Eighty-three Indian Prairie School District teachers breathed a sigh of relief when they learned they would spend the first week of classes back at school and not on the unemployment line.
Last spring, District 204 cut 150 teaching positions in an effort to balance the budget.
Now, more than half of those teachers were re-hired this summer when district officials recovered enough funding to pay their salaries for this school year.
One teacher who is happy to be back in the classroom is Katie O’Boyle from Gombert Elementary School.
“I’m so excited to be hired back,” said O’Boyle. “I applied to 30 or 40 school districts in the area to find a job anywhere and I was hoping and praying that someday somebody would call me.”
Somebody did call her back, and it was her old employer wanting her to teach again in Gombert Elementary School.
“One of the best phone calls I get to make as a principal is letting someone know that we are able to offer them a position for the fall,” explained Gombert Elementary School Principal Jeremy Ricken. “They did an excellent job for us the previous year.”
O’Boyle is back teaching, but now she is teaching fourth grade instead of first grade.
“Lesson plans were completely changed. Some of the things in the classroom are new and books are completely new and my first grade books are stored in the closet back at home,” said O’Boyle. “I am embracing the change and I am happy to have a job.”
She is not the only one happy to be back, teachers and staff members at Gombert feel that same excitement.
“When they rehired them, oh my god, we were so excited we just jumped for joy,” said Gombert Elementary School’s Health Aide, Vickie Teeters.
As for her future, O’Boyle is taking it day by day.
“I’m just trying to get through this year and we will see what happens,” said O’Boyle.
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