New Teachers Appreciate Their First Year at Rockhurst

Jackson Sifers, Staff Reporter

With the school year finally coming to an end, it wraps up the first nine months for many teachers at Rockhurst. RHS welcomed eleven members of the teaching staff to the community last fall, some of whom had never taught full time before. 

“The community here I think is really strong, and this is a very healthy place, which is something I’ve marveled at,” said chemistry and art teacher Dr. Phillip Nahlik, SJ.

These new faculty members teach a range of different subjects from mathematics to art. A majority of them came to Rockhurst from other schools. These teachers were pleased with their experience with Rockhurst students.

“I like teaching high school a lot,” Spanish teacher Yulys Espinosa said. “I can advance more students because they are older.”

Espinosa came to Rockhurst from Holy Cross School, which was a sizable transition. Not only did she move from a K-8 environment into teaching high schoolers, but she also went from coed to all boys.

“All-boys school is different from coed, because students can focus better because there are no distractions,” Espinosa said. “I like teaching [boys].” 

The role of a teacher is a very important role because of the direct impact it can have on the next generation. For teachers without previous full time classroom experience, one obvious example of that impact is helping students learn something new.

“Part of what I’ve really enjoyed, with sophomores especially, and my favorite part about sophomores is that I get to be the first person to tell them about some things which is a really cool part of teaching,” said Dr. Nahlik.

To maintain the culture Rockhurst wants to have, it’s important to welcome new members into our community warmly, and the new teachers say it certainly happened in their cases. These teachers say they had first years here, and hope they have many more to come. 

“I can’t complain,” Espinosa said, “Rockhurst is a great place and the teachers and staff are all very supportive.”