Julie Hoek retires from teaching
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” Julie Hoek said as she prepared to leave her kindergarten classroom at Springfield Public School Friday.
Mrs. Hoek is retiring from teaching after 33 years in Springfield Public Schools.
“Retiring is the choice I needed to make,” she said. “I need some family time now,” with caring for her ailing, elderly father being a primary concern. “I will take one day at a time,” she said.
“I will really miss the children, the community of Springfield, and the school staff. We have a super staff,” she said.
Mrs. Hoek feels fortunate to have worked in Springfield where the community views education highly and parents provide tremendous support. It has made my job a lot easier,” she said.
Julie grew up at Morton, graduated from Morton High School, and attended Southwest State University, Marshall, where she earned her degree in elementary education with a license in special education. She began her teaching career in Comfrey as a long-term substitute kindergarten teacher, and then taught second-grade. She joined the faculty at Springfield Public Schools in the fall of 1985, taught special education for five years, second-grade for eight-years, and kindergarten the past 20 years.
“Kindergarten is my passion,” she said. “The kids have a special place in my heart. They are like sponges. The come in with the love of learning.”
Kindergarten is a pivotal year in a child’s academic development. Although good teachers are crucial for every grade level, it is especially important that kindergarten teachers are effective. After all, they will set the tone for a student’s opinion about school in general and learning in particular.
See complete story in this week's edition of the Springfield Advance-Press.