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Berlin Central School District introduced a monthly highlight on its teachers and staff this year. This feature highlights staff and teachers from the elementary, middle and high schools each month.

BCSD will quote their responses to a light-hearted questionnaire. This is an opportunity for the teachers and staff at BCSD to share a little about themselves as well as offer some advice from their perspective.

Featured this month are: Ms. Korzec from the middle school, Ms. Marbot from the high school and Ms. Teplitsky and Ms. Steller from the elementary school.

Ms. Korzec

Ms. Korzec

7th Grade Math

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

It’s sort of silly but in elementary school, students were chosen to go to the mimeograph machine and make copies for the teacher.  We were also chosen to go clap the blackboard erasers outside.  These are the first 2 memories that came to mind when I saw this question so I guess they had an impact on me!!

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? What is one of your hidden talents? 

I’m not sure if it’s a talent – but I love to be outside.  I love to go on runs with my dog. In the summer, I love to hike and garden. In the winter, I enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Being outside in nature is the way I relax.

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

A “good day” at school is when I see students who have been struggling with a concept find success through their own hard work and perseverance.  It makes me happy when I see them genuinely proud of their effort.

4. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

What do you have for homework? May I see your homework? I feel as a parent, it is essential that you check in with your child at least through the middle school years to let them know you are a partner in their education.  It’s important for parents to see what their child is learning and for them to encourage them to give their best effort on their assignments. 

5. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

A place to do their work – the kitchen table works fine!

6. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  

Any of the National Parks would be a wonderful experience for them.

7. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?  

I like historical fiction and novels with interesting and quirky characters. 

Ms. Marbot

Ms. Marbot

High School English and Language Arts

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

Ahhh, this is a tough one. I would have to go with a collection of memories that revolve around my time with our Newspaper Club. I covered many sporting events, including football games, and had the chance to stand on the sidelines to take notes and photos. I am a huge sports fan, so that was always a fun experience. I also got to interview teachers and staff I looked up to, as well as a variety of students. The most memorable part of Newspaper Club, however, was always print night. We would stay after school to edit and once the week’s edition was ready we would spread out at the major printers in the school (main office, art room, faculty room) and fold/assemble the papers. Then we would take them to all of the classrooms to be distributed the next day. We wouldn’t leave until late at night, sometimes not until 7 o’clock. Those were always long days, but they were fun. Then the next morning, as everyone was reading the paper in homeroom, there was a sense of pride that crept in. A feeling of “I did that.” It was truly great. 

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? What is one of your hidden talents? 

I don’t know if this qualifies as a “talent,” but I am an avid fisherman and outdoorsy person. Yes, I love to have my nose in a book, but nothing beats a pond, lake, river, ocean… any body of water that has fish in it. Warmer seasons are preferable since I don’t love the cold, but ice fishing also has a certain draw to it that I enjoy. I recently made a goal to catch every native fish in New York State. It will take a while, and a bit of travel, but it is a hobby worth pursuing, in my book. 

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

I know it has been a good day when my students and I all leave with smiles. Whether we are smiling because we learned something new, engaged with a fun activity, or simply shared a good laugh, it is nice when we can all enjoy and appreciate some positivity. 

4. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

I am not a parent myself, but I would assume that everyone appreciates a friendly check in. Something as simple as “What made you smile today?” can go a long way. I remember back to when I was a student, I often wanted to share the giddy memories or small excitements. Asking your children what made them smile or laugh gives them an opportunity to open up with an easy-going conversation. I think we all need this – if we try to embrace the positives in each day it tends to make life a little less stressful. 

5. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

Schoology is a great place to start. There are many groups and additional pages within Schoology that can offer support and further information. It is also a great platform since it can easily connect you with any of the teachers that you may want to check in with. I use it not only for keeping track of my students and their class materials, but to connect with different school clubs I’m involved in, the school bowling team, as well as peers and colleagues. It is a useful tool that can take you many places and get you much information, all from the same starting point. 

6. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  

This is another tough one. There are so many places in our world and so many ideas to explore. Wherever we went, I would have a similar agenda. First and foremost I would want the students to learn and experience something new. I would want them to feel awe for where they were and what they were experiencing. Be it amazement at the depth and beauty of the Grand Canyon, wonder and intrigue at Easter Island, or curiosity and enchantment in the Galapagos, I would want my students to experience something that they cannot find in upstate New York or surrounding areas. I would also want to engage students in a volunteer experience wherever we went. I myself had opportunities to volunteer in different states when I travelled for athletics in college. It was always interesting to volunteer for people and places who were previously unknown, to actually care about helping those who have no connection to yourself. I would want my students to experience this same sense of giving back, of showing appreciation for the simple concept of humanity without needing to benefit personally. With these two main concepts in mind, awe and volunteerism, I think we could plan a great trip to almost any place in the world. 

7. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?  

Limiting an English teacher to just one book… this is a tricky one! Part of me wants to say Lord of the Flies, just for the irony, but I think it would definitely have to be something longer. When I was younger I would browse book stores on a mission to find the longest and most interesting books. I figured a longer book would give me more to explore, more to adventure through in my mind. Longer books also had the most potential for twists and turns, more potential for hours upon hours of reading. I imagine I would have plenty of time to read (and to fish!) so I would probably go with a longer light-reading book. Most likely a childhood comfort that would take me far from the loneliness of the island – Eragon by Christopher Paoilini, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, or Annie Between the States by L.M. Elliot. All of these books transported me to different worlds and different times when I was younger, I would hope they’d do the same on a desert island. 

Ms. Teplitsky

Ms. Teplitsky

School Psychologist

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

In my third and fourth grade classes we had a classroom TA who noticed that a few of us were reading the same book series (Animorphs) and started a “book club” with us.  We would all talk about the books together as they came out.  It was really great to have an adult notice and support us that way!

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? What is one of your hidden talents? 

Students might be surprised to find out that one of my favorite hobbies is playing video games!  I also taught myself to sew and love making costumes.

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

Any day I get to spend time working with students is a good day, especially if I can help make their day better too.  

4. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

Asking specific questions helps – “what’s something good that happened today?”; “what did you do at recess time?”; “was anything tricky today with work or friends?”

5. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

Kids themselves are a great resource for finding out how they are doing with different skills in class, and having them walk you through their homework or practice something they have learned can help you see how they are doing.  Playing learning-based games or practicing good habits at home, like having a structured bedtime routine, are great ways to support learning!

6. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  

I would take them to see the penguins in Antarctica, and then we can all say we’ve been to Antarctica if we need a fun fact to share.

7. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?  

I would want an island survival guide!

Ms. Steller

Ms. Steller

BES School Counselor

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

One specific memory doesn’t stand out, but I have very fond memories of school spirit week.  I loved the sense of community and camaraderie with other students.  It was always a bonus to be able to dress up silly or wear your pajamas to school!

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? 

I think they would be surprised to know that I went skydiving while studying abroad in Australia!

3. What is one of your hidden talents? 

I don’t really have any hidden talents, but I can snowboard and ski which help to make the cold and snow a bit more fun!

4. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

Every day is a ‘good day’ at school.  Even when a day feels challenging, there are always smiling faces in the hallways, students overcoming challenges, learning and growing.  I feel grateful to be able to witness it all. 

5. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

It is always a great idea to check in with your child about their day. “How was your day?” is a question many of us ask our children when we see them in the evening. Often, children will answer with a “good,” or “it was okay.” Asking some more specific follow up questions may help to get some more information out of him/her. Saying things like “what was the best part of your day?” or “what is one thing that challenged you today?” may trigger a more in depth conversation and connect their learning from school with home.

6. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

Your relationship with your child is one of the best resources you have to support your child. No one else knows him/her like you do. You have the unique ability to talk with your child and ask him/her questions about school and get honest feedback about how they are doing and feeling. This is valuable information to share with their teacher or other service providers who are also wonderful resources for you to support your children’s social, emotional and academic growth.

7. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  

I would take them all snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. There is nothing quite like watching all of the fish and ocean creatures in their own habitat and the coral is breathtaking!

8. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?  

I loved the entire Harry Potter series. I look forward to reading it again with my children very soon!