Niles grads among 30 new Niles teacher hiresPublished 4:36pm Tuesday, August 21, 2012
When Niles High graduate Rich Hughey learned he had earned his first full-time teaching job, he was ecstatic.
“It was like the world being taken off my shoulders,” said Hughey, a member of the Niles High Class of 2002. “Being able to be a teacher in a school system like this one and use your degree is a privilege these days. I am very thankful Niles deemed me fit to teach their students.”
Hughey, who will be teaching at Cedar Lane Alternative School, is one of 30 people hired to teach in Niles Community Schools this year. Eighteen of those 30 are first-time teachers, according John Tanke, human resources director.
Including Hughey, there are three new hires who graduated from or attended Niles Community Schools.
Katie Karlowicz-Herm, a 2008 Niles grad, will be teaching fifth-grade inclusion at Ballard Elementary. Karlowicz-Herm earned her bachelor’s degree in learning disabilities and emotional impairment at Hope College in May.
“It is really exciting because I am able to come back to the community that I lived in and grew up in, and also give back to the wonderful district I grew up in. It is a great opportunity,” Karlowicz-Herm said.
Claire Ziesmer, whose father, Ted Halbritter, runs Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles, will be teaching seventh-grade special education at Ring Lardner Middle School. Ziesmer is a former Ring Lardner student, who learned in the Niles district from kindergarten through eighth grade.
She taught the past two years in Edwardsburg, where she lives. She said she has done some substitute teaching in Niles and has been trying to get back into the district.
“It was very encouraging to see all the changes going about in Niles,” said Ziesmer, who has a master’s degree in special education. “It is very exciting, and I think it’s a chance to give back to the town and community and school system where I was raised.”
Hughey, Karlowicz-Herm, Ziesmer and the other new teacher hires are attending all-day orientation sessions this week in preparation for the first day of school Sept. 4.