UConn teaching duo share office atStaples
Published 9:00 pm, Friday, September 2, 2016
The two rookie Staples English teachers became friends when they were first semester senior English majors at UConn and had overlapping schedules. As they both headed on to the UConn Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG), their friendship grew.
Goldberg and Lynch are among 33 new hires joining the Westport Public School staff this year.
One of their professors, Berlin Superintendent of Schools Dave Erwin, introduced the pair to Westport School District Human Resources Director John Bayers when he came to their class and mentioned the English teacher openings at Staples.
Erwin pushed his students to give Westport a shot.
Name: Joseph DelGobbo
Grade/ subjects taught: English I, Advanced Journalism
Education: B.A. Loyola University, M.A.T. Quinnipiac University
Previous employer: Danbury High School
Reason for coming to Staples: Great opportunity
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Diverse set of interests/ skills
Interests outside the classroom: Travel, sports, theater
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Name: Phil Abraham
Grade/ subjects taught: 9-12, Geometry, AP Stats
Education: B.A. UConn, M.A. University of Bridgeport
Previous employer: Bridgeport Board of Ed
Reason for coming to Staples: Working with a great department and community
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Well-rounded individual who pushes students to succeed
Interests outside the classroom: Football/ wrestling coach, musical theater
Favorite book: Breakfast of Champions
Name: Reilly Lynch
Hometown: West Cornwall
Grade/ subjects taught: English 9A, Intro to Journalism
Education: B.A. UConn, M.A. UConn
Previous employer: N/A
Reason for coming to Staples: Amazing community and opportunity to start my career
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: I bring a sense of enthusiasm, passion and a sense of humor to everything I do.
Interests outside the classroom: Soccer, hiking, fantasy/sci-fi novels, America Ninja Warrior
Favorite book: The Wise Man’s Fear
Name: Kim Curran
Hometown: Old Brookville, NY
Grade/ subjects taught: High School Counselor
Education: University of Rhode Island and St. John’s University
Previous employer: Syosset High School
Reason for coming to Staples: great school to work in!
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: experience and love of the job!
Interests outside the classroom: reading, exercise, and playing with my kids!
Favorite book: Man’s Search for Meaning
Name: David Stockwell
Hometown: West Hartford
Grade/ subjects taught: 11th grade English
Education: B.A. Skidmore College, M.A. University if New Hampshire
Previous employer: French American International School
Reason for coming to Staples: Move east
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Published poet and author, musician
Interests outside the classroom: Fixing old British cars
Favorite book: In Cold Blood
Name: Danielle Spies
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Grade/ subjects taught: 9th and 10th grade English 1A and 2A
Education: Florida State University
Previous employer: Joel Barlow High School
Reason for coming to Staples: Reputation of Westport
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Experience, background and passion
Interests outside the classroom: College Football, traveling, reading
Favorite book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Name: Justin Nadal
Hometown: Howells, NY
Grade/ subjects taught: Television broadcasting/ film 9-12
Education: B.A. Hofstra University
Previous employer: Immaculate Heart Academy
Reason for coming to Staples: Awesome program
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Broadcast experience
Interests outside the classroom: Baseball, performance, coaching
Favorite book: Born to Run
Name: Leslie Sporre
Hometown: Prospect, CT
Grade/ subjects taught: High School Guidance Counselor
Education: UConn, University of Florida, Central CT State University
Previous employer: Greenwich High School
Reason for coming to Staples: better commute and excellent school
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: I love working with students and making a difference in their lives. In my 15th year as a guidance counselor, I look forward to adding to my wonderful experiences.
Interests outside the classroom: Family, running, travel, outdoor activities
Favorite book: Once a Runner
Name: Katie Mahoney
Hometown: Wenonah, NJ
Grade/ subjects taught: Social Worker
Education: Wheaton College, Virginia Commonwealth University
Previous employer: The Glenholme School
Reason for coming to Staples: To enrich the lives of students in this wonderfully supportive district
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: personable, supportive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable
Interests outside the classroom: yoga, horseback riding, hiking
Favorite book: Omnivore’s Dilema
Name: Sam Goldberg
Hometown: Elkins Park, PA
Grade/ subjects taught: English
Previous employer: Cheshire High School
Reason for coming to Staples: I wanted to be a part of a community that values learning and personal growth above everything else
Unique qualities you add to the Westport community: Dedication, compassion, sense of humor
Interests outside the classroom: Cooking
Favorite book: The Alchemist
“I had actually planned on looking for jobs in Boston, but my professor said ‘You’re applying for this job. Come back here and meet John.’ He said this is one of the best schools in Connecticut—amazing place, amazing people working there. He’s a big part of the reason both of us are here,” Lynch said.
Both of them chose to apply to work at Staples. Lynch was hired first. After a couple of days, Goldberg performed a demo lesson and was called back for a second interview the same day of the lesson. When Goldberg realized a job offer was a distinct possibility, he called Lynch ecstatic.
“I called Reilly and I was like ‘I think this is happening.’ I called him in the car on the drive home after my demo lesson,” Goldberg said.
“He was like ‘I’m calling you before my mom, I’m so excited,” Lynch said. “I think I stepped out of a TCPCG (The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates) class to take the call. Because this was still during the year so we were very excited.”
Although starting a new job out of college is a challenging experience, Lynch says having a familiar face accompany him to Staples makes it easier.
“It’s definitely a relief to know someone and have someone in the same boat as me here. We also have very similar schedules. We’re both teaching three sections of freshman English at the same level at virtually the same times,” Lynch said. “So I’m super excited to plan and bounce ideas off of him.”
Goldberg feels both of them are fully prepared to take on the school year, especially considering the resources and support readily available at the high school.
“This is probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt going into a new and challenging experience. Out of the people in the department that we’ve met here, it seems like we have so much support that its more excitement than it is nervousness,” Goldberg said.