BROCKWAY — More than the Class of 2019 left the Brockway Area School District last June.
Brockway had a series of retirements or resignations that Superintendent Jeff Vizza referred to as a “mass exodus” during his speech on the first day of the new school year.
During a meeting over the summer, Vizza thanked the school board for its work in finding the right teachers for the job.
“The board members put in a lot of effort and time,” Vizza said. “We had 11 retirements or resignations this past year. It takes a lot to find their replacements. We have many young educators coming in to take their positions, and that wouldn’t be possible without the board’s efforts.”
New kindergarten teacher Hunter Lydick is not exactly a new face. Lydick did his student teaching in Brockway, and when he graduated from Clarion University, he was asked to be a long-term substitute in first grade when one of the first of the “mass exodus” retired.
Lydick is joined by another face familiar to Brockway. Anthony Benson graduated from Brockway Area School District and went on to graduate from Clarion University. Coming back to his old stomping grounds presented Benson with new excitement.
Benson was a Brockway football star, like fourth-grade teacher Alec Shaffer-Doan. Doan also graduated from Clarion and is currently assisting with junior-high football at the school.
Debbie Snyder is the new Title I teacher in Brockway. She has substitute taught in Brockway for many years and has also been very involved in her church. She said she is excited to work with the Brockway district now as a full-time part of the community.
Lindsay Zimmerman is part of a new husband-and-wife team at Brockway. She worked at Jefferson-Clarion Head Start and is now teaching kindergarten. The Slippery Rock University graduate said teaching is her passion.
Her husband, Bret, is teaching economics and government at Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School. He went to Westminster College and subbed in Brockway before taking the full-time position.
Another new high school teacher is math teacher Carly Wallock. Wallock also went to Clarion and previously taught at Keystone School District. She student taught in Brockway and knew she wanted to work there.
Another seasoned teacher came to Brockway, this time to teach technology. Bob Bateman spent six years at DuBois Area School District and is happy to take over some shop classes
New home economics teacher April Weaver also has experience in teaching, plus, she makes another husband-and-wife team in Brockway. Weaver’s husband teaches English in the district.
Jessie Zameroski brings a lot of experience to her job as a school psychologist. She has two master’s degrees from Edinboro University and is a nationally certified school psychologist. She said she is thrilled to join the team.
Bret Zimmerman summed up the experience of joining Brockway during the 2019-2020 school year.
“Brockway has a family atmosphere in the schools and town,” he said. “It’s hard to find this many great people in one place. The town supports the students and school district, and the staff has a very positive attitude. That is a key element to knowing that you have found the right place. I know that I have.”