WEGO enlists over 30 new staff members


Photo by Brittney Walker

New staff take a picture during orientation

By Santiago Carrillo and Karidja Monjolo

Over the last several months, West Chicago Community High School hired 33 new staff members to make sure the 2022-2023 school year runs smoothly.

After many staff members resigned, retired, or were not asked back after the 2021-2022 school year, the Board of Education approved several new positions in order to provide more support and resources for students. As a result, more than 30 new staff were hired to fill these positions and others.

Administration made new staff members feel welcome and comfortable with the building and its surrounding community with several days of training and onboarding. One week before school officially started, orientation was held. For three days, the new staff members were taught about what it means to be a Wildcat. They were also able to be a part of the community through various activities, among which were a scavenger hunt, community tours, and lunch with the West Chicago Rotary Club. All of these activities were crucial in order to prepare them for the school year.

New staff at a meeting in the LRC (Photo by Brittney Walker)

“These three days were absolutely invaluable for those new staff members, and I think they learned a lot and felt more prepared for that first day of school,” said Julie Swartzloff, Human Resources Director at West Chicago Community High School. Swartzloff joined the WEGO team last year

Diversity is also a priority in making sure that the school year goes smoothly. According to Swartzloff, all the staff members come from unique experiences, allowing them to bring something new to the table.

“Even though it’s the largest class of incoming new faculty that we’ve ever had, it’s also the most excited I’ve been because they have so much potential and so much talent that they’re bringing,” said Swartzloff.

Among these new staff members is Adam Pischke, a new teacher in the Career and Technology Education department. Pischke is a Business Administration/Marketing graduate from Lewis University, and was also on the college’s basketball team. 

WEGO has been very welcoming and a great place to be so far. The staff is warm and welcoming and the students have been a joy to work with as well,” said Pischke.

Also joining the WEGO team is Angela Vock, a French teacher. Before coming to West Chicago, Vock taught French at Naperville Central and Naperville North. She also lived in Paris for a year, which she describes as “awesome. It’s my favorite city so far that I’ve seen.”

In the classroom, Vock enjoys “seeing students’ succeed.” 

When students returned to WCCHS on August 15, they were greeted by both familiar and new faces. 

Mr. Madden makes sure that his appreciation for hardworking students is recognized. He also makes sure that every student gets their work done and understands it by the end of class,” said junior Clara Hasselgren of new science teacher Luke Madden.

Other new teachers include:

  • Malak Ahmad – LANG ARTS
  • Flor Alcazar Ocampo – DEAN’S ASSISTANT – ISS
  • Valeria Anicua  – CLERK – RECEPTIONIST
  • Mackenzie Bell – TEACHER – SPED
  • Erika Bibian – SOCIAL WORKER
  • Torino Brooks – CUSTODIAN – 2ND SHIFT
  • Dorian Carrasco – DEAN’S ASSISTANT – OFFICE
  • Jennifer Carrillo – TEACHER – MATH
  • Adam Chavez  – TEACHER – PHYS DEV
  • Kyle Christensen – TECHNOLOGY – TECH
  • Angeles Coss Llanos – SOCIAL WORKER
  • Mary Dieter  – TEACHER – PHYS DEV
  • Hollie Donovan – TEACHER – HUM – SOC STUD
  • Eileen Duban – TACHER – SCIENCE
  • Joseph Duszynski – TEACHER – PHYS DEV
  • Tessa Elfstrom – PERSONAL CARE ASST
  • Jennifer Gawenda – COUNSELOR
  • Elizabeth Govertsen – TEACHER – ESL
  • Jocelyn Grauer – TEACHER – SPED
  • Mackenzi Heisner  – TEACHER – PHYS DEV
  • Amanda Hofmeister –  CLERK – DUPLICATING
  • Amy Hoke TEACHER – SPED
  • Kevin Jarosz TEACHER – CTE – BUS
  • James Karas TEACHER – SPED
  • Ashley Klauss – COUNSELOR
  • Ma Christina Lomibao – STAFF NURSE
  • Esmeralda Lopez – CUSTODIAN – 2ND SHIFT
  • Samantha Marino – SOCIAL WORKER – SPED
  • Julie Mazurski – PERS CARE ASST-JOB COACH
  • Thomas Nock – PROGRAM ASST – SPED
  • Malko Odishoo – TEACHER – ALT ED – SRC
  • Olivia Ortiz – SOCIAL WORKER
  • Thluai Par – PROGRAM ASST – SPED
  • Megan Payleitner – TEACHER – SPED
  • Melissa Pilon – SUPERVISOR – MIS
  • Marielle Reach – TEACHER – SPED
  • Molly Salerno – TEACHER – MATH
  • Maria Salmon – TEACHER – ESL
  • Alexandra Schwarz – TEACHER – LANG ARTS
  • Kevin Seaman – TEACHER – SCIENCE
  • Gerardo Tovar – COUNSELOR
  • Cassandra Wright – TEACHER – SCIENCE

“I’m really excited about this school year, I think it’s the first time we’ve felt normal,” said Swartzloff.