WESTPORT — When Sam Goldberg found out he got a second interview at Staples, and quite possibly a job there teaching English, he called his classmate and now officemate, Reilly Lynch.

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.

More Information

Name: Joseph DelGobbo

Hometown: Cheshire

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

Hometown: Shelton

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

Education: UConn

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.

@chrismmarquette/ cmarquette@bcnnew.com