Two New Hires in D159 Strike A Chord

Anthony Soyak and Karen Bussean were hired by the D159 Board of Education on Wednesday, Aug. 1, as full- and part-time music teachers respectively.

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 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 . “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 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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C. Martinez August 10, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Parents and Community Members of Mokena, I urge you to come out to the next school board meeting WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15th 7:00PM MES BAND ROOM. There's a lot that has happened in the past few months with the school board and administration. I'm not sure if you're aware: board/administration resignations/changes, open board positions (voluntary and salaried), what the district administration salaries were last year and the proposed salary increases for this year (proposed salary increases range from 2% all the way up to 66.67%), issues with our anti-bullying policies and more. At the last school board meeting, the board reviewed a projected 12-13 budget that was over a million dollars OVER budget, which the board is in the process of reviewing more in-depth to get more accurate numbers. Please pass this information to your neighbors and friends and come out to the next board meeting. It's important that we show up and support the school board to make the right decisions that will benefit our kids, teachers and schools. If we are not proactive and involved, I fear bad decisions will be made that will negatively impact our community even more. It seems that the board started taking steps towards the right path and we need to encourage the board to stay on that path and not slide backwards. Let's come together as a community. We need accountability and responsibility in our board/administration. Let's urge them to do the right thing. Thank you.
R.W.Voter August 11, 2012 at 12:40 AM
But it is the truth
KC August 12, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Over budget? But Mr Markham has said repeatedly that he has balanced the budget and we're headed in the right direction.
R.W.Voter August 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM
The schools have submitted their budget, but it has not been approved. It is presently over 2 million in the red. That is unacceptable. Thank you
C. Martinez August 13, 2012 at 04:17 PM
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING - WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15TH 7:00PM - MES/BAND ROOM Meeting Agenda http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Agendas/2012/Agenda%20for%20august%2015%20%202012.pdf Information Report http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Packets/2012/August/15/back.pdf Budget Worksheet http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Packets/2012/August/15/Front.pdf If you are unable to click on above links, you can download them from the District's page here. http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Meetings.html ____________________________________________________________ PARENT / TEACHER ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING - TOPIC FOR REVIEW: UPDATING ANTI-BULLYING POLICY - THURSDAY AUGUST 16ST 7:00PM - MOKENA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ROOM S126 Agenda http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Committees/ParentAdvisory/agenda/2012/Parent-advisory%20agenda08-16-12-v1%20(2).pdf If you are unable to click on above links, you can download them from the District's page here. http://www.mokena159.org/Schoolboard/Committees/ParentAdvisory/C_Parent.html Thanks.


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