The Round Table

Teachers’ Favorite High School Classes

Sam Diamond, Staff Writer

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Most students in high school have a favorite class or a class that really stands out to them. However, those who have already graduated usually have a specific class that they remember years later for certain reasons. The Round Table spoke to several Stamford High School staff members to find out what their favorite class was throughout their high school career.

With some teachers, you can predict their favorite class, but for others, it is more difficult due to the fact that their favorite class is not the class they currently teach. For example, Beth Gillin, the English Department Head, said her favorite class was “Twentieth Century American History,” which she said “was an elective with her favorite teacher Tony Pavia.”

Another teacher who had a different favorite class than what she currently teaches is Maria Cahill, a teacher in the World Language Department, who loved a class taught by her “favorite teacher Jerry McWilliams – his eleventh grade English class.”

Bill Halmeck, a current teacher in the Science Department, also has a different favorite class than what he currently teaches. Halmeck said he “enjoyed film class, because there was a lot of animation equipment where you could use clay models and could take speed shots on a camera.”

And like some other faculty members at SHS, Jonathan Ringel, an English teacher and advisor for The Round Table, said he enjoyed band because he played percussion, which is completely different that what he currently does at Stamford High.

Similar to Halmeck, David DelGiudice enjoyed a class that was an elective film class. However, his favorite class was “calculus, because we had a mathematician and lawyer who was from Turkey. This teacher made each student go to the board and present,” which was where he got several ideas for how he teaches his classes today. He enjoyed how this teacher made people get up in front of the class and teach everyone, because it ensured everyone in the class knew how to perform properly.

Aaron Patashnik
Although David DelGiudice teaches science at Stamford High, his favorite class in high school was calculus.

Jamie VanAcker, another teacher in the Science Department, also had a favorite class that is the complete opposite subject of which he currently teaches. His favorite course was “Contemporary Issues in Modern America,” a history class, having absolutely no relation to science.

On the other hand, it is extremely easy to predict what some teachers’ favorite high school class was, such as Donna Kaiser, a chemistry teacher, who said her favorite class was chemistry. This is because when she was in school, her teacher, Mr. Blackstone, “was an excellent chemistry teacher. He was also a magician and used magic in class to get everyone interested.”

Similar to Kaiser, Larry Katz, a math teacher said his favorite class was “Computer Science with Mr. Smith.” Katz teaches AP Computer Science at SHS, so one might predict that this was his favorite class.

All of these SHS teachers have a favorite high school class they remember very well. Some teachers’ favorites are more surprising than others.  As you can see from a variety of SHS faculty, your favorite class might not have any relationship to what you go on to do for a living. Learning this makes one really think about their own favorite class and what that may or may not mean for one’s future. So, SHS, what is your favorite class you have taken in high school?

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