Teacher book club continues to thrive


Teachers at Rochester High at one of their meetings and discuss books and socialize.

Bailey Boerman

English teacher Ms. Julie Kuslits and media specialist Ms. Julie Harris were sitting around a couple of summers ago and started discussing the idea that there must be more people on staff who love to get together to talk about books in a relaxed atmosphere. From that discussion, a book club was born.
“The book club is a group of teachers, para-pros, counselors and secretaries who like to read and share their thoughts on the book,” special education teacher Mrs. Amy Cosentino said.
The first meeting was in September of 2014, and since then, the group has read several books.

“We read about 5-6 books a year so it’s about every 4-6 weeks,” Ms. Kuslits said. “We take off certain months, like December, due to the holidays.”

The members of the book club specially choose each title they read.

“People come to the meetings with suggestions or send me e-mail suggestions that we then pitch to the group,” Ms. Kuslits said. “I typically include a link to the novel on Amazon.com, so they can look at the reviews and cast an educated vote for the novel of their choice.”

Both Mrs. Cosentino and Ms. Harris’ favorite book they have read so far was “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

“Last year the big hit was ‘Gone Girl,’ and we even met to see the movie on the night it opened last fall,” Mrs. Kuslits said, who also liked the book.

Eleven members of the group met at Ms. Harris’ house on Thursday, March 26 to discuss “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. The last book club meeting of the year was held on May 13 at special education teacher consultant Mrs. Lorna Adams’ home, covering “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty.

Language arts teacher Ms. Kuslits believes that the book club has helped her reach out to teachers beyond her own department.

“Now we are so much more than people who work together,” Ms. Kuslits said. “We are friends who love to laugh and support one another and this book club has helped foster these relationships.”

Teachers have become very good at managing time between teaching and reading the books for book club.

“I read a lot over breaks, vacations and weekends,” Mrs. Cosentino said. “Many times I will give my mom and three daughters the books once I am finished with them.”

According to Ms. Julie Harris, everyone is free to voice their own opinions without judgement.

“Everyone is allowed to and comfortable with voicing their own opinion,” Ms. Harris said. “It’s ok to say you didn’t like the book when someone sitting next to you just said they love it. And what makes it ok is that we all have a healthy respect for each other, and acknowledge that everyone has different tastes, whether it be in food, clothing, movies they’d go see, or the books they like to read!”