Getting to Know the New Staff in CHS

Sunday, October 4th, 2015
New Teacher
Every year at Chatham High School, we grow as a student body and as a population. This year was no exception as we added many new faces to our staff in all departments. We at the Chronicle got a chance to know them a little better in hopes that the rest of CHS will get to as well

First off is Mr. Braff, a new teacher in our Learning Skills and Social Studies department. He always had a passion for history and carried it on to Rider University and then Montclair State University. He knew after he left Rider that teaching was what he wanted to do. It’s safe to say he’s happy with this choice because he loves coming to work every day and helping students reach their maximum potential.  Outside of the classroom, he loves sports (Yankees, Rangers, Giants) and is helping out with the Sports Debate Club. He’s happy to be at Chatham and hopes to maybe move to town someday soon!

Also joining us this year is Mr. Benjamin Lee in the Physics Department. He’s been studying Physical Chemistry at Rutgers and will soon complete his PhD. He loves the subject, but wasn’t quick to realize he always wanted to be a teacher. He says he sort of fell into the profession when looking for employment and then, luckily, fell in love with teaching soon after. He’s glad he gets to do this job because he loves meeting and working with new people every year. Outside of class, Mr. Lee loves to garden and cook, especially putting the two passions together as he cooks whatever is fresh out of his garden. He’s also new to Chatham but has enjoyed the new people he’s met.

For our theatre department, we have Ms. Russo returning to CHS. And yes, I say returning because she was at CHS from 1999-2006, left to stay at home with her two daughters, moved to the Atlanta area for the last 8 years, and now is back at CHS to take over the drama department. She studied acting at Emerson College, then Montclair State University, and realized in the 90s while working at a Children's Theatre that she really wanted to be working with young actors. Then, she came to Chatham High and now we are happy to have her back! When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, and reading a good book or play.

Teaching English 9 and 10, we have Mr. Iannuzzi. During his junior year of high school, he had an excellent English teacher who inspired him down the path of becoming a teacher. He loves being a teacher because it’s so interesting that no two days of work are the same. The students will always be different year to year, so it is new and exciting. Before he came to Chatham, he went to the University of Delaware, which he loved, and he now loves the area here as it reminds him of his home in Long Island. Outside of school he plays tennis, binge watches Netflix shows like us all, and watches the New York Islanders destroy the Devils and the Rangers. And of course, like all English teachers, he loves to read.

Also, we have Mrs. Pasterczyk, teaching French. She always thought she wanted to be an engineer growing up, but in her senior year of high school, she was an aide for a French 1 class.  There, she realized she loved teaching, which prompted her to change her mind.  She loves the variety teaching gives her, and she loves sharing things she’s passionate about because it forces her to never stop learning. Mrs. Pasterczyk is originally from the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, and going to Willamette University in Oregon. She moved to New Jersey fifteen years ago, and is new to spending time in Chatham, but has found everyone to be very welcoming and the town very charming.  Plenty of coffee makes it great! Outside of school she spends time with her son, Finian, who is in first grade and her husband, Peter. She loves to ride bikes, go for long walks listening to podcasts, and people-watch in cafés.

We hope you got a glimpse into some of our new staff here at CHS, and if you see them in the halls don’t be afraid to wave or say hi, make them feel welcome!