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Family-work balance vital to Hillsboro teachers

Staff writer

Moving to a new school is a change for any teacher, but for Adam North it might be the second-biggest change to start his school year.

North, Hillsboro’s new high school math teacher, said his wife went into labor with their first baby Monday.

“Having a new family situation and new job together, I guess if you’re going to make those changes, why not make them all at once,” he said.

North isn’t sure about finding balance between work and home.

“I’m going to find out,” he said. “Of course, I’ve never been in that situation. So far, it’s been a very pleasant experience with administration being willing to work with me. The schedule is working very favorably for me.”

Amanda Jaworsky, one of the school’s two new fifth-grade teachers, designates family and school time.

“I try to make special time just for family,” she said. “I know that teaching is a full-time job, though. If there is something I have to do at home, I plan and create, but I definitely set aside time for family.”

Her daughter is entering preschool, so Jaworsky thinks her daughter will enjoy being in the same building.

“I knew that eventually she’d be in the same school as me, but I haven’t really thought about what that’s going to be like,” she said.

Visiting students at their homes before the start of school was a good way for Jaworsky to introduce herself as a teacher at previous jobs.

“It helps me see where they’re coming from,” she said. “When they’re talking about what they did over the weekend then I can picture in my mind where they’re talking about and we have that connection from the beginning.”

Her move to Hillsboro also resonated on a family level because her in-laws are from the area.

“We found a property and thought, ‘We’re close to family anyway,’ so that worked out,” she said.

The connection for Hillsboro’s other incoming fifth grade teacher, Ryker Schmidt, is more educational than familiar.

Schmidt’s principal while attending Olpe High School was Hillsboro alumnus Shane Clark.

“He told me a lot about the town,” Schmidt said. “He’s really excited for me to have the chance to come here.”

North wasn’t aggressively searching for a teaching position when he was hired, and said living relatively close made him more willing to teach at Hillsboro.

“It’s just up the road,” North said. “We live in Galva, so it’s not that far away. My wife commutes to Hutchinson every day, so it’s still shorter than her commute.”

North taught at Canton-Galva before making the switch to Hillsboro, and said the experience greatly helped.

“You’ve been in this situation before,” he said. “I’ve taught at two other schools now. I was at Stockton for 10 years when I started, so this wasn’t my first transition.”

Schmidt sees an advantage to starting this year. Kansas State University already had begun moving some of its classes for future cases online, which lessened problems for Schmidt when COVID-19 reduced in-person interaction.

“I’m not as far behind as I would have been because it’s still new for a lot of my peers,” he said. “They just have the advantage of interacting with kids and being in the classroom longer than me.”

Last modified Aug. 26, 2020

 

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