Who is the longest serving teacher in Fairfield?
Our town’s educators with the longest amount of years behind her is Roni Yessenow, currently an art teacher at Burr Elementary. Forty-two years ago Yessenow began her career teaching in Fairfield, and over the years she has taught at Sherman, Stratfield, Grasmere, Dwight, Osborn Hill, Riverfield, Mill Hill, and one year at Fairfield Woods Middle School.
How is that for impressive? “My favorite thing about teaching is when students get excited about learning a new skill or concept and create a piece of art that they love. It is so important to their early development that children get the opportunity to create using the right side of their brain,” explains Yessenow.
Recently, while touring the Getty Center Art Museum in Los Angeles, Yessenow bumped into two former Burr School students who are now juniors in high school. They were there with a UCLA photography program, and told her they are both planning to major in art in college. “A teacher’s influence reaches into the future. I’m still smiling about that!” she says. Yessenow likes to point out that art uses math, problem-solving skills, and motor skills, and kids learn history while making art. Is retirement in her near future? Probably not, she says. “There are many more things I want to share to inspire my students!”