It would be impossible to celebrate 25 years of FXW without celebrating one of our most valued and treasured resources—our wonderful teachers. FXW teachers demonstrate unwavering commitment to our students and to FXW’s mission each and every day. One way in which FXW teachers demonstrate that commitment is by seeking advanced degrees and participating in professional development opportunities.
There are over 62 FXW teachers with master’s degrees, with another 5 currently pursuing. This Spring an additional 7 teachers will be entering a reading specialist cohort program. Aside from pursuing advance degrees, teachers at FXW regularly participate in continuing education opportunities. The most popular include: ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States) workshops, the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Workshop through Columbia, Chicago Area Writing Project, and McRel.
Continuing education and professional development is one way in which our teachers demonstrate their commitment to providing the very best education possible to FXW students, but that is not the only way FXW teachers go “above and beyond”. Many of our teachers, give back to the school by coaching, tutoring, leading extracurricular activities, and so much more.
Take Lindsay Mosshamer, for example. She is a second and third grade science teacher, but after the school day ends, she is just getting started on most days. Lindsay coordinates a basketball clinic for first through third grade boys and girls; runs a volleyball clinic for second and third grade girls; coordinates Girls on the Run for third grade girls and coaches track and field for second and third grade boys and girls.
If you haven’t seen Lindsay during one of her coaching endeavors, perhaps you recall her at Mardi Gras or FunFest or a Holiday Concert snapping pictures. As the unofficial school photographer, she takes pictures at most school-wide events. Or, perhaps, you may have caught her smiling face running the concession stand at HNC during home basketball games. The morning broadcast is one way that our two campuses stay connected. Ms. Mosshamer is integral in maintaining that connection as she “produces” the OSP portion of the broadcast.
Ms. Mosshamer counts every one of her ten years at FXW as a blessing and feels fortunate that she is able to contribute in so many diverse ways. According to Lindsay, “FXW is a community that you just want to be a part of” and considers it “her home away from home.”
FXW has also been a home of sorts to five members of the O’Rourke family. John O’Rourke, affectionately known as “Mr. O” by his sixth grade social studies students has been on the FXW faculty since 2003. He has taught religion, physical education and science in addition to serving as the school’s Athletic Director during his tenure.
The O’Rourke family connection to FXW started with John’s mother, Mary O’Rourke, who was the pre-school director at OSP from 1997-2012. His sister, Martha, also preceded him as an FXW teacher, as she taught seventh and eighth grade language arts and social studies from 1999-2002. Mr. O’s other sister, Mary Clifford, taught pre-school from 2009-2014.
Mr. O met his wife, “Miss Brooke”, at FXW, where she serves as the speech pathologist at OSP. His younger twin sisters, Kathleen and Elizabeth spent many summers working at the FXW front office during their high school days. Mr. O says that his mother had such a wonderful experience at FXW and thought so highly of the school that it inspired him and his siblings to explore careers at FXW.
Mr. O says that it was “FXW’s emphasis on educating the whole child, the de-emphasis on grades and an increased focus on ensuring children appreciate learning” that attracted him to FXW when he made a career transition to become a teacher and drew so many of his siblings as well.
FXW is fortunate to have teachers like Lindsay Mosshamer, John O’Rourke and so many others who are committed to educating “the whole child” and who each, in their own way, have a unique connection to FXW that transcends the classroom walls and reaches into the students’ hearts and minds.