Introducing new THHS faculty and staff: A Q/A with this year’s newest Spanish teachers

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As the school year begins once again in an unconventional manner, it marks new realities, but also familiar sights. New teachers are by no means unfamiliar at Townsend Harris, but this year, the school has welcomed close to 20 new staff members. As part of The Classic’s introducing THHS teachers series, we gathered responses regarding the motivations, goals, and aspirations from THHS’ new staff members. 

As part of this week’s coverage, we spoke to Heidi González and Gabriela Pedreros, new additions to the Spanish department, as they discussed their backgrounds, objectives, and hopes for the future.

New Spanish teacher, Heidi González 

  1. Tell us about yourself and your background. What department do you teach/oversee and how long have you been an educator? What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies, your interests, etc?

Hi! My name is Heidi González and I was born and raised in Perú. I came to this country at the age of 17. During my free time I enjoy drawing and listening to music. I love to take pictures and create online photo albums. I love to capture memories and freeze them in a time capsule. With my two children and husband, we enjoy family outings, sightseeing, shopping, and traveling (preferably by plane), although we have had over the years a few road trip adventures.  

  1. What interests you about teaching? What motivated you to want to choose this career path? 

I have taught Spanish for more than 15 years. I have also taught at LaGuardia High School in Manhattan in the past. My goal for this school year is to see my students enjoy learning Spanish in person while they discover similarities and differences between the Hispanic culture and their own. I want my students to feel comfortable communicating in [my] target language and apply it outside the classroom setting. 

  1. What do you look forward to the most this year? Is there anything you are excited about in becoming a new member of the THHS community?

It is an honor to be part of the THHS community.  I am very excited to work with such talented students as well as to collaborate with outstanding colleagues. 

New Spanish and PE teacher, Gabriela Pedreros 

  1. Tell us about yourself and your background. What department do you teach/oversee and how long have you been an educator? What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies, your interests, etc?

My name is Gabriela Pedreros. I am a new teacher in the Physical Education and Spanish departments. During my free time, I love exploring the world with my family and our dog Hera. Everything is fascinating and an adventure to our boys Massimo & Paolo. We love to read, take day trips to the beach, go camping, travel, visit museums, learn new things, and spend time with friends. 

  1. What interests you about teaching? What motivated you to want to choose this career path?

What I love most about teaching is that as an educator, I never cease to continue learning, and everything becomes a teachable moment. Every time I walk into the teaching space, whether the classroom or the gym, I am ready to share what I know and have prepared for that lesson, but more than anything, ready to learn. Learn from my colleagues, from my students and the situations that arise. It’s those teachable moments that help us adapt and grow as individuals as well as a community. 

  1. What are your goals for this school year?

This year is like no other, and like many of us, I am looking forward to getting back into the groove of in-person teaching while adapting to all the changes and making sure we keep providing that high quality and rigorous education that feels safe, supportive, and successful. 

  1. What do you look forward to the most this year? Is there anything you are excited about in becoming a new member of the THHS community?

What I look forward to the most this year is getting to know my colleagues, students and the community at THHS, soaking it all up and giving back as much as I can to contribute to its success, growth and culture.  

Photos by Kate Romero and Audrey Chou, Photography Editors

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