Wednesday, September 18, 2019

By Elianna Novitch

It’s our favorite day of the week… “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday! This week meet alumna Rachael Pisarik (BA ’99 in Elementary Education with a specialization in K-8 Reading).

In her 21st year of teaching, Pisarik is an eighth-grade language arts teacher at South East Junior High School in Iowa City where she has been for five years. Before coming to South East Junior High, Pisarik taught elementary school.

She is married to Chris Pisarik, who is also an educator at Shimek Elementary School, and they have four daughters.

Pisarik says she is inspired by her students and their passion every day.

“I love how independent and passionate eighth graders are,” Pisarik says. “They inspire, delight, humble, and humor me each and every day. My students keep me on my toes – no two days are ever the same.”

Pisarik draws on inspiration from one of her professors during her time at the University of Iowa College of Education.

“Dr. Linda Fielding was a huge inspiration to me.  I've held onto the books I purchased for her class, and every once in a while, I will review the notes I took in her class,” Pisarik says. “The longer I teach, the more I realize how ‘spot on’ she was in everything she taught us about reading and writing.”

Pisarik still maintains an active partnership with the UI College of Education today.

“I've had wonderful experiences with both teachers and students from the UI College of Education in my classroom,” Pisarik says. “The strong partnership that has been built between the Iowa City Community School District and the UI has benefited all members of our community.”

Are you interested in being the next “Where Do You Work Wednesday?” or want to nominate someone? Message us on Facebook, tag them with #HawkeyeTeachers, or email us at