Words: Vaishnavi Mahalingam
This year, Centennial welcomed several new teachers to its staff. Each new teacher had different expectations for the year, and different opinions of how the year actually went.
Timothy Watson, a physics teacher, expected this year to be a lot of work, but stated that his goal was to do his best. He was looking forward to meeting and interacting with students. “My favorite part of teaching is this interaction through the medium of teaching Physics content,” he said. His favorite part of the school year was meeting interesting people and learning about the teaching profession and physics itself.
Danielle Holzman, a math teacher, hoped to grow comfortable with Centennial High School, and feels that she accomplished her goal. “I got back into teaching quite easily here, so I thank the teachers, admin, and students for making my transition so easy,” she said. She loved getting to know her students, and stated that she enjoyed seeing how welcoming, eager to learn, and caring her students are.
Alexandra Ward, another math teacher, expected at the beginning of the year that she would struggle a lot and be quite stressed, but be well supported by her fellow staff members. Her experiences, however, well surpassed her expectations. She enjoyed participating in numerous activities as a staff member, making new friends, and joining a kickball team with several of her coworkers. “This year has been absolutely amazing!” she commented.
Lauren Mancini, an English teacher, is not sure of what her expectations were for the year, but after seven years of teaching at another school, was ready for a change. She was looking forward to the opportunity to choose which books she would teach and how to teach them, an opportunity that had not been presented at her old school. Her favorite part of the year was getting to know the students over the course of the year. “It’s what I love about my job,” she said. “This year was no exception.”
Colin Moe, a special education teacher and Assistant Varsity Football Coach, expected to have a rough transition, as he came from an elementary school setting. His expectations were surpassed, however, because the support of his team members, the administration, and the students. “[I was looking forward to] working with a collaborative, caring staff and helping to turn the Centennial football team around,” he said. He thoroughly enjoyed observing all of the school spirit that Centennial has, especially regarding Homecoming, basketball games, Prom, and pep rallies.
Michelle Flynn, a math teacher, states that she did not know what to expect, but her experiences certainly surpassed any expectations she might have had. She was most looking forward to learning about all of the traditions at Centennial, meeting other staff members, and making new friends. WorldFest was her favorite event in the school year. “The different activities, food, and performances demonstrated the wealth of knowledge and experience this community has to offer and I am really honored and proud to be a part of it,” she said.
Lori Estes, an English teacher, states that she set high expectations for both herself and her English classes, and hoped that her classes would run smoothly. “I am incredibly proud that my students tackled some challenging novels throughout the year and honed their writing and analytical thinking skills along the way,” she said. She was most looking forward to the beginning of the school year, when students are generally in a good mood after summer break and have a great amount of enthusiasm and energy. One of her favorite parts of the school year was the week when most of the students were engaging in elaborate promposals, and she was given a chance to observe many students’ creativity.
Christopher Panzarella, a math teacher, said that he expected to teach a lot of high energy students and work with a strong department of teachers, and his expectations for the year have been surpassed. He was most looking forward to meeting all of his new students, and this was also his favorite part of the year. “I always enjoy when a student comes to visit me or ask me a question,” he commented.
Sean Griffin, a technology teacher, expected to build a rapport with the students and staff at Centennial, and to fit comfortably back in the classroom after being away for a year. His experiences met his expectations, though it took longer to accomplish these than he expected. There is no specific moment in the year that he looks forward to. “The fact is, I look forward to every day, because every day I come to work and get to do something I enjoy very much: work with young people. I know that sounds trite, but for me it’s true. I truly love my work, and cannot imagine myself doing anything else.”
William Hoffman, a science teacher, expected for it to take quite a while for him to become part of the Centennial family. “[However], it didn’t take me long to feel like I belonged at CHS because students and staff were so welcoming to me.” He was looking forward to a new challenge in his career, developing new lessons and growing professionally as a teacher. His favorite parts of the school year were working with new students and becoming part of Centennial High School.
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