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Jurgella has made an impact

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The Mirror reporter

Janet Jurgella, one of most beloved teachers at SPASH, will be retiring once the school year ends.  She is loved by many students and faculty members but is ending her fulfilling career after a total of 23 years of teaching.

“I have taught at SPASH for 15 years, I have taught eight of the 18 courses in the English department, prior to that I taught at to Pacelli and the university both for four years. Primary courses are American Literature, Lit and Film, and Advanced Composition.”

Although she is retiring she is not completely ready to hang up the gloves quite yet.

“I will be subbing at SPASH as much as I can, and volunteering in the community along with spending more time with my four kids and four grandkids,” Jurgella said.

Out of all of the careers in the world, she chose to be a teacher and what a wonderful one she turned out to be.

“My love of reading and writing, and my love of young people really inspired me to become a teacher. But at the end of the day, the most rewarding thing to me is to know that I am helping students progress towards their futures.”

Jurgella will be missed by many people. One person is Kari Witt, another English teacher at SPASH.

“We’ve been really good friends for four years now. It’s hard to not think about her leaving without being emotional about it personally because we’re such good friends.

The amount of knowledge Jurgella has in the subject she teaches is amazing, and the love she has for the school and community is not something you see every day,” Witt said.

Elle Schraufnagel gets some extra assistance from soon-to-be retired teacher Janet Jurgella. (Alyssa Schroeckenthaler Photo)

Although she will be missed she took nothing for granted and she wouldn’t want to trade it for the world.  She had many highlights of her career.

“I had way too many in my mind so I just narrowed it down to four to keep it kind of short.  Those memories are teaching my son Neil at Pacelli and my daughter Mary Sue here at SPASH, being asked to give the Pacelli commencement address twice by the graduating class, hearing Lit and Film students tell me that they point out cool technical things to their parents and friends when watching movies and every time a student says or writes something deeply interpretive or analytical that I would never have thought of myself,” Jurgella said.

She has had some obstacles to overcome in her career as well such as, “Trying to motivate smart students that have potential and that seem not to care, trying to motivate students who don’t think that they are smart, and trying to help students to realize that the details are important. And finally bringing students to the here and now of the classroom.”

Jurgella’s departure means another teacher is coming and she has advice for any upcoming teachers. “Don’t be afraid to come across as a little bit crazy in love with what you read and what you can write about.”

Jurgella has made such an impact at SPASH that it will be an eventful day when she leaves.


9 Responses to “Jurgella has made an impact”

  1. Dylan Trigg on April 20th, 2018 12:32 PM

    I have never had her as a teacher but I have only heard good things about her.

  2. Tony Ludwig on April 20th, 2018 12:38 PM

    Mrs. Jurgella taught my American Lit class last year. Although it was 2nd hour, the energy in the classroom was always more powerful. SPASH will miss Mrs. Jurgella.

  3. Alyssa Schroeckenthaler on April 20th, 2018 12:42 PM

    Mrs. Jurgella is my American Literature now. I was sad to hear that she is retiring, but I feel fortunate that I got to have her before she leaves.

  4. Hannah Siegel on April 20th, 2018 12:47 PM

    Mrs. Jurgella was my Lit & Film teacher last semester. It was sad to hear that she is retiring.

  5. Hannah Gibbons on April 23rd, 2018 9:54 AM

    I had Mrs. Jurgella last year first hour, both semesters for American Lit and Advanced Comp. Honestly, at first I didn’t know what to think of her. I was always so tired when I walked in first hour, but she always had a positive attitude and spunk that won’t be easy to replace. She taught me a lot about writing and about classic stories I never thought I’d read. Throughout my junior year I really grew to love her as a teacher and it’ll be sad to see her go. I thought this story was really well written and the picture was a cute touch.

  6. Manuel Lupercio on April 23rd, 2018 12:23 PM

    I had ms. Jurgella for lit and film and she was a great teacher. Sad that she will be retiring

  7. Kacey Koch on April 23rd, 2018 12:30 PM

    Mrs. Jurgella was my teacher for both American Lit and Advanced Composition. She is so knowledgeable in the English department and it’s nice to see she’ll still be subbing here!

  8. Kara on April 23rd, 2018 12:37 PM

    I have known Mrs. Jurgella for a long time and am very sad to be hearing that she will be retiring. I had her for American Lit last year, she is an amazing teacher and really makes sure you know what you are learning. She definitely made an impact on SPASH.

  9. Will on April 23rd, 2018 12:37 PM

    I’ve never had Jurgella, and I barely even knew of her as a teacher, but this article was in depth enough for me to get it without knowing her. Good job!

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