Who’s Been a Crusader the Longest?


Max Williams

The staff members who have taught here the longest can’t wait to see all the new changes to the school.

Max Williams, Staff Writer

Ever since St. Dominic’s founding in 1962, there have always been incredible teachers who have come and gone. However, there are more than just a few teachers today, who have gone above and beyond, devoting decades of their time to teaching our ever expanding Crusader Family.

Everyone has their favorite teachers. Whether they are extra nice to their students, teach the material well, or have the ability to keep the class engaged, there are many reasons why some teachers may stand out above the rest. Although, it’s easy to master some of these traits when you’ve been teaching for so many years. Oftentimes excellence goes hand in hand with experience. Because of this, many of the St. Dominic teachers with the most years under their belt just so happen to be some of the student’s all time favorite teachers.

To name a few: Mr. Cissell has been teaching at the school for 25 years now, Dr. Matusiak has been teaching for 19 years, and Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Schlenke have been teaching for 18 years!

So what keeps these amazing teachers coming back each and every year? For Mr. Schlenke, the joy of seeing his students succeed is enough, along with a few other funny mishaps.

“When I am teaching a difficult lesson, I love it when students ‘get it’ and do well on their tests and assessments. During the labs, the most memorable times are always when students have passed out. Dissections are always interesting and you never know how students will react to them,” Mr. Schlenke said.

Thankfully, there are always necessary precautions taken during labs, especially during the dissections. Yet, while Mr. Schlenke enjoys this aspect, Mrs. Johnson especially enjoys sharing her knowledge with younger students.

“I love teaching the freshman Revelation class. I love Sacred Scripture, so for me it is awesome to be able to share that with the freshmen. It’s so great when they come down to say ‘hi’ in their later years after they have already taken my class and gotten to know me,” Mrs. Johnson said.

Similar to the previously mentioned teachers, Dr. Matusiak finds joy in the success of his students, and he feels like he gets to introduce them to an entirely new way of learning.

“Teaching Investigative Science is completely different [from other classes]. Since it is a hands on class for the students, my role changes to facilitate inquisitive learning. It is a welcomed break from having to be the dominant resource in the classroom, and I find great joy being in the classroom and still helping students, interacting with them, and directing them to success in the classroom,” Dr. Matusiak said.

Although, while many teachers gave a more broad description of why they love teaching, Mr. Cissell finds some of his greatest satisfaction in the individual moments of his career.

“Performing at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was probably the most memorable experience for me. The concert band has performed there once, and we have been there twice with different musicals over the years,” Mr. Cissell said.

With all of these years of great experiences, you would think that these teachers would be content with looking back on the past, but that is far from the truth. After many impressive years, these teachers are still looking forward to things to come here at St. Dominic, especially with all of the new construction that has begun this past year.

Already these teachers have had the privilege of seeing massive changes to the campus in recent years, but they couldn’t be more excited about the new building.

“The most significant change I have seen so far has been the addition of the Performing Arts Center. Before that was built, all concerts and musicals were in the small gym! I’m sure in a similar way, the new addition will be fabulous for our science students,” Mr. Cissell said.

Clearly, these wonderful teachers have accomplished so much in their careers and have taught so many students. It’s also pretty evident that they’re not giving up now. With so many new changes that the school is undergoing, it may not look the same as it did when they first arrived, but they have certainly made it a great day to be a Crusader.