Xavier welcomes Ficken

Jenae Marshall, News Writer

With every end comes a new beginning. Mrs. Erica Kearns taught history at Xavier High School for nine and a half years, but this year she choose to move on. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee for her husband’s job, leaving her teaching position open for someone new. Mr. Zach Ficken, a student teacher who taught with Kearns for eight weeks during the beginning of the school year, was hired to fill her position. Ficken graduated from Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids in 2013 and attended Kirkwood Community College, where he received an associate’s degree in 2015. After Kirkwood, he transferred to Mount Mercy University, getting his teaching license and double majoring in secondary education and history, with endorsements in all social sciences.

“The biggest thing I learned from student teaching from Mrs. Kearns is to be yourself and to make sure to always put the students first,” Ficken said. “I also learned I spent a lot of time worrying about my schedule instead of the students.”

Ficken said it was completely unexpected to have a job opportunity open up so quickly, because social studies jobs are very competitive. He was excited to hear he had an opportunity to teach the students he had taught earlier in the year.

“The reason I chose to come teach at Xavier was hands down the students,” Ficken said. “I really enjoyed getting to know everybody and the faculty was really helpful. The best thing is the amazing sense of community. The relationship between the students and staff is on a level I have never seen before.”

Ficken is not the only person excited to have the opportunity to teach at Xavier.

“I watched him in the classroom when he was a student teacher,  and I thought he knew his stuff and he got students involved, and I thought he was professional,” Xavier Principal Tom Keating said. “He has a passion for his subject, lots of energy, and a desire to help students learn.”

Ficken looks forward to finishing the school year and continuing a successful career at Xavier.

Jenae Marshall

News Writer