Two new faces will step up to the podium to lead music classes in Mokena schools this year. Anthony Soyak and Karen Bussean will both teach music and physical education in the district during the 2012-13 school year, following the board approval.
Bussean, a former president of the Music Booster Club and current district summer band leader, will take on a part-time role within the District. While Soyak will fulfill the District's final fulltime music education position.
“Karen, she just really had a lot of interest in it,” said Anna Kirchner, Mokena Elementary School Principal. “She wanted to do what was best for the students, she just really appears to have a love of music.”
Kirchner said that Bussean's passion for the band was a major factor in the hiring process, citing the extra time and responsibilities running a band can add to a teacher's plate.
“With finding somebody, especially that has to work with the band, there's so many, really, extra duties that come with it,” Kirchner said. “That seemed to be something that was of a high interest to her.”
Soyak, a recent graduate of Roosevelt University with a master's degree in music performance and a bachelor's degree in music education in 2011, comes to the District after student-teaching at Lincoln-Way East this past fall. Kirchner said that Soyak stood out with his musical knowledge, articulation and outstanding letters of recommendation.
“It was very evident he was really educated in musical education,” Kirchner said. “He presented himself very well.”
Soyak has past student teaching experience at three other grade schools as well, according to his resumé.
Both teachers will also be asked to teach physical education within the district—something that will be a first for both. However, Kirchner said that she and the board have every confidence they will do an outstanding job.
“They showed an interest in it, they both came back [during the second interview] and showed they had done their research on it,” she said.
Kirchner said that nine total candidates were interviewed for the job. Both new teachers are already in the building, taking inventory of items and prepping for the coming year, which begins Monday, Aug. 20.
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