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Junior high teacher shares about life, childhood

When describing the career and accomplishments of Hallie Rojeski, one could say that the word “teacher” is an understatement. After hearing her life story, some might find that it is nearly impossible to ascribe a single descriptive adjective to her name. 

Courtesy of Hallie Rojeski

Hallie Rojeski, right, lived the first year of her life with her mother, Betty Roscoe, before her father, Richard Roscoe, returned home from World War II.

Rojeski grew up in Denver, CO, with her parents and two younger siblings. As the daughter of a WWII veteran, she spent the first year of her life with only her mother before her father returned home from the war. 

“I was 18 months old before I actually saw my dad (Richard Roscoe),” Rojeski said. “Once he was home from the war, he worked for a telephone company and my mom ( Betty Roscoe) was a stay-at-home mom, which was normal at that time.”

The campus teacher describes her childhood as relaxed, enjoyable and focused on family. Before pursuing a career in teaching, she discovered an outlet for her energy in athletics. Those that know her understand that the world of sports had a big influence on her life. She ties many favorite memories and family experiences with church softball games.

“Some of my favorite experiences in our family were trips,” Rojeski said. “Others focused on the world of sports. The best memory involved my dad. He played softball for our church team in a fast pitch league. One year, he was batting fourth, and came for his first game of the year, bases loaded. No outs. First pitch he saw, he parked it over the fence, for a grand slam home run. I think that gave me a love for softball and baseball.”

Despite most sports remaining unavailable for girls during her high school and college years, Rojeski continued to participate in intramurals. She began coordinating her own softball and basketball teams.

Aside from sports, Rojeski enjoyed partnering with other groups and clubs, including Future Teachers Association (FTA), Girls Club, National Honors Society, Student Exchange and others. While actively involved in athletics, she found a passion for academics soon after.

Teaching had always been an inevitable aspiration for Rojeski. From a young age, she began instructing her younger siblings in their academics and from there, a fervor for learning and assisting others developed.

“I think I probably knew I wanted to be a teacher way back in elementary school,” Rojeski said. “For a while I thought it would be math. Some people thought I should be in P.E. However, I loved American history and had great teachers growing up.”

In the following podcast, Jewel Chandler interviews Hallie Rojeski about childhood memories and recollections.

Graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University and majoring in history, Rojeski taught various classes for 11 years. She moved to Fresno after previously teaching in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Colorado. She has taught subjects such as history, Bible, English and French. For the majority of her career, Rojeski has focused on teaching junior high, although she has experience teaching high school as well. 

Thirty-one of Rojeski’s 42 years of teaching have been spent at FC. Starting as a substitute her first year at Fresno Christian, Rojeski began her career as a full-time teacher in 1989. 

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

After teaching for 31 years at FCS, Hallie Rojeski prepares to retire. As her time at the school comes to a close, Rojeski’s history, Bible, and English classes will be remembered in the minds of her students.

She married her husband Donn Rojeski in 1972. Donn has taught alongside his wife for the past five years, teaching various high school courses. The pair have two children: Paul (FC grad 1996), an all-league athlete in high school and Diane (FC grad 1997), a cheerleader during most of her junior high and high school years. Both of her children graduated from Fresno Christian. 

Paul is currently in the Air National Guard in Fresno while Diane is married to Jeremy Pierce, assisting his work as an Elvis tribute artist.

“I truly admire her classroom discipline and strong commitment to maintaining an excellent learning environment,” Donn said. “As well as the way she keeps her Christian faith central in everything she does.”

Donn believes Rojeski’s commitment to students knowing and understanding the U.S. Constitution is important, as many schools do not teach it the same way. He shares what he has learned from his wife.

“Her example has strengthened my commitment to excellence in every aspect of the learning environment,” Donn said. “I only wish I had her natural ability in maintaining classroom control. For me, while I have sought to follow her example, it remained a work in progress.”

As Rojeski’s passion for history grew over time, she devoted herself to making an impact on the minds of her students by developing their knowledge of the past. While this has helped students learn valuable wisdom, Rojeski’s years of experience with students have taught her notable life lessons.

“I learned from my students not to take myself too seriously,” Rojeski said. “Especially when you teach junior high. I learned that just because a kid is struggling in school, that does not mean he’s a bad kid. I found a few kids that struggled in school and got into trouble a lot, had good heads on their shoulders when I sat down and talked to them one-on-one. They just had some growing up to do.”

Having fulfilled many successful years at Fresno Christian, Rojeski prepares to retire and enter into the next chapter of her life, starting the summer of 2020. Though her classroom presence on campus will be void in the coming years, memories of her lessons will endure in the minds of many students who have experienced her teaching.  

Courtesy of Hallie Rojeski

Rojeski met her husband, Donn, over Easter vacation in 1971 through mutual friends. They were married a year after, and taught for five years together at FCS.

Tryphena Gunawan, ‘24, praises Rojeski’s ability to engage students while teaching curriculum. She shares the impact Rojeski has had on the lives of students as well the teaching qualities that make her a memorable educator.

“Mrs. Rojeski is one of the greatest teachers I have had during my time at FCS,” Gunwan said. “In Bible and history classes, she does a wonderful job pointing things back to Christ. She strives to adequately prepare us for tests and assignments. Her love and passion for teaching is apparent. She has a tremendous impact on her students as well as the Fresno Christian community, and she will be dearly missed.”

Rachel Martin, ‘24, honors Rojeski’s passion for making history an enjoyable subject to learn. Martin credits Rojeski with making her junior high classes an unforgettable experience.

“Mrs. Rojeski is one of the greatest teachers I will ever have,” Martin said. “She always starts out her class with praying and reading a piece of scripture that we all need to hear. Mrs. Rojeski is going to be one of the teachers I will remember forever.” 

While Rojeski stresses the importance of key moments in history, she also strives to help students take away faith-based life skills from her classes. As a Bible teacher, Rojeski points to Romans 12:1-2, a significant verse that is memorized throughout her classroom. She hopes students will carry the trait of mindfulness throughout their daily lives.

Annabelle Messer | The Feather Online

Having fulfilled many years on campus, Rojeski prepares to retire and enter into the next chapter of her life, starting the summer of 2020.

Campus junior Caleigh Alday expresses her gratitude for Rojeski’s ability to include Christ throughout her lessons. Students recognize this defining trait in Rojeski’s teaching style.

“I appreciate Mrs. Rojeski’s drive to acknowledge Christ in every aspect of her teaching,” Alday said. “She values that God made all things possible and starting with prayer everyday in her class made me feel at peace.”

Alday looks back on fond moments that have made Rojeski’s class memorable. The junior’s love for history points back to her seventh grade experiences in world history class.

“My favorite memory in Mrs. Rojeski’s class was when she gave me extra credit on my Japanese culture assignment,” Alday said. “She explained that she was proud of me just as a seventh grader to keep doing the maximum in all of my classes. She really made me love history!”

From Constitution tests to Bible classes, Rojeski has become a renowned figure among the Fresno Christian community. She has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students in ways beyond her knowledge. Her drive to invest into the lives of her students will never be forgotten and forever appreciated by those who have experienced her class.

If you’ve attended Rojeski’s history or Bible classes in junior high, you’ve probably experienced some significant moments. Share those memories in the comments below!

For more articles, read Civilians around the world share COVID-19 experiences, struggles, pt.1 or Senior Reflection: Toryn Triplitt.

Morgan Parker can be reached via email and via Twitter.

Jewel Chandler can be reached via email and Twitter.

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