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Mooseheart Welcomes Jeff Szymczak as New Superintendent

By Viatra Baker
Click Photo to Enlarge


New superintendent Jeff Szymczak greets students on their first day of school



Students are glad to be back with friends



Students are all excited for their first day at the newly renovated school


MOOSEHEART, IL, August 26 Today, August 26th, 2013, marked a day of great change for Mooseheart. Not only was the newly renovated school opened up to students, but Jeff Szymczak started his first day as Mooseheart's new superintendent/principal.

But Szymczak isn't new to the field of education or the Mooseheart community by any stretch of the imagination. After graduating from Ripon College in 1984, Szymczak came to Mooseheart where he worked as both a teacher and coach for 10 years.

When he left Mooseheart in 1995 to pursue other opportunities, he had no doubts in his mind that he would one day return.

"I left with the intention of coming back," he said. "I knew there wouldn’t be an open position as principal for quite some time, and I wanted and needed to work on my skill development and gain more experience."

During the time he was gone, Szymczak spent 17 years as principal at Yorkville Middle School, gaining plenty of experience along the way.

Coming back, Szymczak is nothing but positive about this new chapter in his life and in the Mooseheart community.

"Things have definitely changed since I’ve been here," he said. "But all of those changes have been positive. Implementation of the Mooseheart Model of Care, the school renovation project, and all the other new developments encourages me that Mooseheart is ready to continue moving forward."

And continuing to move forward is not only the goal for this year, but years to come.

"I want to keep pushing Mooseheart School into the 21st century," he said. "The renovation was a great step forward. Students and teachers will be more comfortable in the building now that they have better equipment; they will have a better learning environment and be able to rely more on technology to maximize efforts. I just want to build on what has already been started."

Szymczak strives to build an environment where all students are confident and excited to learn.

"The most important lesson I'm bringing with me this year is that it’s not always what a teacher knows, it's how they make you feel that counts the most. That relationship is the most important thing," he said. "As an educator you have to be on top of your game 30/30 days. If you're having an off day and take it out on a student, that's something that won't be forgotten."

That may seem like a huge responsibility, but Mooseheart's new principle is up for the job.

"Every educator I've ever looked up to - it's been about how they made me feel, knowing that they encouraged me to my full potential and appreciated my opinions," he said. "I'm looking forward to listening to and learning from the students just as much as I'm looking forward to guiding them towards success."


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