Students return to the classroom as teachers

  • Back row: Cooper Gorski, PE and health teacher at John Stark and a 2017 graduate of JSRHS; Maddie Janielle, occupational therapist at Henniker Community School and 2014 JSRHS graduate; and Stacy Stanley, fourth-grade teacher at Center Woods Upper Elementary and a 1996 graduate of JSRHS. Front Row: Sarah Kazakis, second-grade teacher at Center Woods Elementary and 2009 JSRHS graduate; Kayleigh Zervos, first-grade teacher at Center Woods Elementary and 2017 JSRHS graduate; Chloe Labrie, seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Weare Middle and 2017 graduate of JSRHS; and Ariel Freedman, secodnd-grade teacher at Center Woods and 2014 JSRHS graduate. Courtesy

Published: 8/30/2021 5:50:36 PM

SAU 24 which serves the communities of Henniker, Weare, and Stoddard is proud to announce that seven new teachers hired by SAU 24 schools for the coming 2021-22 school year are graduates of John Stark Regional High School and a product of the exceptional education provided within SAU 24 schools.

“I guess you could say we’re growing our own teachers,” said SAU 24 Superintendent Jacqueline Coe. “They’ve lived in our communities and learned in our schools and they are thrilled, as are we, to welcome them home to SAU 24.”

Cooper Gorksi physical education and health at John Stark

Returning to John Stark to teach Health and PE is JSRHS alumnus and football and basketball standout Cooper Gorski. A graduate of Plymouth State University, where he also played football, Gorksi is thrilled to return to his hometown high school and be a part of the teaching staff that helped shape him.

“I’m excited to be able to give back to the community that I grew up in. My mission is to be a role model for my students and provide a safe and inclusive environment for learning. I want students to gain the skills needed to live healthy lives,” he said.

Madison Janelle occupational therapist at Henniker Community School

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Madison “Maddie” Janelle as she returns to HCS as the occupational therapist, the school she attended, and where she was a paraeducator last year. A JSRHS graduate, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New England and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from UNH.

“I still live in Henniker and so enjoy seeing students around town.” Janelle loves playing softball, hiking, kayaking, and Freya, her therapy dog.

Kayleigh Zervos first-grade teacher at Center Woods Elementary School

Not only is Kayleigh Zervos returning to teach at the same school she attended as a child and where she did her student teaching, but she’s returning to teach first-grade in place of the teacher she had in first grade (Hope Bailey, who retired last year). Zervos is a graduate of John Stark and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from NEC.

“After completing my student teaching at CWES, I immediately knew that was where I was meant to be to fulfill my lifelong passion for teaching and supporting children every day,” Zervos said.

Ariel Freedman second-grade teacher at Center WoodsElementary School

“I’m so excited to start my official first year as a second-grade teacher at CWES. It feels like I’m living a dream to be able to teach at the school I went to when I was younger,” Freeman said of her new position.

Freeman is a familiar face at CWES as she was a long-term sub last year and a paraeducator the year before. She earned both her undergraduate and master’s degree in education from Keene State College. Besides teaching, her passions include music, yoga, mental health/personal growth. She’s also a big fan of her recently married older sister.

Sarah Kazakis second-grade teacher at Center Woods Elementary School

Coming on board as a second-grade teacher at CWES is Sarah Kazakis. A self-described late bloomer, Kazakis started on her path in education working with children and then providing direct support to adults with disabilities. Following these work experiences, she arrived at CWES in 2015 as a paraeducator and substitute teacher.

“When I became a para at Center Woods, I knew it was time to enroll in school and get my degree and teach; I always knew I wanted to become a teacher, it just took me some time to get here,” she said.

Kazakis is a graduate of Granite State College as well as John Stark. Her favorite pastimes include reading, fishing, four-wheeling, and baking.

Stacy Stanley fourth-grade teacher at Center Woods Upper Elementary School

Our new fourth-grade teacher at the Upper Elementary School, Stacy Stanley, may be a familiar face to many. She grew up in Weare and graduated from John Stark. Right after she married, she moved just down the road to Goffstown, where she continues to live with her husband and two girls. A graduate of Notre Dame College, Stanley has been teaching in New Hampshire schools since 2000. But her very first experience in a classroom was at CWES, where teaching was part of her senior project at JSRHS in 1996.

Outside of the classroom, she loves watching movies and is a big fan of Disney films. A crafter, Stanley likes making jewelry and woodburning. She is also very active as a scouting mom.

Chloe Labrie science teacher at Weare Middle School

Former WMS student and JSRHS graduate Chloe Labrie returns as the science teacher for grades 7-8. After completing a dual degree in biology and secondary education from Keene State College this spring, she says she’s thrilled to return to SAU 24 as a teacher and to work with the many people that made a huge impact on her life.

“I love science and I’m so excited to work at WMS with a team that does, too. A team that gives students the opportunity to learn science by being scientists,” she said.

Outside of school, her hobbies include reading, taking care of her plants, and repairing and refinishing furniture.

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