News

A Warm Welcome to New Teachers

By NEHA CHOUDHARI,
KRISHNA PATEL,
JILL PATEL,
KELLY CHEN,
ROHAN MEKALA,
ANDREA QUISPE,
GRACE WU,
and KELLY YU

Ms. Boff, a new environmental science teacher, recently joined the JP community. Born and raised in Piscataway, Ms. Boff has lived in New Jersey for her whole life. After graduating from Piscataway High School in 2010 and Rider University in 2014, where she majored in geosciences and secondary education, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a science educator. She was originally a long­-term substitute but was recently hired as a full­-time high school teacher. Hoping to share her interest in paleontology and geology, she says, “I want my students to have that ‘Aha!’ moment!” Critical thinking is the main skill she tries to emphasize in her classes, in the hope that “students learn to interact with the world like scientists.” In addition to teaching, she is currently the class advisor of the class of 2018, the grade of students she first taught as a substitute. Ms. Boff enjoys not only teaching science but also traveling, crocheting, and upcycling, a unique hobby in which old products are creatively recycled.

Mr. Cashin was inspired to teach by the memorable and supportive teachers he had when he was a student. After graduating Cherokee High School in southern New Jersey, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters in Secondary Education at Rutgers University. Mr. Cashin recognizes that the impact of teachers on students extends beyond the classroom and wants to provide the same platform for success from his teachers to his own students. Excited about his new job at JP, Mr. Cashin says, “JP Stevens is a wonderful community of both students and staff members and I am very lucky to start my career here. It is great that they are always supporting me.” As an English teacher, Mr. Cashin feels English is a subject that applies to every career path. Outside of school, his hobbies include playing soccer, listening to music, attending concerts, and running. Ultimately, Mr. Cashin hopes to encourage his students to stand up for what they believe in, take joy in what they do, and in the words of his favorite quote, by Pope Francis, “Have the courage to be happy.”

Mr. George never expected to be a high school teacher. Mr. George pursued a career in the Marines after majoring in Social Sciences and minoring in Secondary Education. Although Mr. George served in the Marines for six years, he decided that this career path was not what he wanted to do, stating, “It was a very satisfying time, both personally and professionally, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. However, this job did not lead me in the direction I wanted to go.” Subsequently, he managed a trucking company for a short time, but he was not satisfied with the work. Mr. George finally used his teaching degree at John Adams Middle School, ultimately teaching there for over 20 years. Currently, Mr. George is not only teaching but is also working to complete his Masters in Homeland Security and is serving as an active member of the Air National Guard. In his free time, Mr. George is an avid gardener and enjoys hunting and running. Mr. George hopes to instill a sense of civic responsibility in his students and encourage students to put effort into whatever they do. He noted, “It was a little bit intimidating to come to JP Stevens, and it takes a while getting used to teaching older kids but it’s been worthwhile.”

Ms. May, the newest addition to JP’s technology education department, has always held a keen interest in the art of building and crafting. She fostered this interest as an architecture major at Drexel University, where she was able to work with major architecture firms while still attending college. By merging her passion for architecture with her love for travelling, she was able to study architecture abroad in Rome and Bosnia. Having the opportunity to teach architecture and woodshop is a valuable experience for Ms. May as she is able to relay this childhood passion with her students. Initially, when beginning her teaching career at JP, the behavior and attitude of the students impressed her quite a lot. Along with teaching Wood/Materials Processing Tech courses, Ms. May also instructs the Architectural Drawing and Engineering Design and Drawing classes. As a final note, she wants to remind students to embrace the vast majority of classes that are available to them at JPS along with their dedicated teachers. She advises, “Gather as much knowledge as you can and keep thinking!”

Mr. Milton, a new paraprofessional at JP Stevens, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Kean University. After graduating, Mr. Milton has held numerous jobs in the Edison district, including being a cameraman for the Edison TV channel. He especially enjoys working as a paraprofessional because of the student he works with every day. He and the student have been together for four years, ever since the student attended Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Every day, Mr. Milton makes sure that the student has a safe and easy time at school. Though catering to someone’s everyday needs can become overwhelming, it is never a burden for Mr. Milton. The joy of the job comes from the student himself because despite his handicap, he is kind and earnest. Outside of school, Mr. Milton is a huge sports fan, much like the student he helps, and he participates in triathlons. As a JP Stevens alumnus, Mr. Milton says it is good to come back and continue working at his high school.

Mrs. Nadel became a counselor because she wanted to help students determine their future. The college counselor position is new to Edison this year and was created to provide students and their families an additional resource and to supplement the current guidance counselors regarding college and career planning. of advice regarding college applications, in addition to the current staff of regular guidance counselors. Mrs. Nadel fell in love with counseling while in college when a friend recommended her for a counseling job in the Career Development Office in her school. She has many years of experience as a high school guidance counselor. For the past few years, Mrs. Nadel has been working at local colleges. After her first month at JP Stevens, she says, “I’m excited to be back working with high school students and their families. The people at JP are friendly and dedicated.”

