The appeal of Eaton


First year EHS teachers reveal what drew them to Eaton

Out of about 50 staff members at Eaton High School, 6 of them were welcomed into the EHS family at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. This list of first-year teachers includes Kelly Kochiever, Jaryn Guirra, Derek Weigle, Kylie Griffin, and Lori Lockman. There are also some new faces among the paraprofessionals and many of the student teachers.

Each of the teachers expressed their love of the small town feel and tight knit community. Griffin said, “I just think that tight-knit feeling of family and community as one is really important to me, and Eaton is a perfect example of that.” Kochiever said, “Initially what drew me to the High school was the small town feel,” and Weigle said, “I like that Eaton is a small town, with that tight community feel, but not too small.”

New sophomore language arts teacher, Kylie Griffin said, “I live in Fort Collins, and I taught at a very large high school there for a few years, and I felt like just a number in many ways. I took a while away from teaching, and decided if/when I went back to teaching, I didn’t want to be just a number. I wanted to get to know students that weren’t just in my classes. I wanted to be able to be a part of a community.”

Kelly Kochiever, one of the new counselors, said, “I had heard about the high expectations and excellence that was happening here in the school district, so that was appealing to me as I was starting my family. I transitioned to the high school this year after being the counselor in the middle school for 10 years because of the new challenge professionally and personally, once again because I heard nothing but good things about the staff and students and the culture here at EHS.”

I just had a gut feeling, like I just knew I wanted to work here.”

— Jaryn Guerra

Freshman language arts teacher, Jaryn Guerra said, “I just had a gut feeling, like I just knew I wanted to work here. And then, when I started learning more about Eaton, what drew me here was the excellence and how the teachers here described the students. They said, ‘The kids are great, they are so nice, and they want to learn, and they will do what you ask’ and that’s pretty unique to high schools, especially the ones that I have been in so far. And so, I was drawn to that idea that the students already want to be good, and we can push them to be even better. That was what was intriguing to me.”

Math teacher, Derek Weigle said, “I am originally from Colorado, and when I found out I was having a son, we searched and searched for a school for my son to go to, and Eaton was our choice for many reasons. So then, ten years later when I decided to be a teacher, that popped up on my radar, and through a bit of research and talking to some people, and then meeting Mr. Tapia at the teacher fair, all of it just clicked. I just knew that this is where I wanted to go.”

The other new counselor, Lori Lockman, said, “My husband is from here, and he has an excavating business that he’s done for 22 years. He was established in the area, so we decided to move here a little over a year ago. I didn’t work right away, and I truly missed being around kids. I substituted a lot, but it wasn’t the same. When this job opened up, I was very excited. I had heard good things about Mr. Tapia and what he was doing here at the school, and I wanted to be a part of it. I’m so thankful to be back to being a counselor in such a fantastic school, with the amazing staff, and working with such GREAT kids. I’m hoping to be here for many years to come, and I’m looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you. ”

The newest member of the Special Education staff, Elizabeth Bratsky, said, “I was really excited about coming to work at a small town and working with this group of students. I had just dreamed about working in a little agricultural community, and I have just heard such wonderful things about Eaton.”

With all of the options of schools in Weld County, why are teachers drawn to Eaton High School? There was a common consensus that the excellence and high expectations at the high school were some of the main draws. The level of respect and strong values at EHS tops every other school in question. Teachers also love the tight-knit community and how the school and town keep the teachers and students close. The reputation of Eaton High School and those who go there, whether to teach or learn, has set the bar of standards very high for years to come.