Nicole Gleizer becomes the new COSA

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Science teacher Nicole Gleizer has assumed the position of Coordinator of Student Activities (COSA) at Townsend Harris, replacing biology teacher Sarah Loew who had occupied the role for the previous seven years. 

As the new COSA, Ms. Gleizer is responsible for coordinating school events and activities, such as hallway decorating, Student Union elections, and the Club Fair. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic adds to her list of responsibilities. She said, “There are certainly different things to keep in mind considering the transition into the full opening.”

Nevertheless, as a THHS alumna, Ms. Gleizer believes that her experience at the school helps her understand students on a deeper level. She said, “Being on both sides of the classroom, I feel as though I have a strong understanding of THHS culture and also an enhanced familiarity with the school. This not only offers a source of knowledge to work with as COSA but also a level of empathy that will help me make better decisions.”

Due to stricter safety regulations caused by the pandemic, Ms. Gleizer  adjusted several key aspects of the Club Fair this year, such as enforcing social distancing policies and moving the Fair outdoors on its third day. “Working with the SU Board, we needed to put safety ahead of the goals of the event itself, and that will remain true for all that we do,” Ms. Gleizer said. “While I would like our safety concerns and precautions to remain transparent, one of my goals is for students to feel safe at all of the events and activities in which they are excited to participate without having to worry about those differences in planning themselves.”

Ms. Gleizer also emphasizes that it is essential to compensate for the opportunities that students lost as a result of coronavirus-related school closures. “For this year, my primary goal is to make sure that THHS feels like the place that we all left nearly a year and a half ago. Townsend Harris students have missed out on so much. The seniors deserve to have [a] true senior year, and the juniors never got the chance to really finish out their first year [of high] school,” she said. 

“I’m really excited to be the new COSA. The freshmen and sophomores don’t even know what they are missing, so my goal is to make sure that despite this being a transitional year, [everyone is] able to experience all that THHS has to offer.” said Ms. Gleizer.

How do you feel about being the new COSA? Are there any particular goals that you will try to achieve in the upcoming schools year?

I’m really excited to be the new COSA! For this year, my primary goal is to make sure that THHS feels like the place that we all left nearly a year and a half ago. Townsend Harris students have missed out on so much. The seniors deserve to have the true senior year that we were unfortunately unable to give Classes of 2020 and 2021 and the juniors never got the chance to really finish out their first year in the school. The freshmen and sophomores don’t even know what they are missing so my goal is to make sure that despite this being a transitional year, that they are able to experience all that THHS has to offer.

How different do you think the role of the COSA will be with the full reopening of schools next year?

There are certainly different things to keep in mind considering the transition into the full opening. This has already proven true with our Club Fair. Working with the SU Board, we needed to put safety ahead of the goals of the event itself, and that will remain true for all that we do. Different is not a bad thought, it is just different. We still had a successful Club Fair, despite it looking somewhat different since we space it out. That is a behind-the-scenes consideration, though. While I would like our safety concerns and precautions to remain transparent, one of my goals is for students to feel safe at all of the events and activities in which they are excited to participate without having to worry about those differences in planning themselves.

What do you think can potentially set you apart from other COSAs?

What can primarily set me apart from other COSAs is simply having more people from whom to learn by virtue of having more predecessors. Mr. Stonehill, Ms. Widman, and Ms. Loew are all invaluable sources of wisdom and knowledge and I, along with the entire THHS community, are so lucky to have them in the school.  

How do you think your personal experience at THHS as a teacher and as a student will help with your new position?

Being on both sides of the classroom, I feel as though I have a strong understanding of THHS culture and also an enhanced familiarity with the school. This not only offers a source of knowledge to work with as COSA but also a level of empathy that will help me make better decisions.

Photo by Audrey Chou

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