Junior High Teachers Share Hometown Perspective

Education Values, Focus on Students
Posted on 12/17/2018
Five teachers and one instructional aid pose in the gym

Every school district usually has a few teachers and other staff members who grew up in the community in which they teach. In Northbrook District 28 there seems to be more than just a few. Fifteen, in fact, sat in the classrooms as students in which they now teach or support teachers.

It’s a testament to the Northbrook community and its values. Our Hometown Teachers and Staff also offer a perspective for today’s parents on how education has changed, and what makes District 28 special. We asked our Hometown Teachers and Staff to share their thoughts and memories as a way to celebrate our community. We’ll post their profiles throughout the remainder of the month.

At Northbrook Junior High, there are five teachers and one classroom aide who once walked the same halls as students.

P.E. Teacher Deena Seifer has pretty much spent her life on athletic pursuits.

As a student, being involved in extracurricular activities was a very rewarding experience. I was on the basketball and track teams at NBJH. I am still coaching today and have some terrific memories working with some many wonderful student-athletes,” Ms. Seifer said.

Julie Hannigan, a junior high special education instructional aide, said she still feels the influence of longtime former superintendent, the late Homer O. Harvey. In striving to meet the needs of all students, Dr. Harvey not only developed District 28 but also the North Suburban Special Education District.

“Very possibly, my job exists because of his foresight and dedication to education,” said Ms. Hannigan, a special education instructional aide.

Mary Claire Seeberg joined the junior high staff last year as an 8th-grade math teacher. she has observed a continuing emphasis on student-centered learning.

“The learning environment is continuing to shift toward student-driven inquiry and collaborative classroom experiences,” Seeberg said. “Teachers focus on empowering learners and developing 21st-century skills.”

“I think what makes Northbrook special is the overall value the town places on education and how the community and school work together,” said Special Education Teacher Danyel Kilburg.

And some enduring traditions continue to make lifetime memories.

“As a student at Outdoor Education, I remember having a blast while making new friends. Now, I get to observe hundreds of other students experience something similar,” said Lisa Peyrot, who also is a special education teacher.

Kate Garside, an 8th Grade social studies teacher said there are more opportunities for students today.

"Teachers are more collaborative, technology has allowed for a wider range of educational activities that can reach the different learning styles of the children, students are at the center of the learning, and there are more opportunities for individual inquiry," Ms. Garside said. Junior High HometwonTeachers

From left, Danyel Kilburg, Lisa Peyrot, Julie Hannigan, Kate Garside, Mary Claire Seeberg and Deena Seifer.