While some students would prefer a silent study hall, others find enjoyment in the substitute teachers that grace McNicholas’ classrooms. However, due to the short amount of time they have together, students do not really get the chance to know their substitute teachers. Read below to learn more about McNicholas’ five substitute regulars.
Cindy Blecher is a first year substitute teacher. Before subbing, she was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. She found out about the opportunity to sub from her neighbor, Director of Curriculum Dan Rosenbaum. Blecher’s favorite subject to sub for is science, but she enjoys subbing for any classes that she is needed for. “I enjoy the kids and staff,” Blecher said. “McNicholas has a very welcoming environment.” Her strategy to prevent students from goofing off is to stress the importance of doing work during class so there is no homework later.
Blecher is currently studying for an exam to earn her teaching license in integrated social studies and will soon begin an educator training program through the Ohio Department of Education. This is a program for individuals who want to teach but have a degree in something other than education, as Blecher has a Bachelor’s degree in history. She hopes to one day have a full-time position teaching high school social studies.
Bob Brotzge, a Class of 1968 McNicholas graduate, is well known for giving each student a peppermint or other piece of candy at the end of class. After a career in finance, Brotzge has been subbing at various schools for three years but enjoys coming to McNicholas the most. “I believe in the values of the McNicholas institution and the caliber of the students,” Brotzge said. “They have respect, discipline, and a willingness to learn.”
Brotzge thinks that the challenge of being a substitute teacher is that they are only with a certain group of students for a day, which is a brief time to get to know them and share their thoughts. He has a passion for being in the classroom and his main goal is to show students that learning and having a good time are compatible. He attributes his ability of keeping students on task to having a balance of seriousness and a sense of humor.
Brotzge’s best teaching memories involve students asking him to come back to their classroom in the future. “It tells me that in some way, however small, I have connected with them. It is the most gratifying feeling that I’ve ever had in a career,” Brotzge said.
Steve Klonne, former McNicholas football coach and business teacher, is always happy to come back to McNicholas as a substitute. He thinks that it’s easier for students to see a familiar face than someone new when they have a substitute.
Klonne likes being a substitute teacher because he has the opportunity to be back in the classroom without the worry of making lesson plans, which are already made by the absent teacher. “I miss my classes, as far as personal contact with my students,” Klonne said. “[Coming back to McNicholas] is a win-win situation.” He hopes to get more involved with volunteer work when he is not busy subbing.
Erin Koewler is a first time substitute teacher this year. Her family friend, Director of Technology Andy Ey, suggested that she sub at McNicholas. Previously, she worked at a daycare. Her two favorite subjects to sub for are history and English, which she hopes to teach full time in the future. One of her main goals is to encourage respect from the students, which she does not have trouble doing. “Students at McNicholas work very hard and have a desire to learn,” Koewler said. “They are well-behaved and listen very well.”
Koewler keeps students on task by providing them with as much encouragement as possible. “I will try to relate the material to something current, and simply convey that I am there to help in any way possible,” she said. “Students usually work well without needing much motivation.” Koewler enjoys being around the kids, including her two younger sons. She also likes attending baseball games with her family.
Don Schlosser, known by students as ‘Mr. S,’ has been subbing at McNicholas for five years. Although he has no direct connection to the school, one of his close friends used to coach basketball at McNicholas. “I like the Catholic school atmosphere,” Schlosser said. “The students are always very nice and treat me well. They are self-motivated and always do the right thing.”
Before subbing, Schlosser was a math teacher, guidance counselor, and basketball coach at Archbishop Moeller High School for eleven years. His goal is to continue subbing at McNicholas when he is not busy with the insurance agency he owns.
One of his favorite subbing memories was joking around with a group of volleyball students. Schlosser’s niece attends Roger Bacon, and he went to the McNicholas-Roger Bacon volleyball game. McNicholas beat Roger Bacon, and he was subbing at McNicholas the next day. He had a few volleyball students in one of his classes, so he was joking around with them about beating his niece’s team so badly.