Ms. Borkowski reflects on her final year of teaching


Emma Thumann

Culmen advisor and English teacher Julie Borkowski has worked in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood district for 22 years, and the 2019-2020 school year was her final one. Borkowski plans to retire at the end of the school year.
Borkowski started her career as a seventh-grade teacher at Park Middle School, and after three years, she came to SPFHS. 

“I started in New York, moved to New Jersey, worked as a sub for a while then taught in Cranford for a year. In fact, I taught my own daughter,” Borkowski said.

Borkowski’s final school year was certainly unconventional, with online schooling becoming the norm since Mar. 14. Google Classroom is in use much more frequently than usual, as teachers and other staff of SPF rely on the website to get their lessons to their students. 

I think the most difficult aspect of retiring this way is all the people to whom I won’t have the chance to say good-bye: faculty and students,” said Borkowski. “I do hope to come by in the fall to have those goodbyes, but that’s not the same as finishing the year the way I had hoped.”

When she retires, Borkowski plans to travel more and visit her new grandson more frequently in Boston.

My future goals are similar to my present goals,” Borkowski said. “I believe life is more positive than negative, and we need to make the best of what we can.”

She also plans to stay in touch with her close friends that she has made over the years. She will miss her students the most, as they have helped “keep it real” at all times.

I will miss the interactions; I will miss those ‘lightbulb’ moments; I will miss the humor and the joy that they bring to class every day,” Borkowski said.

Despite the plan-thwarting events the year of 2020 has brought, Borkowski’s plans and outlook on life remain unchanged. On behalf of SPF, we wish her all the best during her retirement!