Class of 2015: Staff Edition

Joan Zuckerman

After 15 years of teaching at CHS, NSL and Sociology teacher Joan Zuckerman is at the end of this school year.

Before coming to CHS, Zuckerman taught social studies at Ridgeview Middle School for 12 years and at Hoover Middle School for four years. At CHS, Zuckerman taught NSL, Sociology, American History, Modern World History and U.S. History.

“My kids all went to Churchill, and I said I would never teach here when they were in the school,” Zuckerman said. “However, I had just outgrown the middle school situation and I really wanted the challenges of being in a high school, so I was delighted to come.”

“She was truly passionate about what she taught,” said senior Colton Neubauer, who had Zuckerman for NSL. “She would check in on students and try to relate things to them instead of just teaching to the book.”

Zuckerman hopes to keep her close ties with CHS by subbing occasionally in years to come. She also plans on taking classes at Oasis, an educational learning opportunity at Montgomery Mall for retired people, and traveling the world.

“She plans our monthly birthday events and is the first person to help out if someone is sick or has problems at home,” AP Psychology and Sociology teacher Katelyn McMahon said. “We all hope that she’ll have tons of time to travel.”

Barbara Levitt

After nine years spent teaching at CHS and 27 total in MCPS, English teacher Barbara Levitt will be retiring this June.

Prior to her time at CHS, Levitt taught for 17 years at Wootton High School and one year at Seneca Valley High School.

“I’ve taught mostly ninth, tenth, and eleventh [graders],” Levitt said. “I’ve taught English as well as reading.”

“I just like it when a student gets that initial spark,” Levitt said.

Levitt sponsored the creative writing club and the knitting club when her daughter was in high school, and taught both summer school and writing workshops for incoming ninth graders at the Summer Symposium. Levitt also often mentors the new English teachers by providing materials and suggestions.

“Mrs. Levitt is one of the most organized, creative teachers I know,” English teacher Christin Nixon said. “She took me under her wing, so to speak, when I first arrived at Churchill. She has always made sure I felt comfortable and supported, and is very passionate about helping new teachers.”

Levitt hopes to take a Sign Language class, get a landscaping degree and earn a music degree in the future.

“The music degree would be my most important goal, and if that doesn’t work I have plenty of other talents,” Levitt said. “I can always come back and sub here.”

According to Levitt, she advises students to “look beyond the obvious, be diligent, make connections and eat breakfast.”

Lois Cohen

Math teacher Lois Cohen will be retiring at the end of the year after 40 years of teaching.

Cohen has been a lively addition to the CHS math department for the past 10 years.

“Mrs. Cohen really knew math inside and out, but what’s more, she made learning exciting,” senior Stasia Mculsky said.

Although Cohen loves math and enjoys teaching it every day, her favorite part of teaching is the students.

“My students are kind, sweet, brilliant, funny and talented,” Cohen said. “They are the best students.”

Cohen’s students find her to be one of the most positive and bubbly teachers at CHS. She has a reputation of caring about each and every student’s personal success.

“She is one of the only adults at school who will pick up on my mood, and will ask if I’m doing okay,” junior Alexandra Conway said. “Mrs. Cohen is a breath of fresh air on a daily basis. Even just being with her lifts my spirits.”

Cohen plans to use her retirement to return to animal rescue work.

“I have worked for 20 years in animal rescue,” Cohen said. “That’s how I have had as many as ten dogs at a time.”

Cohen has had a great teaching career in a field she is truly passionate about.

“I love math,” Cohen said. “I’ve loved getting to do it every day.”

Gail Stolorow

After 13 years at CHS, school psychologist Gail Stolorow will retire at the end of the school year.

Stolorow began working in MCPS in 1989 and has been a full time school psychologist for 22 years. Prior to working here, she taught in Michigan.

In her years of teaching, Stolorow has felt joy in helping students. The letters she receives from alumni let her know that she guided them in the right direction.

“As a teacher, and as a psychologist, it is the notes that you receive years later from students that let you know that you have made a difference and that they have remembered something that you shared with them,” Stolorow said. “I would also say that the students have taught me a lot about courage.”

In her career, Stolorow’s understanding of the struggles of different students has e`ven helped in interactions with her own children.

“They have enabled me to better understand the difficulties that each student faces and provided me with a better understanding of my own son and daughter,” Stolorow said.

Communication with other school departments has enabled her to get to know her students better in an effort to guide them.

“Working as a school psychologist also means that you interact with teams at each school such as counselors, teachers, special educators and speech pathologists,” Stolorow said. “It has helped me to remember to be flexible and to prioritize.”

Resource teacher Tishya Soni-Chopra had some parting words for Stolorow.

“In a way, she has been a mentor and a part of my success,” Soni-Chopra said. “I am really going to miss her.”

Denise Fabrizio
After 20 years spent working in MCPS, nine of which have been at CHS, current registrar and former secretary of counseling Denise Fabrizio plans to retire after this year.

Fabrizio began working at CHS as one of the counseling secretaries in 2006, before taking the position of registrar in 2007.

