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Know The District

We might be a little biased, but we think the people who work for the School District of Janesville are more than a  little AMAZING! And once you get to meet them, we think that you'll agree!

But SDJ has nearly 1,500 employees -- so getting to know each one would be just short of impossible.

In an effort to get you started, we present this story series titled "Know the District." Included here is a collection of question-and-answer profiles that feature SDJ staff members at facilities throughout the district. These include teachers, social workers, principals, paraprofessionals, counselors, directors, food service workers, IT people and other front-line folks whose commitment to students is integral in helping shape our leaders of tomorrow!

So check these out, and come back regularly for new additions!

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Tracy Schenk - Marshall Middle School


  • Name: Tracy Schenk
  • Position at SDJ: Early Childhood/Speech and Language Program Support Teacher, Marshall Middle School
  • How Long Have You Worked for SDJ: 18 years
  • Education: Bachelor's Degree, Communication Sciences and Disorders, UW-Whitewater; Master's Degree, Communications Sciences and Disorders, UW-Whitewater; Master's Degree, Educational Leadership, Cardinal Stritch University
  • Family: Husband, Joel; sons Brady and Aiden

  • TracySchenkWithHusband
    What was the first job you ever had, and what did you learn from it? I was a server at a supper club in my hometown. Some of the biggest lessons learned from that job were the value of money and the importance of relationships. When I was in high school, my parents provided my brother and I with the “essentials,” and we were responsible for buying any of the “extras.” Since most of my pay came from tips, I quickly learned that developing relationships with regular patrons was vital for making good tips and saving for the “extras.” 
  • If you could learn to do one thing, what would it be? One thing I’ve always wanted to learn to do but never had the opportunity is play the drums.I’ve always enjoyed listening to music but never learned to play an instrument.
  • What career path would you likely have taken had you not gone into education? I started college as an accounting major but decided I wanted to work in a medical setting with children, which led me to communicative disorders (speech therapy).  When I met with my advisor, he was convinced I would work in a school setting, not a hospital, which was confirmed after I visited the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee (I knew I wouldn’t be able to see sick kids every day. One day was hard enough). Since being in the school setting, I’ve always been interested in Special Education law and law in general. If I had known then what I know now, I might have studied law instead.
  • You are a big reader. What genre of book do you most enjoy, and what is currently on your nightstand? I wasn’t always a big reader, but a colleague always said I would enjoy reading once I found the right books. She recommended Janet Evanovich as an author, and I was hooked! When reading for enjoyment, I don’t have a preferred genre. I enjoy reading romance, suspense, thrillers and mysteries. If you were to look at my nightstand right now, you would find “Layla” by Colleen Hoover.
  • Do you consider yourself a picky eater? In short, YES! I will eat most meat (chicken, pork, beef) but will not touch fish or seafood (the smell doesn’t help). I’m not much of a fruit person except for apples, as long as they aren’t cooked! (texture plays a part in my dislike of fruit). Regarding veggies, I will eat frozen corn and peas or raw carrots, kohlrabi, radishes, cucumbers and lettuce. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and green beans are a big no for me. I don’t drink milk or eat yogurt, but I like cheese and cottage cheese.
  • You are a longtime volunteer for the district’s Delivering Bags of Hope initiative. How did you get
    TracySchenkWithOldestSon
    involved, how many years have you taken part and why do you remain involved? To be honest, I can’t remember exactly how long I’ve been involved, but I’m pretty sure I started volunteering the year the district took it over from General Motors. Cindi Seichter and I volunteered together the first year and then made it a yearly tradition. I stay involved with Delivering Bags of Hope because I enjoy helping and giving back to others. The event's highlight for me is seeing the excitement on people's faces when we deliver the food to their families.
  • What was your first car, and what do you remember most about it? My first car was a two-door Chevrolet Cavalier that I purchased during my junior year of college (I needed a car to apply for work at St. Coletta of Wisconsin in Jefferson). The one thing I remember most was that I saved the money to purchase the car and make the payments.
  • Share something people would be surprised to find out about you. Although I don’t own a gun, I enjoy shooting – as long as I’m shooting at targets, not living things!  
  • The best part of my job is: Working with the Rock County Birth to Three Program to transition children into the school district. I enjoy meeting the children and their families and supporting them as they make the transition to the school district. I also enjoy working with the special education staff within the district.
  • When you were a student, what was your favorite subject to study, and why? When I was in high school, I enjoyed anatomy and other classes that were related to the medical field. Dissection was one of my favorite activities, and I’ve always wanted to visit a cadaver lab but never had the chance. I never pursued a career in the medical field because I couldn’t do things that caused others pain.
  • Name one item at the grocery store that goes into your cart whether you need it or not. Cookies! I have a sweet tooth, and cookies are my go-to! Some of my favorites include Double Stuff Oreos or Nutter Butters.
  • Do you have any superstitions? I don’t know if I would say it is a superstition, but I always have Blow Pops in my pocket when watching baseball games. I also have a specific spot (near home plate) where I sit for all games.
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  • If you’re listening to the radio, what is one song you sing along to and one song that makes you turn the radio off? Many songs will have me singing in the car, but one of my favorites is “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves. I don’t turn the station because of a song, but I will stop singing!
  • Name something you’re incredibly proud of and something you regret. I am extremely proud of my two boys and the incredible young men that they are growing up to be. Although they both have very different personalities, they are both kind, compassionate and caring. They set goals for themselves and work hard to achieve those goals. One thing I regret is spending so much time in middle and high school worrying about what others thought of me. I spent a lot of time doing what I thought others wanted me to do instead of being myself.
  • You’re a huge baseball fan. What initially led to your interest in the sport? I’ve been watching baseball since I can remember. My dad always watched baseball when we were kids. As I got older, I started watching it with him and enjoyed it. My love of baseball increased when my kids started playing. My oldest son played baseball until he was 12, and then his focus changed to football and wrestling. My youngest played T-ball at age 4 and still plays baseball in college. He and I spent summers traveling around the Midwest to various baseball tournaments, which fueled my love of baseball.

 

 

 

Past "Know the District" Features