Larger class of new faculty members expected to join in September

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This fall a larger than usual number of new faces will join the 2019-2020 Townsend Harris faculty. The number of hired teachers has doubled since last year, from four to eight.

The Humanities department has hired four teachers. There are English teachers Katherine Lapinski and Aseefa Rasool, who are replacing retired English teacher Judy Beiner. There are also social studies teachers Frank McCaughey and Blayne Gelbman. 

As a teacher, Ms. Rasool has high hopes for her prospective students. “I am hoping that my students will either continue their love for reading or writing, or I would also hope they would find a new love for reading or writing,” she said. 

Assistant Principal of Humanities Rafael Olechowski said, “The teachers that were hired are very committed to their subject.” He described them as “very enthusiastic about teaching,” and said, “I also like the fact that I’m a part of their journey as their supervisor.”

Certain positions remain open.

A number of teachers will be hired for the school’s Instructional Support Services department. Assistant Principal of World Languages and ISS Georgia Brandeis oversees the hiring process there. Ms. Brandeis said, “We really want strong educators so our students can feel comfortable with them and the unique experience here at Townsend Harris.”

She has hired Nancy Badum already and is currently hiring an ISS teacher for English and Math. Ms. Badum will also teach Social Studies classes and will focus on providing instructional support in that department. Ms. Badum is looking forward to the upcoming school year. “A new school year, a new building, and a new set of students. I am very excited. I hope everyone is as excited as me to come back to school,” she said.

Other reasons for hiring new teachers include new positions in the instructional support service department and changes to current teacher programs that have led to openings.

Social studies teacher Jaime Baranoff will undertake the role of senior advisor, replacing physical education teacher Maria Assante. Social studies teacher Chris Hackney is now Assistant Programming Chair. THHS teachers are usually assigned to five classes, however, given their additional responsibilities, these teachers will collectively teach fewer classes. A new social studies teacher has been hired to accommodate these changes.

In addition to teachers, other faculty members have been hired. Angelica Diaz will take Tina Marie Kendall’s place as the college office secretary. 

At the end of June and during the summer, students participated in the hiring process for these teachers. They were a part of demo lessons and rated teachers with rubrics. 

General Education English, History and Math teachers will soon be hired/be hired by September.