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Berlin Central School District introduced a monthly highlight on its teachers this year. It is Teacher Feature, teachers from the elementary, middle and high schools will be presented each month.

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

March’s featured teachers are, Mrs. Riccardi from the elementary school, Mrs. Hunt from the middle school and from the high school Mr. Connolly.

 

Mrs. Heather Riccardi

Elementary Speech Therapist

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

One of my favorite memories was from 6th grade when Stephentown kids went to Cherry Plain with students from the entire district. Our math teacher flipped his class, letting us work through our math text book on our own.  When we finished mid-year passing all the tests, we were given time to pursue other interests.  This is the year that I learned sign language from a new friend from Grafton and learned to love reading.

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

I can talk in class without making a sound.  I know basic sign language.

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

My job is special!  I get to work with children individually or in small groups.  I work on things that are particularly difficult for the child but in fun and creative ways.  I love the moment when the child gets it, finds the humor in their mistakes and learns from them. 

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

Ask open ended questions, like “What is something interesting that happened today?, Did anything funny happen today?, What was the best part of your day?”

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

Give them opportunities to talk. Teach them to be curious and wonder.  Use new words.

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

My family and I have been taking lots of nature walks.  I think I would take my students outside to appreciate nature and take a break from electronic devices.  I would love to give them experiences new adventures – like finding shells on a beach, exploring national parks or hiking to waterfalls.

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

I love action adventure books and anything silly or humorous!  

 

Mrs. Mary Lou Hunt

Middle School Science

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school?

 There are so many ~ in elementary school I loved the after school enrichment program, a lady with a big cat box came in and we did so many fun things. As I got older I really enjoyed the time I spent playing soccer and basketball.  I married my high school sweetheart, so those are good memories too! 

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

I have had over 20 different jobs in my lifetime, from ginseng planter in North Dakota to parent advocate and waitress to CNA.  I think a hidden talent of mine is being able to sense how people are feeling.

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school?

 A good day at school is when the bell rings at the end of class and students  say, “Class is over already??!!”  I LOVE hearing that because it means we were engaged and learning.

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

I like questions that center around feelings. What did you do to make someone smile today?  Did anyone make you smile?  What was the highlight of your day today?  Did you have a low point ~ what happened? 

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

Homework Club on Wednesdays from 3 – 4 is a great way for students to get caught up on back work.  PM School/Mountaineer Tutor Time every other Wednesday from 3 -5 also is a great resource to help students complete work.  As a parent I didn’t realize how valuable Schoology is, I learned that when I started teaching here.  Everything you need to know and more can be found there.  I really encourage parents to check it out daily.

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

This is a hard question!  In taking advantage of anywhere in the world, I would probably pick the Galapagos Islands.  I have always wanted to go there and it would be an amazing place  to explore. 

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

I would probably go with Bloody Jack by LA Meyer, I am a quick reader when it comes to books I read for fun, so I would want to bring the whole series.  

 

Mr. DJ Connolly

High School Math Teacher

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school? 

You would think this is a simple question, but no, I have many memories from school most revolve around sports. The one that pops out first happened during my junior year of high school was when I won a bet with my wrestling coach and he had to do a ten minute workout of whatever I said for a week. I made him run around the gym with an orange cone on his head (that made me laugh)…. However, one of my best memories of being in Berlin is starting up the wrestling program. From watching young athletes grow and change into young adults, to some of the wacky things that have happened over the years, I have been fortunate to  develop such a close knit family  that have provided me with some of the best memories of my lifetime. 

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

This is a difficult one. I feel like the kids know more about me than they should sometimes (hahaha). One thing they may not know is that I love to draw and create art. 

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

A “good day” at school for me is when I feel like I have reached the students. This isn’t always about teaching the content but making sure I reach the students on some level. It could be as simple as getting the students to laugh or smile. That connection with the students makes teaching so much easier. 

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

Having my own kids I know this is a tough one because they never want to answer or just answer with “ok.”  However,  I always simply ask “how was your day” and try to get more information after that.

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

It may sound silly but you are your child’s best resource. Taking an interest in what they are learning and showing them that an education is a useful tool, is the greatest resource any parent can give their child.

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

I’m not experienced with travel, but I think it would be cool to travel the entire united States, so students could learn about the country we live in and how the differences we have make this a wonderful place to live. 

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

Hahaha… the first thing that came to mind is that I would love to have a book about island survival. Not only do I like learning about that kind of stuff, but it would be helpful to make sure I survive the given situation.