Monroe public schools to welcome 26 new teachers this fall

Monroe's new teachers pose for a group photo outside Masuk High School before taking a bus ride Thursday.

MONROE, CT — Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza welcomed 26 new teachers to Monroe Public Schools during teacher orientation Thursday morning.

“We’re just really excited,” he said. “There’s been great energy the last couple of days. Mike [Crowley] and the other administrators and instructional leaders did a real nice job orienting them to the district, and the teachers are enthusiastic to get into their classrooms and greet their students on the first day.”

The first day of school is this Wednesday.

“I really empathize with them, because I know there’s a lot of nervous excitement on their first day, like there was for me 27 years ago,” Kobza said, while remembering his first job as a teacher at Masuk High School.

The new hires gathered inside the Masuk Media Center for their orientation, before going on a bus ride for a town tour.

“I hope you’re excited,” Kobza said, while speaking to them in front of the room. “I hope you’re eager and enthusiastic. That’s the vibe I’m getting.”

He warned that teaching can be a “roller coaster”  where one day you feel like you reached your students and “changed the world”, and another when you ask yourself, “what did I do today?”

Kobza told the young teachers to “stick to it”, adding they are not alone and should not hesitate to ask fellow staff members for help when they need it.

“Understand the power you have,” he said of being a teacher. “Every interaction you have with a kid means a lot to them. Everything you say means a lot to them.”

Kobza recalled how he was always a good student, who worked hard to earn good grades, while his older brother, Ray, on the other hand, wasn’t as interested in school work.

“I love my brother,” Kobza said. “He passed away a few years ago. He had a good work ethic, but wasn’t an academic kid.”

On the first day of class one year, the teacher taking attendance said, “Kobza, any relation to Ray?” When Kobza told him it was his brother, he said the teacher looked down and shook his head while checking off his name.

“I’ll never forget that,” Kobza said. “He judged me right away.”

Among the district’s new teachers are:

Jeanine Martin, special education teacher, Stepney Elementary School

Ashley Lopez, english as a second language teacher, Stepney

Jessica Trombetta, kindergarten teacher, Stepney

Mikayla Triscritti, special education teacher, Stepney

Erin Sweeney, special education teacher, Stepney

Madison Ventresca, 4th grade teacher, Stepney

Molly Johnson, speech language pathologist, Monroe Elementary School

Sabrina Phillips, 4th grade teacher, Monroe Elementary

Kristen Rosati, reading specialist, Monroe Elementary

Rachel Wiberg, speech language pathologist, Monroe Elementary

Christina Marren, special education teacher, Monroe Elementary

Megan Hine, special education teacher, Fawn Hollow Elementary School

Megan Cowic, special education teacher, Fawn Hollow

Chris Buzi, 4th grade teacher, Fawn Hollow

Alejandro Jimenez, music teacher, Fawn Hollow

Pam Pascarella, physical education teacher, Fawn Hollow

Alison Partridge, kindergarten teacher, Fawn Hollow

Joseph Philbrick, 7th grade social studies teacher, Jockey Hollow Middle School

Matt Onderko, 6th grade math and social studies teacher, Jockey Hollow

Elizabeth Ulreich-Moran, speech-language pathologist, Jockey Hollow

Kelly Tannian, art and graphics teacher: Stem Academy

Amy Bien, culinary teacher at Masuk

Jesse Todd, Spanish teacher, Masuk

Salvatore Longo, transition special education teacher, Masuk

Audrey Falsetti, biology and chemistry teacher, Masuk

Allyson Danso, business education teacher, Masuk

Kelly Tannian, art and graphics teacher, Stem Academy

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