Mrs. Nee, an environmental science teacher and among the newest arrivals to JP’s science department, was formerly a life science teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Mrs. Nee was only 12 years old when she discovered her love for science, specifically biology and life science, and decided to pursue a career in education. After graduating with a degree in biology and in chemistry, Mrs. Nee took a corporate job in analytical science but decided to apply for certification to teach biology after having children. While teaching at Woodrow Wilson, Mrs. Nee started an outdoor classroom to promote interactive learning with the environment. With years of teaching under her belt, she says that the most helpful tip she can give to a busy high­-schooler is “plan your work, don’t work your plan,” reminding students to plan their time efficiently rather than adjust their schedules.

Mr. Reid is very excited to share his passion for health and physical education with the JP family. He grew up with a large family of seven in San Diego, California. From a young age, Mr. Reid frequently played sports such as basketball, frisbee, and football; he quickly developed a passion for fitness and the outdoors. After attending high school, he joined the United States Military, where he first had the opportunity to teach. After falling in love with teaching, Mr. Reid pursued a teaching degree at Rowan University. He has taught all grade levels from kindergarten to 12th grade in his teaching career thus far, and has coached wrestling, baseball, softball, and basketball. Mr. Reid has also had the wonderful opportunity to work as the sports director at several summer camps in New Jersey. He believes that by incorporating a healthy and active lifestyle into our daily routines, we can positively affect every facet of our lives. Mr. Reid cannot wait to see both himself and his students achieve their fullest potential.

Ms. Vacca joined the J. P. Stevens Spanish Department to teach students not only the Spanish language, but also Hispanic culture. She graduated from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a teacher certification. Ms. Vacca is a huge fan of salsa music and loves playing it for her classes because she believes that exposing her students to salsa and other types of Hispanic music will allow them to fully experience Hispanic culture. Ms. Vacca is generally a brave individual who likes to pursue adventurous endeavors like zip­-lining and participating in the Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Great Adventure. In spite of her fearless character, she admitted that she was slightly nervous about teaching high schoolers since she has only taught second graders in East Brunswick before. After meeting the supportive staff and realizing that the students at JP Stevens are dedicated and caring, she found that she enjoys teaching both second graders and high schoolers equally because she can relate to each of them differently, and each age group presents different strengthens and weaknesses. Overall, she is very optimistic about her career at JP Stevens and wants her students to know that she will always be there to help them.

Mrs. Silberberg is especially eager to be a college counselor at JP Stevens with Mrs. Nadel. Before she was a counselor, she worked in health and welfare, where she realized that she enjoyed helping others. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, Mrs. Silberberg went on to obtain a master’s degree in school counseling at Montclair State University. As a counselor, she helps all students recognize colleges and career paths that may suit them. She finds her current job at JP particularly intriguing because she likes to hear students’ points of view and learn about what “makes each student unique.” She also reviews students’ essays and assists students with understanding financial aid. It brings Mrs. Silberberg pleasure to help students who are enthusiastic but unsure about their futures. She advocates mental wellness because she believes in “putting your best self out there,” applying this mentality to her counseling by making sure her students are able to reach their full potential. Mrs. Silberberg also loves helping teens outside of JP by spending her free time organizing youth social events. For Mrs. Silberberg, helping others is both a career and a passion. She looks forward to meeting more students at JP and collaborating with Mrs. Nadel to encourage students to be as successful as possible.

Ms. White, a new paraprofessional at JP Stevens, is no novice in the field of education. After studying public relations communication and education at Rutgers University, she worked in the North Brunswick school district for ten years before transferring to a preschool and kindergarten class in Princeton. After a year, she decided that she preferred working with older students, so she transferred to John Adams Middle School, where she assisted an eighth-­grade student in his classes throughout the day. Ms. White is still working with that student, who is now a freshman at JP Stevens and continues to assist him and his classmates all day. In her free time, Ms. White enjoys adding to her extensive sneaker collection, which currently stands at an impressive 80 pairs of shoes, participating in extreme outdoor sports, such as zip-lining and whitewater rafting, and spending time with her dog. She is also interested in coaching for the school basketball team in the future, as she used to play on her high school basketball team. Ms. White loves JP Stevens because “it feels like a community, and there is a sense of family here that [she] didn’t really feel at [her] high school.” She deeply appreciates the school spirit and the friendliness between all the students and faculty.

Image Source: http://zeyuanchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/welcome-stagma-world1.jpg

 

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