“Feels like Home:” New Additions to the Clague Staff

Satvika Ramanathan and Emily Hu

Bares had always wanted to come to Clague for a very long time.

Even without entering the building, two teachers have found a new home with Clague Middle School.

“Since leaving Huron High School, I haven’t felt like any place was home before I came to Clague,” sixth-grade Spanish teacher Lisa Bares said. 

Bares, along with seventh and eighth grade teacher Andrea Jakubowski, is one of the two new Spanish teachers that joined the Cougar Pride. 

“I’ve been wanting to come to middle school and Clague for a very long time,” Bares said.  

She has been teaching in the Ann Arbor Public Schools for over 20 years, and taught at many schools including Huron and other elementary schools.

“It was a move I was hoping to make at some point, but I didn’t expect to make it in the middle of COVID-19,” Jakubowski said. 

This December will mark Jakubawski’s 13th year of teaching. She joined Clague at the beginning of second quarter. 

Online school has definitely been challenging and different for everyone, including the teachers. 

Jakubawski has been teaching for 13 years and is very excited to teach at Clague.

“There are so many factors that I can’t control,” Bares said. “When a student comes into my classroom or into my zoom, I can’t control things like maybe they didn’t have breakfast, or maybe they don’t have a good internet connection or maybe they have to take care of a little sibling at home.”

Both teachers seem to agree that right now things are really different and we have been pushed to think about more than just ourselves. 

“I think with COVID it really has forced us to reflect on what’s most important in our lives,” Jakubowski said. 

But, while things are different, the teachers have been adapting a lot and trying to work around any difficulties to make sure that everyone has the best experience in school as possible. 

“The students are the reason you get up and teach every day,” Jakubowski said. “Students make everything come to life and make everything exciting and you never know what someone’s going to say, and that makes teaching more interesting.” 

The teachers really do believe that Clague students are great. 

“I find the students to be very respectful, very engaged, and very cultural,” Bares said. “They are motivated and have a world mindset.”

Both teachers believe that the students here at Clague are great.

“The effort and the quality of the work has been wonderful so far,” Jakubowski said. “There’s just a sense of humor, a sense of community, and a real positivity that I picked up on already.”

She added she has really been enjoying the year so far.

“I’m really looking forward to developing relationships and that’s also why I’m excited about being in a middle school setting,” Bares said. “Why I went into teaching is to have positive relationships with my students, to connect with my students, and to make a difference with my students.”