Odd Jobs Teachers Held Before Coming to Helias Catholic By Abi Fast

Many students may have wondered what kind of oddball jobs their teachers have held but kept quiet about.

Mrs. Kathy Jarmin used to be a ward clerk at St. Mary’s on the fourth floor in the medical wing. When asked about her most interesting experience working there, she said, “I had to take a dead body to the morgue in the basement once. That was kinda creepy.”

As an engineer, Mr. Matt Zeitz worked in the diaper department at Procter and Gamble. Coach Ron Eickmeyer was the only guy working at Pizza Hut and also worked as a bouncer at a bar. Some teachers, such as Coach Brad Hake, have held a wide assortment of jobs. Hake has worked at a firework stand, Wagner Motor Service, Schulties IGA, sold Christmas trees, done custodial service and construction work. He has also worked as a primary school teacher, but he claims they were less fond of his jokes. “The most important job I have,” Hake stated, “is to be a dad to my kids.”

Mrs. Shelley Swoyer used to be a practicing family and administrative lawyer. She says her most exciting case was a pro bono case for a prisoner who had murdered his roommate.

“It was really difficult doing law,” Swoyer said. “It was really depressing, and I have been a lot happier since I quit.”

“We got to eat anything that broke,” Mrs. Mary Flowers commented about her time at Gerbes as a bakery girl. She and her sister also did singing telegrams. “We appeared on T.V.—on a local channel—once to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to an anchorman.” Flowers used to work with Christian Service Volunteer Program in Brookfield, MO. She did counseling, communion, youth ministry, and other volunteer work. One day, she told us that they had decided to take the “oldsters” (as they called the elderly people) to see her home in a neighboring town. “We couldn’t get in,” Flowers said, “so the woman instructed me how to open the kitchen window and I crawled through.”

Mrs. Christina Bockwinkel-Baker was a youth minister in St. Louis.

“I loved working with teenagers and talking to them about their beliefs and lack of beliefs,” she said. Bockwinkel-Baker said that since it was hard for kids to find time to come to youth group, she went to their sporting events, had lunch with them, and on retreats with them, which is how she first met the REAP Team. Bockwinkel-Baker realized she wanted to teach when a friend told her she needed to figure out what her heart wanted her to do. She started out at Helias as Campus Minister and taught some and then became a full-time teacher in 2013.

“I’m always really hard on myself as a teacher and Sister Barbara is really great in trying to point out our [the teachers’] strengths,” Bockwinkel-Baker said. “And those moments I was looking for as a youth minister, those happen in this classroom.”


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