Meeting Madame Jouikoea

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Meeting Madame Jouikoea

Kate Sullenberger, Staff Writer

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In the French department at Olentangy Liberty High School, there is a new student teacher working with Madame Fejko. From growing up in Ukraine to fluently speaking four languages, Madame Natalia Jouikoea is not your typical student teacher.

Madame Jouikoea was born and raised in the Soviet Union (in present day Ukraine). Although she first learned Russian, Jouikoea grew up surrounded by the French language and culture.

“French has always been popular in Russia. Even the czars of Russia spoke French before they learned russian. Even in Russian literature, French is included greatly,” Jouikoea says.

When Jouikoea started college, her parents both wanted her to follow in their footsteps and pursue engineering. After graduating college with a degree in mechanical engineering, Jouikoea’s first job was teaching classes for a private college in Michigan on engineering instead of working in a plant like most graduates from her major.

“I decided that it didn’t really make sense to be teaching engineering when I wasn’t practicing it everyday because I did not enjoy doing engineering in its field,” Jouikoea says.

With the intent of expanding her French knowledge and being able to do something she loved daily, Jouikoea decided to switch career pathways.

“I knew that my passion lies somewhere else in languages, art, and literature. So I decided to go beyond what I already knew and learn how to teach French,” Jouikoea says.

Now, working as Feijko’s student teacher, Jouikoea hopes not only to learn and grow as a teacher this school year, but to also help students learn about jeux de vivre, the french style of believing and culture and to succeed in their journey through high school.

“I wish all the kids know not to waste time in school. They might think it’s endless, but this is a precious time for everybody who is here no matter what grade. Take your time to learn and use your time wisely. That’s the best you can do,” Jouikoea says. 

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