Abby Weiss, Story Editor
For the upcoming school year, the administration decided to hire a variety of different teachers across many subjects. Each of these new Rams come from different backgrounds as well as experiences. They possess many different academic and personal skills, yet their commonality is their excitement and enthusiasm for their time at NCHS.
Janet McGowen, Chemistry Teacher
Janet McGowen, moved here from Colorado where she was a math and science teacher. The school was different in that she taught an ELL course, a class that contains low level English speakers who have just moved into the country. Although she has been teaching for five years, she has had a passion for chemistry ever since seventh grade when a chemist performed the Iodine Clock Challenge on Career night. Her favorite part of teaching is the kids because they have so much energy and can cheer her up when she is having a horrible day. Outside of school, she does tae kwon do, plays hockey, and spends most of her time with her two kids, Justin and Bridget.
Ms. McGowen hopes her students can take away a lot from her class, “I want them to appreciate chemistry and to understand that it’s everywhere. They shouldn’t be scared of it, but have knowledge that they can use for the rest of their lives,” she said.
David Gusitsch, Assistant Principal
Although David Gusitsch spent the last 14 years at Westport, he is very familiar with New Canaan. At Coleytown Middle School, he covered jobs such as health and physical education teacher, district coordinator for health and education, and assistant principal. He possesses a lot of athletic experience having previously coached swimming, football and lacrosse. He wanted to work at a high school because he’s always enjoyed working with this age group and preparing them for what comes after graduation. Besides building on students successes and improving the school climate, his main goal is to encourage students to be their best selves for the future. When he’s not working in his office, Mr. Gusitsch spends time with his kids, Ellie, Brooke and Nicholas where they share his love for the outdoors. Whether it’s skydiving, canoeing, water skiing or driving an ice cream truck for the whole summer, Mr. Gustisch has done an enormous amount of amazing tasks in the outdoors.
While it is only a short time into the school year, Mr. Gusitsch already sees a lot of great qualities in NCHS. “It’s really everything I expected and more. It’s a wonderful learning community where education is especially supported. It has a really positive feel to it, great school culture and I’m elated to on board,” he said.
April Kish, Earth Science Teacher
April Kish moved here from the Bronx where she spent 8 years teaching Biology and Earth Science to ESL and ELL students. She found her desire to become a teacher during her work as a scientist. She wanted more from her career than writing up reports. A career in science is also something she’s thought of since high school where she majored in the subject. At her high school, people declared a major, whether it was cosmetology or architecture, and would focus solely on that subject. In her case, it was science. Now that she’s teaching at the high school, Ms. Kish wants her students to walk away with an interest in science and be open to a career in it. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, which she perceives as a scientific experiment with all the different flavors, and spending time with her son, Avery.
When asked what her favorite part about teaching was, Ms. Kish answered that it’s never a boring day. “The fact that everyday is different. It is the students that make everyday different with their conversations with you and questions they have,” she said.
Katie Spaulding, French and Latin Teacher
Unlike the other featured teachers, Katie Spaulding is returning to NCHS after spending the last three years looking after her twin boys, Fitz and Sebastian. She’s come back for her fourth year of teaching French and Latin, a profession she took on after leaving the fashion industry. After realizing she wasn’t happy in fashion, Ms. Spaulding started taking classes such as Ancient Greek History which is where she took interest in Latin. She decided to go into archeology and art history as a graduate student, yet felt teaching was much more practical. A career in French appealed to her because she minored in it and had always felt natural with the language. When lesson planning and grading gets tedious, being in class is always lively and fun. Her personal goal is to maintain a good level of teaching while balancing it with her life at home where she spends the whole rest of the day with her sons. She also spends her time as an artist where she does a lot of water-color painting.
Looking back, Ms. Spaulding is glad she got her masters in teaching because she loves working with students and wants them to have a healthy learning environment “For French class, my goal is to keep them speaking French as much as possible. For Latin, I want them to learn, but to have it be more lively, fun, and not so dry as it can be,” she said.