Heroes of churchill

By Gil Jacobson and Hannah Yasharoff

Heroes. Whether a crossing guard, a local firefighter or that helpful Mr. Parker from down the street, they make our everyday lives easier. Here at CHS, we have our own fair share of heroes: people who go above and beyond to make our school the best it can be. Like superheroes, their identities are not always revealed to the public, but most CHS students know them by their exceptional and influential contributions to the CHS community.

Sylvia Horowitz

Alter Ego: Super Sub

Occupation: Short- and Long-Term Substitute Teacher

Special Powers: Remembering Names

Secret Lair: Wherever she is needed

Backstory: Horowitz started out teaching social studies and later worked as a criminal labor lawyer for the Federal Government for 30 years before retiring and returning to teaching, this time as a substitute.

Veronica Espinoza

Alter Ego: Triple Threat

Occupation: Performing Arts volunteer, substitute teacher, First Vice President of the PTSA

Special Powers: Omnipresence

Secret Lair: Anywhere in CHS

Backstory: After getting her Masters and Ph.D. in Educational Computing and Instructional Design, Espinoza decided that she wanted to be more involved in raising her kids, CHS alumna Paula and senior Daniel.  She began as a classroom volunteer at Beverly Farms Elementary School, working her way up to a room parent and eventually the PTA president. At Hoover Middle School, she was in charge of the Multicultural Fair before becoming the first vice president of the PTSA at CHS.  She has taught students of varying ages —from kindergarten to graduate school at Purdue University —since she was 24, and began substitute teaching 11 years ago.

Patrice Thomas

Alter Ego: Ms. Frizzle from “Magic School Bus”

Occupation: Secretary, first point of contact for visitors in the school, in charge of end-of-the-school-year awards program and other special projects

Special Powers: Decorating the main office desk for special occasions– notice the “ocean” theme for Homecoming’s Tropical Tuesday, or the filled cornucopia for Thanksgiving? All Thomas.

Secret Lair: Main Office

Backstory: Thomas formerly taught chemistry at a private high school and science at a variety of nature centers.  She was also a lobbyist for several years.  Additionally, she assisted with the costumes for both CHS and Hoover Middle School theatre productions, gave science lectures at Hoover, and was a CHS cross country and track mom for six years, organizing 16 end-of-the-season banquets before her children left CHS.  She went back to working in a high school because she likes being around high school-aged children.

Robert Jones

Alter Ego: Stealth

Occupation: IT Systems Specialist

Special Powers: Ensures every computer at CHS is in working condition.

Secret Lair: Back of the Media Center

Backstory: Jones has worked in MCPS for more than 30 years and has been doing computer-related work for 20.  He first started at CHS in 1979 and worked here for three years before serving in the Navy for the next four years.  He has also worked at B-CC, Wheaton, Montgomery Blair, and Paint Branch High Schools.  In addition to being an IT Systems Specialist, he has worked as a media services technician and taught theatre and television.

Larry Tannenbaum

Alter Ego: Super Dad

Occupation: Booster Club President

Special Powers: Ensuring strong communication between the Booster Club, sports teams, and the CHS athletic department to meet each team’s needs; raising funds for the athletic department and maintenance of their facilities

Secret Lair: Room 126, Athletic Facilities

Backstory: Tannenbaum graduated from CHS in 1969 and was the softball team representative to the Booster Club while his daughter, Alexis, played softball before he was asked to be the club’s president at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  This is Tannenbaum’s second year as Booster Club President.

JoAnn Constantinou

Alter Ego: The Motivator

Occupation: Composition Assistant

Special Powers: Improves students’ writing and builds their confidence through editing and helping with problem areas; helping English resource teacher Emily Goldberg run the English Honor Society

Secret Lair: Writing Lab (Room 230)

Backstory: Constantinou used to be an editor for Marriott International headquarters, but needed a part-time job with more flexibility.  She started at CHS thinking it would be temporary, but loved it so much that she stayed and is now in her 11th year here.