Physical education department welcomes new members

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This fall, two new teachers have joined the Physical Education department: Ms. Diane Ramirez and Ms. Natalie Rodriguez.

Prior to joining the Townsend Harris staff, both Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Rodriguez worked at THHS as student teachers as part of their Queens College class. 

“When I attended Queens College to obtain a degree in Physical Education, one of the requirements was to complete observation hours. This is when I had the opportunity to observe Ms. Caiaccia and Mr. Adamkiewicz,” said Ms. Rodriguez.

“Principal Condon and Assistant Principal Fee are incredibly supportive of the physical education program. They both understand the importance of a sound body and mind,” said Ms. Ramirez.

Ms. Ramirez began in College Athletics, serving previously as the head coach of a women’s basketball team. This experience led her to embrace her passion for teaching. She said, “It turned out that although coaching was fun, I got the most joy when I was teaching the athletes the nuances of basketball.”

Ms. Rodriguez has had a love for sports since being a student athlete in high school, which led her to an assistant soccer coach position. “I have always enjoyed working with the youth [and]teaching sports and leisure physical activities along with ethical and moral values,” she said. 

Both teachers channeled their passions into teaching at THHS. Ms. Rodriguez is thrilled to help her students improve. “I am so excited to be a part of this school community and look forward to seeing my students grow and reach their highest potential,” she said.

Ms. Ramirez identifies students and the subject of physical education as her two biggest motivators. “I love interacting with my students and learning from them. I try to have conversations with as many students as possible, it’s the secret to staying young,” Ms. Ramirez explained. 

As they begin their teaching journey here, both hope to instill in students a love for exercising. Ms. Ramirez said, “I hope to teach my students to see exercise not as a punishment but rather as a tool with many advantages. When stressed or having a bad day, exercise will help release chemicals in the brain that improve mood.” Through her own experience, Ms. Rodriguez hopes to show students that exercise can create opportunities. “In high school I decided to try out and be a part of the soccer team. Doing so opened a door for me and that door led me to where I am today,” she said.