People know about the students that make up this high school, but what about the teachers and staff that run the school behind the scenes?
Child development teacher Denise Tomaiko and math teacher Todd Green told the journalism staff a little about themselves.
Todd Green went to Washington College and majored in math hoping to become a math teacher one day. He says that he wanted to be a teacher ever since he was little to pass on his love of math and help students succeed. Todd has been teaching math at Hills for ten years and plans to continue for many more. When he was asked about the pros and cons about teaching he answered, “it has been fortunate enough to work with some great colleagues who inspire me” daily, and great students who are willing to work the extra mile.
Todd Green’s favorite thing about teaching is watching the improvement of students’ skills as they progress through the year, and witness growth in interest level in the course material. He says that one of the positives about teaching is that he gets to coach high school athletics as a JV girls and boys tennis coach, pushing student-athletes to do their best. As well as teaching, he is also in charge of the Math Club, also known as Mu Alpha Thera Honor Society, and New Jersey Math League. Some of his hobbies outside of school include tennis, basketball, and fishing.
When asked how effectively he manages both his personal and work life, Todd said that, “time management is an important skill as a teacher, and I try my best to maintain a healthy combination of the two.”
To all who wish to become a teacher, Todd says that “it is a very important and rewarding profession. Hard work, care, communication, and flexibility are keys to success. At times you will be very busy, but remember all your hard work is to help prepare kids to be the best they can be in your class and in the future. You will find yourself learning from your students and colleagues just as much as you are teaching them! I could never imagine myself doing anything else but teaching.”
Amanda Gelber, a sophomore said, “Mr. Green is an understanding, helpful, patient, and funny teacher who explains the topics thoroughly while making math seem fun. He always ensures that everyone understands the topic that we are working on that day. Mr. Green shows everyone that math can be fun and interesting.”
Denise Tomaiko attended Montclair State University for her undergrad and went to Walden University for her masters. She majored in Human Ecology with a Concentration in Early and Middle Childhood Education and was a Psychology minor. Ever since Denise was a little girl, she always knew that teaching was something that she wanted to do.
She was inspired by her sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Adams, who truly showed her how much teachers care about their students and the impact they can have on them later in their lives. Denise has been teaching at Hills for two years and continues to go on further. She taught in Jefferson Township for thirteen years teaching third grade before transferring to Hills. She said that being a teacher is great because she gets to work with children, has the summers off, makes connections with students, parents, and coworkers. She also noted that some disadvantages included the amount of paperwork involved.
Denise’s favorite thing about teaching is the impact and connections that she makes with her students. Currently, Denise is not in charge of any clubs in or out of Hills but says that she would like to in the future. Some of her hobbies include spending time on the beach, reading, relaxing, and crafting. When asked how effectively she manages her personal life and her school life she says, “overall, it is easy to manage teaching and my personal life. I make sure my family comes first. I make sure to attend school events and bring my family along to include them in my school life as much as possible.”
To all who wish to become a teacher one day, Denise says, “teaching is a rewarding job that brings a new challenge every day.”
Jessica Tozzi, a sophomore says, “I think Mrs. Tomaiko is one of the most inspiring teachers that works at Wayne Hills. She is always there for her students and offers the best advice. Mrs.Tomaiko is one of the reasons I want to be a music teacher in the future. Her class is so interesting and she makes learning so much fun. While Mrs. Tomaiko teaches high school students, she also teaches pre-school children which probably is a challenge. A lot of students look up to her as a positive role model for the Wayne Hills community!”