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FEATURE: Wardynski positively impacting Batavia

Multitasking jobs isn’t easy for most people. Maddy Wardynski, a preschool teacher at the Early Childhood Center in Batavia and a Batavia High School dance team coach, is one of many people who can example of someone who is excellent at multitasking. By day, Wardynski works with preschoolers, some who are typically-developing and some with different diagnoses such as autism, cerebral palsy, and deafness/hearing impaired. By late afternoon, Wardynski shifts to the role of dance team coach, working with high school students and preparing them for performing at football games, homecoming events, basketball games and dance competitions. Throughout it all, Wardynksi keeps a smile on her face and a positive attitude.

Wardynski grew up in Batavia, but she attended St. Francis High School in Wheaton, where she was on the dance team. Both of her parents were teachers, which inspired her to become a teacher.

“I wanted to work with preschoolers and start their years of school in a positive environment,” she said. 

After high school, Wardynski attended Iowa State University and was a member of the dance team there. She majored in early childhood education, with a minor in child, adult, and family services.

She landed a job at Alice Gustafson School (AGS) in the Early Childhood Center in 2021. According to AGS principal Kiersten Stevens, Wardynski is super positive all the time. 

“She’s upbeat and she’s with 3 and 4 year olds all day.” 

Her praise for Wardynski continues when speaking about her interactions with parents and students. 

“They are totally comfortable around her. Talking with parents, she cares for all kids.” Stevens also said, “She keeps trying. She doesn’t give up on kiddos and their skills and levels. She adapts to the way they need.” 

Not only does Wardynski’s positivity and caring personality shine to her colleagues, but to the young students she serves, as well. , 

“I think Ms. Wardynski is a great teacher for the younger generations and cares a lot about her students,” said Rachael Lovestrand, whose daughter is in Wardynski’s class. “I can tell by the way my daughter comes home from school and says how much she loves Ms. W as her teacher!” She says her daughter always comes out of school with a very happy and positive attitude. 

At the end of the school day, Wardynski packs up her positive attitude and cheery smile and takes it just a few blocks away to Batavia High School Dance team practice. She works with both the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams, however she is the main coach for the JV team. Dance has been a part of Wardynski’s life since she was a young girl. 

“I grew up with dance my whole life, and it was something I wanted to continue to do. And I always was inspired by my coaches. I want to create that same love for dancers. Have dance team be their favorite part of high school.” 

Her dad is also a football coach and a dean at Wheaton North, so it seems truly fitting that Wardynski is a coach. 

Wardynski has had a positive impact on the dancers she coaches. “Dubs has taught me to keep going even when things get hard,” said dance team captain Gaby Oke. “She has not only helped me grow a lot with my overall dancing but also with who I am as a person because she always gives me great feedback” (Gaby Oke). 

“Dubs has helped me in my dance team career by always keeping me motivated and by providing new ideas,”  said captain Gwen Bohr. 

“She’s been super supportive and positive which has uplifted our team and helped us reach our goals. And I would say the same thing for what makes her a great coach. Her positive attitude, how she pushes us, she cheers very loud, she’s very motivating, gives great corrections, is very organized and is energetic” (Gaby Oke). “Her hardworking personality makes her a good coach and person because she constantly strives for improvement” (Gwen Bohr).

She has also had a positive impact on her co-coach and fellow Batavia teacher, Ryanne Marks.

“She has brought new ideas, that she brought from high school and college.  Changing our way of communication and structure of practice.”

Wardynski is planning on being in Batavia for the foreseeable future. When asked how long she will be teaching and coaching in Batavia,  Teaching, hoping forever, coaching, I’d like to coach for as long as I can cause I love it.”

When asked what advice she would give her younger self she say, “Stay in the moment, don’t stress yourself out, enjoy what you have while its happening.”

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