“She’s doing a great job, she is always here on time and ready to go. She is very positive, and she has a very confident personality. So far she has been able to joke around but she is also able to be serious when she needs to,” stated fellow Physical Education teacher, John Morin, when he described Victoria Ficker, Oyster River’s new P.E. teacher.
Ficker was a standout candidate in the wake of uncertainty that was left after Emily Rogers, former ORHS P.E. teacher, announced her plans to move out west. Despite being a recent college graduate, Ficker has continued to impress faculty and students with her outstanding attitude, teaching abilities, and amazing love for sports.
Before Ficker joined the Oyster River community as a teacher, she originally pursued a degree in athletic training at the University of New Hampshire. However, as she continued with her higher education, she realized that she was going to miss out on the thing she loved most about sports: being part of the action.
“I realized that sitting on the sidelines and waiting for something to happen [was something] I could never do, I was too bored,” stated Ficker.
In face of this dilemma, she went to her college advisor for advice. In response, the counselor encouraged her to pursue a major in Physical Education. After taking and completing her first P.E. class, Ficker never looked back.
Ficker graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016, then worked as a part time Physical Education teacher at the Londonderry Elementary Schools before she heard about the job opening at Oyster River.
After an impressive interview with the Physical Education department, and administration, she was given the job.
“She was very calm, very relaxed. She was able to speak and articulate herself well…not everybody has that confidence,” stated fellow Physical education teacher John Morin, when asked about Ficker.
That confidence has shone through in the first month of her teaching. With a friendly smile and impressive personality she has managed to bond with the students as well as help them while learning new skills and games in class.
“She is awesome, accepting, and nice! If you have a question she not only tells you, but shows you how to do it,” stated Vivan Keegan, an ORHS freshman.
While students value their relationship with her, Ficker has enjoyed bonding with the students just as much, if not more.
“It’s great to have a relationship with you all, where I can talk to [them] and it’s more than Disney movies and tying shoes…everyone here is so awesome,” stated Ficker when asked about the atmosphere of her classes.
Though Ficker teaches mostly freshman, she still has the chance to bond with and educate upperclassman due to the new schedule the department is working with this year, allowing experienced P.E. students to return to class as mentors.
Brianna Rybinski, one of these senior P.E. mentors, described Ficker’s teaching as engaing. “She really knows how to fire up the kids. She also knows how to handle a situation. You can tell she knows what she’s doing whether it’s explaining a game to students or handling a situation… she is an all around great teacher that can adapt to every students needs.”
Ficker, along with the rest of the P.E. department, has high hopes for what can be offered in the following years. She is excited to work with both high schoolers and faculty towards creating more curriculum for the students.
“We want to add even more things. Especially adventure education, [with] ropes course and stuff like that. I just want to be involved in anything I can,” stated Ficker.
Once an avid field hockey, basketball, and softball player in high school, Ficker hopes to pass on her knowledge by potentially coaching one of the Oyster River sports teams.
“I want to be involved in some way, and coaching I absolutely love doing,” said Ficker, who has experience previously coaching softball and field hockey.
Despite wanting to continue this coaching as soon as possible, Ficker realizes that it is a first come first serve position. Seeing that the coaching positions for softball and field hockey are already filled, she will have to wait for a vacancy, “I don’t know [if] that it will happen this year, it will depend on the openings that they have,” stated Ficker.
Even though a position coaching may not come up in the next couple months, Ficker has opened up to the possibility of coaching intramural sports.
“I love intramurals, I think they are so much fun. I think you have such a different dynamic than you do on a sports team. It’s so much more fun and easy going; it’s less stressful,” said Ficker, who hopes students will join in her efforts and will want to continue the inclusive P.E. atmosphere that she has created.
Written by Sophia Graff