Daniel (Dan) Jurkowski is the newest physical education teacher here at Malden High School. Before coming to Malden High, Jurkowski was a paraprofessional in an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) at the Salemwood and was then a physical education teacher. He spent two years at Salemwood and then came to Malden High.
In high school he played four years of basketball, and before becoming a teacher at MHS, Jurkowski coached the girls varsity volleyball team and it was also the first all girls team he had ever coached.
Jurkowski states that “it was a natural transition to teaching physical education.” He has an extensive background in coaching which made this change easier. He has coached basketball and volleyball for a total of five years now which lead Jurkowski to the new physical education. position at MHS.
“[His] goal is to make connections with as many students as possible,” he emphasizes. As a coach, he only had the ability to connect with athletes, but now he will be able “to build relationships with the entire student body.”
Chris Mastrangelo, Head Principal at Malden High, states that Jurkowski’s ability to “connect with kids is outstanding. [Jurkowski] knows the district, many kids, coaches at the high school, and is a great [physical education] teacher,” added Mastrangelo. Doubts are natural, especially when hiring teachers, but not for Mastrangelo. “Truthfully, [he has] wanted [Jurkowski] here for years.” He believes that “[Jurkowski] has the perfect temperament for this school.”
Jurkowski has also become a certified health teacher, and this will be his first year teaching health as well as teaching a high school physical education class. “[He] hope[s] the students enjoy the class and learn something from it” stated Jurkowski. The health curriculum this year is based on life skills and with this, “[he] is hoping the kids will be able to use what [they] learn for years to come.”
One of his sophomore students, Jasmine Luc, is very fond of Jurkowski. Teachers have over a thousand names to remember every year yet Luc mentions that “[he] remember[ed] [their] names quickly and even watches [his students] play sports.”
Sophomore Adriann Monahan-Dasilva believes that Jurkowski’s class is different from her other courses because she states that “he let’s [them] do what [they] want and makes the class easier.” Making connections with students is a very important thing for teachers, especially for the students. Dasilva “feel[s] like [Jurkowski] connects with the students where it is appropriate and like[s] that he checks up on [them].” She personally expects to be “more interactive because he makes the class likeable.”
You can find Jurkowski in the gym (H013).