teacher feature: mrs. Johnson
By Madeline and Lisa Shin
Mrs. Johnson is the new science teacher on team 8 East, replacing Mr. Shenker as he moved into his new role as engineering teacher. Coming from Revere Middle School, she brings lots of experience teaching science. In fact, she has even created her own textbook!
Q: Do you like teaching at Wood Hill?
A: I love it. We do a lot of fun things as a team, like the Turkey Bowl and the community meetings.
Q: How are the students?
A: They are amazing. The students here really appreciate the hard work that I am doing here. And I love that they thank me everytime they leave class.
Q: What is your goal for this year for the students?
A: My goal is for my students is for them to love science as much as I do.
Q: What is your favorite topic to teach?
A: I have two, they are a tie. I like genetics because it is fascinating and I like teaching chemistry because it is hands-on.
Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: I like dogs because they are so loving.
Q: How is the community here at Wood Hill?
A: Really tight-knit.
Teacher Feature: Ms. Chu
By Lisa and Madeline Shin
Blasting in to join us mid-year, Ms. Chu is ready to teach Wood Hill about health! Although it will be a hard task, she is definitely ready for a challenge. As many of us might already know, Ms. Consiglio left Wood Hill to take a new job at the YMCA. It was very unfortunate, but we all hope that she will have a great time and future there! Once she left, a big search for the next health teacher began. During this time, retired Wood Hill teacher Mrs. Miller took over as a substitute. It took a few weeks, but eventually, Ms. Chu was picked. Ms. Chu is from an alternative high school at Lowell, so this transition is very different from what she is used to.
Q: How does it feel to join Wood Hill’s teaching staff?
A: It feels great. I feel very supported and appreciated because all the students are very nice. It is very different from where I came from, where I taught in an alternative school. I used to be a PE teacher. These students don’t fit in your average mold because they had a hard life. The students and staff here are wonderful and supportive here, so it’s nice. Mr. Bucco comes here everyday to make sure I’m doing good. I was pleasantly surprised by the poster that was made for me.
Q: What are your goals for your students this year?
A: I want to make sure everybody gets to learn the curriculum, while they get to know me as a teacher. I am sure I am very different from the teacher last year. The students learn the lessons not just for acing school, but use it in life.
Q: What do you think of the teachers here?
A: The teachers are great, they met me when I came here. Everyone has been really really great. A teacher helped me with my schedule, and everyone I’ve met so far have been wonderful.
Q: What is your favorite activity outside of school?
A: I enjoy cooking. The finished product of cooking makes everyone smile. This Thanksgiving, everyone was happy with their food. I enjoy trying different things in cooking. I pour my hearts and thoughts into cooking. I used to do martial arts, it was taekwondo.
Q: What has been the hardest part since your transition?
A: Saying goodbye to the other students. It was a personal choice to leave, and it has been a great transition. A part of me misses them, and I wonder how they are doing. They weren’t happy for me to leave and they understood why I had to leave because they wanted me to be happy. I’ve been with them for many years, so I feel bad for leaving them.
Q: Have you been having a great time here?
A: I have, I really have. Everybody has been supportive, helpful. It’s going to sound silly, but everything I’ve asked for, I’ve gotten. Everybody cleans up before they leave. The previous health teacher texts me if I ever need help. The team here has helped me with getting into the role. Teaching is hard regardless wherever you go, but it also depends on how people treat you and how you treat them.
Q: What is your favorite health topic to teach?
A: It depends on the grade. I think I have two things that I like to teach. One of them is nutrition and fitness. I want to make sure that everyone knows what is a healthy diet. I like teaching body systems. I learned human anatomy and physiology in college, and I really loved it.
Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is cats. I have three cats. They got put on Christmas cards.
Q: What is your favorite memory?
A: Gosh, it's been a lot of years to recall any memory. Finishing the Chicago marathon was a great one. It’s a once in a lifetime achievement. It was difficult because I sprained my ankle at the first mile. I wasn’t going to give up. It was painful, but I did it.
Teacher Feature: Mr. Shenker
By Madeline and Lisa Shin
Engineering class is well adored by many students here at Wood Hill. At this Integrated Arts class, the students get to build lego robots, draw blueprints, and even create land boats! For many years, Mr. Tisbert was the engineering teacher who taught all these projects with ease. Unfortunately, Mr. Tisbert retired last year. It was truly a moment of despair for every staff and student of Wood Hill. However, Mr. Shenker took on this very engaging job, and has been at it for a few months. Here is this interview about his new and exciting duty in educating Wood Hill’s students.
Q: Mr. Shenker, how do you feel about your new job?
A: I really like it. It's lots of fun. I’m really enjoying it.
Q: What will be your curriculum this year for engineering class?
A: I’ll continue with what Mr. Tisbert did, but I’ll add more to it once I get comfortable with it, I am planning on adding a section on tools and their uses.
Q: We also heard you direct the Remote Control Cars Club. How is it going, and what is its mission?
A:. I was asked by two students to be the chaperone. I happen to have remote control car that I borrowed from my son. I love cars and working on them, no matter the size. It's a great group of students and we have new members every week.
Q: Do you ever feel like you haven’t filled Mr. Tisbert’s shoes?
A: They are big shoes to fill, especially to the seventh and eighth graders cause I know everyone loved Mr. T. He left me with great lessons and I look forward to creating my own niche.
Q: What is your favorite tool to use in engineering class?
A: My favorite tool is the old fashioned saw. Measure twice and cut once.
Teacher Feature: Mr. Defusco
By Aarit Chauhan
Mr. DeFusco who is the social studies teacher on 6 East and runs the flag football after school activity.
Q: Why are you doing flag football as an after school activity?
A: I like sports and I like offering things and games for my students. So students can have an opportunity to know me as a person not as a teacher.
Q:What are your interests in sports and did you play sports professionally?
A: I played tennis in high school and college. I love playing and watching football.
Q: What sports do you play?
A: I play basketball, baseball, football, badminton and racquetball. One can say I play all sports.
Q: What is your biggest wish?
A: I would love to compete on Survivor. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do.
Q: What do you love to teach?
A: I love to teach prehistory and geography.
Q: What is your favorite place in the world?
A: I would love to go to Italy, Costa Rica and Belize.
Q: What do you think about the show, Survivor?
A: I think it is a great show and I would love my students to like it too. It also gives me and my students something common to talk about.
Q: What is your favorite activity you do with your classes?
A: Making the wooly mammoth and hunting it down with the atlatl and dart.