Three new teachers have started at St. Mary School in Charlevoix, and the duties of a fourth have changed.
The school welcomed Carol Deschermeier, Kelly Czubko-Fox and Jayne Bennett Winchester as the second and third grade teacher, kindergarten and first grade teacher, and part-time band director, respectively. Fourth and fifth grade teacher Kathleen Dvoracek has started as part-time principal as well.
Deschermeier, 61, is an alumna of Michigan State University and University of Connecticut, where she earned degrees in elementary education with an emphasis on gifted and talented youth. Previously, she has taught in St. Johns, Petoskey and Steamboat Springs, Colo.
"I'm looking forward to growing right along with my students, accepting and creating challenges as we reach for the stars together," said Deschermeier. "And to think that we get to do it all within our special St. Mary environment is awesome."
New kindergarten teacher Czubko-Fox has begun as the school's kindergarten and first grade teacher. She previously taught in Hawaii, teaching first grade for nine years and kindergarten for one. She also taught part-time in the Grand Rapids public school district for the 2011-2012 school year.
"I was excited about (finding a full-time position in Charlevoix) because I love the outdoors, and I think Charlevoix is beautiful," said Czubko-Fox, who is originally from Rockford. "I love working with kids every day and seeing their growth over a short period of time. I love their excitement about learning at this young age."
Czubko-Fox said she is looking forward to incorporating religion into the classroom.
"I have never taught at a Catholic school, and to be able to talk about religion and reinforce that in school I think is a wonderful thing for character building," she said.
Jayne Bennett Winchester, who recently retired from the Charlevoix Public School District, will now teach kindergarten through seventh grade music, an age she says she loves.
"Working with the younger students has always been a delight of mine," she said.
Winchester graduated from Central Michigan University, and taught for the majority of her career in Northview school district near Grand Rapids. In Northern Michigan, Winchester taught in Petoskey and then, for a decade, in Charlevoix.
Winchester said she is looking forward specifically to the school's musical programs and starting the sixth and seventh grade students with band instruments.
The fourth and fifth graders learn recorders while Winchester teaches younger students "general music including singing, rhythms and melody and musical games."
"St. Mary's seems like a really great school in which to work. The parents and teachers are wonderful, and the students are excited. I'm looking forward to it," said Winchester.
Teacher Dvoracek has added principal to her duties at St. Mary's. She originally started teaching at the school in 1993 as the fourth and fifth grade teacher, then began teaching just fourth grade. Now, she will teach fifth grade as well as being principal for the school.
Dvoracek says the most challenging part of her job will be accomplishing all she wants to accomplish.
"I am an organized person, but I often wish there were more hours in the day," she said. "I'm glad to be in the classroom working with the students every day. I also find it rewarding to be the spiritual leader for the students and staff."
This will be the first administrative position for Dvoracek, 45, who earned a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University.
"I'm excited to be a part of the administrative end of things. My goal is to lead my teachers by example," she said. "I will not expect them to do something I am not able to do myself. I am looking forward to working with the staff to make St. Mary School the best it can be."
Staff changes greet St. Marys students at year's start
New teachers at St. Marys (September 28, 2012)