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Wellsprings is Back

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

Wellsprings is back in action with our entire staff gathered here on campus, preparing for the return of our student body!

New faces, old traditions and facility upgrades await our incoming students. Teachers are bustling about setting up their classrooms and our team can't wait for this exciting school year to begin. It is truly a joy to be welcoming our students back in person again this year. We have high hopes and big plans for the continued growth of our lifelong learners and community.

In a generous show of support, our longest standing Board member, John Etter (sometimes affectionately referred to as Saint John) donated his time and financial backing to renovate the Wellsprings kitchen. Students and staff will return to a beautiful new culinary environment, complete with new countertops and electric wiring. We can't wait to see the delicious meals that come out of this newly transformed piece.

A big Wellsprings "thank you" goes out to Janelle McCoy and our partners at Friends of Buford Park . Janelle's goats, sheep and one cheeky alpaca aided our Wellsprings wetlands in clearing unwanted flora such as blackberry and poison oak. As a registered wetlands, the Wellsprings Wetlands is a habitat that contains a great deal of native plant life. For this reason we take great care in stewarding this precious place in the most organic and least disruptive ways possible. The area looks wonderful and we are excited to advance the process of building our outdoor classroom.

Our newest addition to the Wellsprings Friends School Family is our new Social Studies teacher, Bryan Jochumson! Let's learn more about him in the interview below!

1. Welcome Bryan! We are so excited you are here. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to want to be our new Social Studies teacher?

Bryan Jochumson (BJ): As I was working on my teaching degree, I decided that I wanted to learn how to manage students as a bus driver and to use that knowledge to help manage kids in the classroom. One of my routes was to bring a student to Wellsprings. Throughout the year I saw a productive and positive change in this student's outlook on school and life. It was inspiring. I wanted to be the kind of teacher that could help facilitate that kind of change in a young person's life. When I saw that Wellsprings was hiring I dropped what I was doing and applied right away! Now that I am here I have discovered that Bob Schlichting, the math teacher, is my new hero!

2. What are some of your favorite things to do?

I love the water. Boating, kayaking (see photo above), swimming, drinking, showering, the list goes on. I also enjoy building high end river and live edge tables. On occasion I look forward to working on my cars and building things on my property.

3. Did you always want to be a teacher? If yes, was there something specific that happened to prompt your career choice? If not, how did you get here?

I have always been a teacher. For the majority of my career, I have been training and developing managers, sales professionals and photographers however inspiring and teaching kids has always been a passion of mine.

4. What are some of your favorite things about working with students?

This might sound a bit strange but as I look back on my time working with students the best memories are the days that are really challenging. It seems like those days when a student is struggling are the days that you see growth develop with all of us. That growth inspires me.

5. What was your first purchase made with your own money?

Food, I grew up poor and the first purchase I made with my first paycheck was food for my mom and I.

6. Speaking of food, if you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Great question, right now I would go with an El Burrito Suprimo from Burrito Boy--however I reserve the right to change my answer tomorrow.

7. Describe one of your favorite lessons and why it's your favorite.

My favorite lesson I have learned is to listen. It is amazing how much I have learned by just making sure that I am present with other people and listening to them...oh wait, I should have paid attention to your question...So my favorite lessons are the ones where students are actively working with the content that I am presenting. For example, I have a lesson where they throw soft balls at each other with a set of rules that help them understand trench warfare.

8. If you could time travel, when and where would you go?

I would take the full experience package with this journey. I would start off with watching them paint on the caves in Lascaux about 16,000 years ago and work my way forward through time making pit stops along the way to chat with amazing people. I would also use that power to go back and find my keys when I forget where I put them.

9. What else would you like to share with the readers of the Wellsprings Way?

I am so grateful to have this opportunity. The staff at Wellsprings are incredible. Knowing that I am part of an elite team of educators is inspiring. Their advanced approach to education is life changing for students. Who wouldn't want to be part of that kind of culture?

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