New teachers describe their experience at South so far

Nish Asokan, staff reporter

Hundreds of new students arrive at South every year; however, they are not the only newcomers. For the 2012-2013 school year, South welcomed 12 new teachers to its faculty:

 

Katie Schroeder, Steve Silca and Michael Sinde in the Applied Technologies Department; Aaron Wojcik in the Music Department; Nicole Pilotte in the English Department; Steve Farber and John O’Malley in the Math Department; Courtney Kelly in the Health Department; Josh Koo, Jill Serikaku and Jill Serling in the Science Department; and Anne Walsh in the World Languages Department.

 

Walsh, who teaches Spanish, is a 2007 South alumus and returned to South to teach because she loved being a Titan student and respects the  language program. According to Walsh, she worked with some of the teachers that taught her in high school, and it felt weird calling them by their first names. She speaks in high regard of the students who she interacts with now.

 

“I’m always surprised by how polite and hard-working the students are,” Walsh said. “When they leave class they always say, ‘Thank you’, and they always ask good questions. The students have made it a great year.”

 

According to Walsh, it is evident that South students approach learning with a positive attitude and are open for anything in class, which is what has made her first year much easier. Additionally, according to Walsh, she can always come to other teachers with questions.

 

Kelly, a first-year Health teacher and coach of two sports, is also a South alumus who graduated in 2005. According to Kelly, she replaced her own former health teacher, who retired.

 

“I think I had a level of comfort coming [to South] because I was coming back to a place that I called home,” Kelly said.

 

In the Science Department, Koo is a first-year Biology teacher who came to South after teaching at Barrington High School for eight years. According to Koo, it was a difficult decision to make to leave his old teaching job to come to South.

 

“It came down to if I were a parent, where would I want to send my kids, and the overall quality of education [at South is why I came],” Koo said. “South is special.”

 

According to Koo, it has been a humbling experience to be a new teacher in an unfamiliar environment because he gets the opportunity to meet new coworkers.

 

“[South] has great support, not just from colleagues but from all around,” Koo said. “It starts from [the] administration with [Principal] Dr. [Brian] Wegley calling you by your first name. Everybody is very friendly and hospitable.”

 

Silca, a first year teacher in the Applied Technologies Department, emphasized Koo’s ideas.

 

“Until you have been somewhere else it is hard to see how fantastic [South] is,” Silca said.