sizes, some perched on stacks of yearbooks from decades past and others resting on the shiny, dark counters positioned all around the room. These are where the room’s multitude of desktop computers reside on–and where all of the creative magic is done. Because despite her status as a newcomer to the building, she has a tremendous undertaking ahead of her–carrying on the decades-long school tradition known as the yearbook.


What’s your biggest goal for the year?

“To make it through the yearbook [laughs]. And hopefully have it turn out really well.”


It’s certainly a special task this year considering the yearbook’s theme: Twenty Years in the Making, a summation and celebration of the entire school’s achievements over two decades of its life. But Ms. Rinehuls is confident that she and the yearbook staff are on the right path to success.


“Luckily, photography comes naturally to me, so I don’t have to really worry about that, because… yearbook right now is just kind of taking over everything else. Like, that’s my main focus at the moment. And it’s keeping me up at night [laughs].


Outside of Publications, her yearbook creation class, Ms. Rinehuls also teaches photography courses–her passion since a young age.


Did you aspire to be something different before you settled on teaching?

“A photographer [laughs]. That’s what I wanted to be… actually, I wanted to be a teacher since sixth grade, and then I started doing photography in eighth grade–and since then, I knew I wanted to be a photographer, and then… now I’m both!”


Students in these classes learn the basics of photography and perfect their skills with weekly photoshoots, taking pictures of everything from ponds to people to pancakes. Their tool of choice, outside of their cameras, is Photoshop, learning new editing skills to make their pictures pop. It’s really amazing what her students can do with just their computers.


What’s your favorite part about teaching?

“Seeing student growth, I think. And just seeing them being excited about their projects… at the end.”


As for aspiring teachers, she has some insightful advice.


“I think that would be easy to answer since I’ve had like seven interns in my teaching career… just being able to be flexible, because a lot of times, being a teacher, you don’t know anything until the last minute. Like, we don’t have our schedules until right before school starts… plans can change on a drop of a dime, and just… don’t be hard on yourself if something fails. Because everytime you present a project and it doesn’t go well, you learn from it and you create something better the next time!”


Ultimately, Ms. Rinehuls is an essential pillar of the Tuscarora community and we’re all excited to see what she artistically has in store.