Meet Jockey Hollow Middle School’s new teachers

New Jockey Hollow Middle School teachers posing for a picture outside Masuk High School are, from left, Matt Onderko, Joseph Philbrick, Elizabeth Ulreich-Moran and Kelly Tannian.

MONROE, CT — Jockey Hollow Middle School will welcome four new teachers when the new school year begins on Wednesday. Below are profiles of each.

Joseph Philbrick

Position: Seventh grade social studies teacher

Previous District: Stratford Public Schools, 7th and 8th grade U.S. history teacher

Grew Up In: Monroe

Education: University of Connecticut and University of College London

What do you like most about teaching?: Helping students reach their full potential.

What are you most looking forward to in Monroe?: Coming home, improving my own community and working with those who have helped me so much.

Matt Onderko

Position: Sixth grade math and social studies teacher

Previous School District: Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield

Grew Up In: Trumbull

Education: Marist College as an undergrad and Sacred Heart as a graduate student

What do you like most about teaching?: I love the connection with students. Each day I learn something from them too: whether it’s a new strategy for problem solving or a connection from what we are doing in the classroom to what’s going on in their lives. I also love to see their progression from engagement to thinking to learning.

What are you most looking forward to in Monroe?: I’m looking forward to my family and I being part of the community. I’m excited to get involved in different activities and events after school and around town.

Elizabeth Ulreich-Moran

Position: Speech-language pathologist

Previous School District: Naugatuck Public Schools

Grew Up In: My family moved to Monroe from Bridgeport when I was entering 7th grade. Fun fact: I was part of the first class to complete 7th and 8th grade at Jockey Hollow.

Education: BA from the University of Connecticut and an MS from Southern Connecticut State University

What do you like most about teaching?: I love seeing the “lightbulb” moments for our students in speech and language when the strategies or information starts to click. These moments can help them to feel empowered when communicating and boost their confidence as they learn in the classroom.

What are you most looking forward to in Monroe?: I’m looking forward to giving back to the community that helped shape me into the person I am today and creating new connections with students and teachers.

Kelly Tannian

Position: Art and graphics teacher at Stem Academy

Previous School District: New Fairfield

Grew Up In: Yonkers, N.Y.

Education: College of New Rochelle

What do you like most about teaching?: Providing a creative outlet for students and observing the creative growth process.

What are you most looking forward to in Monroe?: Working together and building relationships with staff and students.

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