New teacher Ruben Durandis joins the science department

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This school year, Townsend Harris welcomed Ruben Durandis, a new science teacher, into the school community.

Joining the faculty as a biology and earth science instructor, he previously graduated from Newtown High School in 2016, and then continued his studies at Queens College. He expressed that earning a job at THHS is his most significant accomplishment. “This is a dream school,” he said. “It allows me… to show my knowledge [and] teach.” He credits three memorable teachers, whom he described as knowledgeable, sweet, and considerate, for inspiring him to become a teacher himself, and he aims to follow in their footsteps of positively impacting students.

This is Mr. Durandis’s first year teaching; in the past, he’s dabbled in martial arts jiu-jitsu and MMA. 

While everyone was at home learning and working during the pandemic, Mr. Durandis was a student teacher. Reflecting on his experiences, he said, “it was weird; everything was on zoom, [but] you make the best of it.” 

He explained that his hope for this school year is to have all his students in earth science and biology pass the Regents. 

He said, “I believe that all my students have the capability to achieve a passing grade.” Mr. Durandis believes he can achieve this goal by having his students retain as much information as possible, and by making his class fun and memorable. 

“I like [that] when he is teaching, he [makes] little small jokes and he is always open to questions,” said sophomore Chloe Guthrie. “He gives us fun projects to do and the classroom environment is very calm and settling.”

When asked about how he liked THHS, he said “I love it. Everyone is very welcoming.” He said that his colleagues in the science department are always willing to give their assistance and input on his lessons. “They help me become a better teacher every day,” he said.