Naperville Central welcomes new staff members for the 2019-2020 school year

New staff member Adam Pucylowski shares his passions with the Central Times.

Vivian Zhao, Editor-in-Chief

Q: Can you tell me about the special ed department? What are your responsibilities and the classes that you teach?


A: Within the special ed department, we wear different hats. I’m fortunate that I get to work in a couple different classrooms, [and] we have different diverse learners in each classroom. My first period class is primarily focused on reading, teaching each student to read more comprehensively [and] increasing their skills with reading texts, whether it’s informational texts or actual novels. I also teach U.S. History, which is one of the things that I have a little background in from school. 


I also have a literacy workshop, where we’re just working on skills. It’s like a study hall, and we’re working on different academic skills or any homework that needs to get done in school or if it needs to get done. And the other’s just supervised study hall, so that’s kind of my day, and then I have a prep period in there somewhere too.


Q: Kind of bouncing off your background in U.S. History, can you tell me about where you’re from, what your educational background is? 


A: Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I went to private school my entire life. Coming into a public high school a couple years ago kind of opened my eyes. It’s just really amazing what we have here at Naperville Central.


I went to private school in the Milwaukee area, went to North Central College for college and studied some marketing and management. I coached college football for seven years. I left because I wanted to start a family and spend more time. The joy of teaching — because you’re teaching as a coach —  I lost when I went into the business world. 


I made the decision after working in the city — day in and day out, you take the train, I never saw my kid — and I said, “I’m going to do it.” So, I went back to school and got certified to be a teacher in special education, and with that certification I had some background classes in history as well.


Getting into it now, I have that connection where that light bulb pops on. That’s really what it comes down to teaching for me, helping facilitate and see our students grow.


Q: What was your previous job? 


A: Last year, I was a special assistant [at Naperville Central]. The year before that, I was a campus supervisor. I was able to be here for the last two years so I’m very familiar with the school, which helped that transition into teaching — that familiarity with the students and the culture. That’s the really amazing thing about Naperville Central; the culture. 


Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your hobbies and your interests, just you as a person?


A: I love my family. I have a three-year-old daughter, my wonderful wife. I want to spend time with them. I love to fish. I take a fishing trip every year, go fly [to] Canada with my dad and my brother. We usually do that yearly, and then I love golfing. It’s either I’m with my family, or I’m golfing or fishing, or I’m coaching, doing football stuff, so really, that kind of consumes my life.


I try to stay busy. You can get really complacent and then I get bored and find challenges. For me, teaching is a challenge but something I constantly want to get better at. You never feel like you perfect it. And that’s what college athletics was for me when I was in college, it was something I never felt like I perfected, so I’m mentally stimulated and keep getting better.


Q: Why did you become a teacher, and why Central? 


A: [In coaching], you’re working on certain aspects of a person’s game, and it’s just rapid, it’s not clicking, and then it clicks. You see it click. It is such an intangible feeling, an intrinsic feeling. It makes you so happy as a person to see what you’ve been working on with somebody finally click, and finally they get it. I lost that when I got out right on, even when I was in sales.


I love to see that connection. It may take weeks, months, but finally, once you see that connection made, you see the learning happen. It gives me a sense of pride.


There is a certain culture [that] is very tough to describe. Everybody’s not going to be always happy, but I feel like the vast majority of the students are happy to be here. The students are engaged in class, willing to learn. When you walk down the hallways, it’s just chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter, which is great. 


I realized this was the number one place I want to be. I love the community here. I love the people I work with, because it is from administrators to students, you develop that relationship. 


What’s your teaching philosophy?


A: Every student can learn what you’re teaching them, you just have to find a way to reach. That kind of comes down to; there will never be to a point where they can’t get it right. You don’t just stop.


As a teacher, you’re an expert, but if you have the mindset of “I’m an expert. I know everything,” you’re never going to grow.To sum it up, is maintain a beginner’s mind, be open to new ideas. Every student can learn what you teach them. You just need to adapt to them.


Do you have anything else you’d like to add?


I mean, really, at the end of the day, I love being here. I’m so thankful, so happy, so lucky, blessed, you can go down the list of adjectives, for being able to be part of Naperville Central.