As registrar, Fabrizio sends out transcripts for colleges and summer internships, orders the diplomas for graduating seniors, enrolls and withdraws students and keeps track of all school records.

According to senior Olivia Whitener, Fabrizio was “extremely helpful” in helping her fill out several forms and in making her feel less pressured and stressed.

“She was sweet to work with, explained everything to me, and was so patient and organized,” senior Marti Weiner said. “Thanks to her I got into all my colleges and I got a job at NIH.”

Over the years, Fabrizio has formed many relationships with her co-workers who appreciated her warm and friendly nature.

“Fabrizio will be difficult to replace,” counselor and varsity boys basketball coach Robert Bean said. “She is extremely competent, detail—oriented and efficient. She also brings her smile and patience to work everyday which makes her an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Counselor Gary Carter agrees.

“Fabrizio is an exceptional colleague who is an invaluable member of the counseling department,” counselor Gary Carter said. “She handles so much that comes her way with the ease of a comforting smile.”

Fabrizio will miss many aspects of her job.

“I will miss all my students and co-workers,” Fabrizio said. “I really enjoyed helping students with the college process.”

During her retirement Fabrizio plans to sleep and exercise more, spend time with her granddaughter and travel with her husband.

“She’s phenomenal, handling everything with a pleasant personality and a smile,” Director of Counseling Robin Moore said.

Emily Goldberg

After 15 years at CHS, English resource teacher Emily Goldberg will retire at the end of this school year.

She originally started with a desk job after graduation, but quickly found it boring. Coupled with the fact that she loved English and found it energizing to work with others, becoming an English teacher was what she considered to be a “dream job.”

“Mrs. Goldberg’s calm presence in class gave students peace of mind, and she was always patient as she worked with us on the challenging Shakespeare literature,” said sophomore Jenna Wang who had Goldberg for English 9.

In addition to her interactions with her students and enthusiasm they put forth, being part of a strong English department is also one of her highlights of her career.

“The students are so strong, willing to learn and work so hard, and the teachers are so dedicated to meeting their expectations,” Goldberg said.

In terms of the future, Goldberg plans to further her career by supervising English teachers in the Department of Education at University of Maryland at College Park.

“I would describe Mrs. Goldberg as understanding, patient, and helpful,” English teacher Mary Dempsey said. “She never has anything negative to say and any constructive criticism is always phrased in a positive way. She never acts too busy to give some advice or suggestions.”

Barbara Blazer

After over 20 years of teaching, English teacher Barbara Blazer is retiring.

Blazer has spent most of her career at CHS, teaching Honors and Regular English 9, 10 and 11.

According to Blazer her initial motivation to teach was her passion for reading.

“I enjoy teaching students to analyze books such as Color of Water by James McBride and books involving units of change,” Blazer said.

Blazer was also coordinator of the Mathematics, Technology, & Science Signature Program (MTS), as well as the Performing Arts Academy for ten years and has rotated in and -out of the Internship program.

Blazer helped students in the CHS MTS program allows students to learn about various careers related to math, science and technology while in school. In the Internship program, she helped students who leave school to continue their learning in an outside environment.

“I enjoy working with these interns who go out into the professional world,” Blazer said.

Her contribution did not go unnoticed as students appreciate her encouraging attitude.

“She is very supportive and wants her students to exceed expectations,” junior Dean Atanasoff said.

“I will miss the students, staff and faculty, but especially students who I love to work with,” Blazer said.

Linda Smith

After over 40 years of teaching, English teacher Linda Smith is bidding farewell to the CHS community.

Smith has taught a variety of classes at CHS including Honors English 9 through 11, AP English Language and Composition and Honors NSL during a one-year stint in the history department.

“I like to see how students think,” Smith said. “I like to watch their growth and their maturity and encourage their curiosity.”

Smith does not have specific plans for life after retirement but is simply looking forward to having free time to be spontaneous and creative. Right now, her commitment to grading occupies this time.

“If I want to garden, I’ll garden,” Smith said. “If I want to travel, I’ll travel. If I want to write stories or screenplays I can actually do it. It’s whatever I want to do. I know I will not be bored.”

Students are fond of Smith for her emphasis on grammar and good writing, her funny stories and her ability to motivate them. Smith’s impact on her students goes beyond grammar and writing skills.

“Not only has she changed me as a student, but I truly believe she has made me a better person as well,” junior Lucy Bedewi said. “I’m really going to miss having such a kind, honest and trustworthy teacher in my life to confide in and visit.”

Smith has also had an impact on other teachers.

“Mrs. Smith has really been a mentor for me all these years,” English teacher Yvonne Roe said. ” I respect her tremendously and she has taught me how to challenge students to really think. I have learned from her that if you have high expectations, students will rise to meet those expectations.”

Smith’s students have left a lasting impact on her, as well.

“I’ll miss the students,” Smith said. “They’ve kept me positive, creative and motivated me to give my very best every day. They continue to help me maintain my sense of humor.”