District 308 Welcomes New Teachers
New teachers share thoughts on upcoming school year
Jennifer Friel’s kindergarten classroom is going to be decked out in monkeys.
The first-year teacher and Aurora University graduate will teach at Eastview School, which has been converted to an all-day kindergarten class this year.
“It’s amazing how much this district is growing,” said Friel. “The change is great. I’m so glad to be here.”
Friel was one of 105 new teachers and administrators at the Oswego Community Unit School District 308 new teacher orientation breakfast held at Traughber Junior High. The breakfast was sponsored by the Oswego Chamber of Commerce to introduce local businesses to the new teachers.
"We work closely with the school district," said Allied First Bank President Ken Bertrand, there as a representative for the Chamber of Commerce. "We will do whatever we can to help you."
Associate Superintendent Todd Colvin said District 308 has not had this many new hires in more than four years. This year, officials have more than 17,000 kids registered for classes.
New to teaching, Sarah Seconde said she’s most looking forward to new experiences and getting to connect with her students. The eighth-grade math and science teacher at Bednarcik Junior High had subbed and been an aid in the Plano area, and is glad to now be teaching in Oswego.
“It’s a different atmosphere," she said. "Oswego seems so close-knit.”
Jane Alberic, who will be teaching pre-calculus and geometry at Oswego High School, agreed.
“It’s a growing community, but everyone is so friendly. I can’t wait to start building relationships with students," she said.
Melissa Phillips, who will be teaching Spanish at Oswego High School, has a fun goal in mind.
“I want to be known as the crazy Spanish teacher,” she laughed. “I want to make [learning a language] fun.”
Renee Hessing, the newly hired K-5 music teacher at Homestead Elementary, said she feels very blessed to have found a job after just graduating from North Central in June.
“I’m really lucky," she said. "I don’t have to travel and can focus all of my attention on the students at Homestead.”
She’s looking forward to teaching fourth-grade opera.
“The students really take to it,” she said. “It’s always a lot of fun for everyone. I love teaching it.”
Nicole Watson will be working at Long Beach Elementary as a reading specialist for primarily second and third grade students. She has taught previously, and likes working with smaller groups.
“Getting to know the kids individually and help them is very rewarding,” she said.
During the breakfast, Superintendent Dan O'Donnell welcomed the new staff.
“We look forward to seeing all you new teachers join our troop," he said. "We want every child to grow and be the best they can be. It’s a great responsibility, but it’s a great job.”