Former student teacher joins staff at Chatfield High School

Zach Slowiak student taught at Chatfield last year, but now joins the faculty at the high school. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
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Zach Slowiak . . . SWAT.

“As a kid, I wanted to be a professional athlete, but outside of that, I wanted to be a SWAT officer,” remarked new Chatfield High School instructor Slowiak.

Instead, life led him in another direction.

“I teach U.S. history, geography, media production, and Introduction to Technology,” Slowiak said. “The reason I chose to teach what I do is that in high school, I had an extremely influential social studies teacher, and he changed the way I look at school and social studies. I chose to be a teacher because I love those ‘I get it’ moments for students, and my mom was a teacher, so it is in my blood.”

The 2014 Chippewa Falls High School graduate attended Saint Mary’s University in Winona.

“This is my first year teaching. I just graduated from Saint Mary’s this past year. I have not taught in a school prior to Chatfield, however, I did student-teach in Chatfield last year,” Slowiak said. “Chatfield was a great fit for my personal and professional life. I love how up-to-date the technology is in Chatfield, the staff is great to work with, and my fiancé is a nurse at Mayo, so it is a perfect fit.”

Slowiak said he is most anticipating learning from the staff around him this year. “Since I had the opportunity to student-teach here, I was able to witness how great the staff is with students and each other,” he said. “This really makes me excited to work with and learn from these people every day.”

He cited that he looks forward to witnessing growth in his students and himself. “The aspect of my particular subject and grade level that I anticipate the most about is growth in both students and myself. Since I teach from grades seven through 12, I will get to see a lot and work with a lot of different ages. Working with students is one of the most exciting parts of the job,” Slowiak added.

He is most excited about forming strong relationships with students and helping them see that they can achieve heights they never expected.

“The difference I hope to make in a student’s life is to give them a person they can come to and be a role model of how to act in all situations,” he said. “In my opinion, the most important thing students need to learn in school is how to speak in an academic and professional manner. Also, I want to show students that they can do what they put their minds to. Failure is only failure if you do not learn from it.”

He’s got his own challenges as he becomes a first-year teacher. “There are a lot of challenges I see in this upcoming year. I have to work with four preps, which is going to be exciting and difficult at the same time,” Slowiak admitted. “Also, the adjustment form college kid to adult teacher is going to be a challenging but fun transformation that will happen this year. Some activities I hope to do during the school year is coach, help lead clubs, help with activities throughout the community and anything that staff members or the school needs me to do to make Chatfield High School as welcoming as possible.”

Slowiak lives in Chatfield with his family.

“Right now, my family consists of my fiancé, Riley, my dog, Wrigley, and myself. Riley is finishing her final semester of nursing school and plans to continue working in the Mayo system. Wrigley is a 5-month-old boxer puppy who loves living life every day. In my spare time, I love keeping up with and play sports – especially baseball and football. I have been golfing a lot as well,” he concluded.