BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Our beloved summer vacation has recently come to an end, which means that school at Governor Livingston is back in full swing. Returning Highlanders meet up with friends that they haven’t seen all summer, get used to finishing their homework every night, and meet all of their new teachers. Freshmen were introduced to their new school, and now mix with older students who already know their way around. While students learn about the various clubs and activities available at GL, get used to the bus schedule, and learn to travel from class to class without making a wrong turn, there are quite a few new teachers too, trying to learn the ways of GL.
Ms. Amy Wartel, who replaced the recently retired Mrs. Phyllis Heuss, will be teaching Everyday Gourmet and Gourmet Cuisine. There is also a new English teacher at the school, Ms. Claire Davanzo. The two both reported that they were excited to “explore the school more and get to learn about and connect with their students.”
Ms. Wartel had an interesting life before working at GL. “I worked at different bakeries and restaurants after college and would constantly move from place to place,” said Wartel. She went to culinary school at Montclair State and learned how to make various French pastries. She said, “Ever since I began my schooling, I always knew that I wanted to teach.” She had a strong desire to apply what she knew to kids and watch them grow. Soon enough, she decided to “stick to one place” and began working at Governor Livingston.
Ms. Davanzo, on the other hand, had already been teaching before she switched to GL. “I would fill in for teachers that were on leave due to pregnancies and sicknesses, and always wanted a permanent spot at a school,” said Davanzo. Now, Ms. Davanzo enjoys being rooted to one school and being able to learn about all of her students. She has been thoroughly enjoying her time at GL so far, just as Ms. Wartel has.
Both teachers, although they are more adjusted now, admitted they had trouble finding their way around Governor Livingston. “I still end up at the wrong rooms and don’t remember which floor certain classes are on. Early on, when a freshman asked me where a certain room was, I ended up pointing in a random direction and praying that I hadn’t set him up for disaster,” Ms. Davanzo said. Now, both of the teachers feel less like freshmen and are adapting very well to the customs of Governor Livingston High School.
Editor's Note: The Highlander section features articles written for The Highlander, Gov. Livingston High School's student newspaper.