by Ashley W '16

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Stone


Where did you grow up?

Right here in NY, Manhattan.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I had a lot of good teachers who I admired as a student. I like talking about history, I like working with kids, I like working with other people. It’s a pretty good line of work to be in.

Where did you go to college? Major?

I went to Bowdoin College. I majored in history and concentrated in European History.

Where and what did you teach before you came to BSGE?

Well right before I came to BSGE I was in graduate school at Teacher’s College in Columbia. Before that I actually taught everything in an elementary school for a couple of years.

Why history?

I think it’s a fun subject to teach because there are always points of connection

by Moshan G '17

Staff Member of the Month: Virge Ramos

UnknownWhat is your cultural background?

I am of Puerto Rican descent and was born and raised in New York City. You can call me a New Yorican.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Queens, Jackson Heights.

Have you ever been to Puerto Rico?


How do you like it?

I love it.

What are some of the most remarkable places in Puerto Rico?

There are many beautiful places there. One remarkable place in particular is a surfing town called Rimcon, located on the West Coast. It’s very small and there are no big hotel chains. There are a lot of surfing going on. It’s a very beautiful place.

Do you like to surf?

No, I’m not very good at it.

Do you have any siblings?

I have two older sisters and two younger brothers.

How did it feel like to grow up as the middle child of the family?

It was a lot of work. You get beat up by the older ones, and you have to beat up the little ones, so you’re right smack in the middle.

What languages do you speak?

English, Spanish, Japanese

What did you dream of becoming when you were little?

Rich and famous.

Did you ever imagine yourself working at a school?

No, but I imagined being a superstar

by Luke M '18

Staff Member of the Month: Tim David-Lang

photoWhat are your plans for the future?

I don’t see any major changes in my life.

When did you realize you wanted to work in a school?

My first job with kids was when I was 15, in a summer camp. Then, during college I participated in a summer academic program and I realized that I wanted to pursue this career after college.

What were you like as student?

I definitely liked school a lot. I was a very active in classes and in extra-curricular activities. I didn’t enjoy math and science. But I got good grades in all of my classes. I was a curious student and I

by Maya J '16

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Julie Hunter

Ms. Hunter Skydiving

BaccRag: Where did you work before you came to BSGE?

Ms. Hunter: At another school, in New York.

What do you think of BSGE so far?

It’s really great, it’s a really special place. The students are really good, the building is really clean, the staff is really good, my boss is good, the neighborhood is good. I really love it here, I really like this school.

Was math your favorite subject in high school?

Yeah, it was.

What kind of math?

Well, it’s kind of hard to remember high school, even though it wasn’t that long ago. We didn’t learn things in the same order as you guys. I really liked algebra, actually. And geometry.

When did you decide you wanted to teach math?

When I graduated during the Recession, and I had trouble finding a job, I went back to school to become a teacher, because both my parents were teachers, and I figured – why not.

by Lydia S '15

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Clarkson-Farrell

photoOkay, so for starters, what is your first name, Ms. Clarkson Farrell?

 Alright, finally… Here it comes, dun dun dun! So many people have been asking me throughout the years, it’s Theresa. Theresa Clarkson Farrell, people call me Terry.

 Finally! We find out. So, what would you describe your position at BSGE?

 Oh my goodness, I wear many hats. I do the library, I am the librarian. I oversee the 10th grade personal project elective; sometimes I call myself the 10th grade personal project cheerleader. Urging you on, “Yes, you can do it!” Also, this term, I am covering the Human Rights class for Peter, this is the first time I’m doing that.

 So, you’re teaching the class?

 Well yes, I’m teaching the class, but following Peter’s curriculum to the best of

by Lydia S '15

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Mehan

1.) What is your cultural background?

I am actually fifth- or sixth-generation American. My mother is working out the specifics but I do know that I have mostly Irish ancestry with a bit of English/French thrown into the mix.

2.) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a very small town, Stillwater, in Upstate NY outside of Albany/Saratoga.

3.) What was your childhood like?

Since it was a small town, everyone knew each other, much like BSGE. We spent a lot of time just hanging outside at bonfires/cookouts, playing games, or just sitting on the banks of the Hudson (it’s much narrower up north). I ended graduating with 75 others in the only high school in town.

4.) When did you decide to be a teacher?

I remember during playing school when I was little and ‘teaching’ imaginary students (4th grade history/geography). My sixth grade math teacher, Mrs. Alston, helped increase my

by Lydia S '15

Staff member of the Month: Mildred Velez

How would you describe your role in BSGE?

Well my title is school aide. I do a few things. I’m in the cafeteria for all the lunch periods. Then after the lunch periods are over, I do what the staff… If they need supplies, I get the teacher supplies, I do filing, I make copies, I take care of the copying machines, I order supplies for the copy machines… And basically anything that comes up.

How long have you worked at BSGE?

I believe it’s going on for 5 years.

So you’ve been here the whole time Ms.Johnson was the principal?

Yes, the whole time she was principal and I believe one year before she was the principal. When Mr. Stroud was the principal.

Why did you choose to work here?

Well I didn’t choose, they chose me. Because the Board of Education sends 

by Isabel C '14

Staff Member of the Month: Ms. Vanessa Rabines

Where are you from? What is your background?
I’m Peruvian American. I guess that’s what you would technically call it. My parents are Peruvian and I was born here.

Do you have any siblings? how many? do you get along with them?
Yes, I have two siblings. An older brother and an older sister. We get along very well.

Really? Are you lying?
Yes, really and no I’m not lying. I mean me and my sister used to fight, not me and my brother when we were younger, but we’re adults now.

How would you describe the kind of music you listen to? Favorite band?
I don’t think I have a favorite band, I like to listen to chill music: r&b, soul, something that’s pleasing to my ear nothing raunchy or loud.

What would you consider to be ‘raunchy or loud’?
Something that I can’t understand basically most of the music from now.

Why did you choose to work here?
I technically didn’t choose to work here, I had worked at queens vocational for a year, then got laid off, then when I was reassigned back to the board of ed I was sent here.

What do you think of the students? Be honest.
To be honest, I enjoy working with this group of students because if

by Steven A '14

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Jim Heine

Why did you want to become a teacher?
Teaching found me.  I was looking to make a change in my career, and New York City was in need of teachers. Several events came together, and I became a teacher.

Photo Credit: Isabel C '14

How do you feel about working here for so long?
I did not realize that I had been here so long.  Time really does fly when you enjoy what you do.

Why did you choose to work at BSGE?
I did not choose BSGE, BSGE chose me.  I am very fortunate that they did.

by Lydia S '15

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Linda Ellman

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I really thought that History was a good way to make people to think about all kinds of big ideas and a way to think about the world. I have a passion for History and I thought I would want to talk to young people about that. Also I think that schools are very important places for young people and adults.And I wanted to make a very humane institution for a small school like this.

Did you plan on working in an IB school?
No, this is my second school, but both times I worked originally for Bill, the old principal and so I didn’t know that much about the IB but when he first started talking about it, I thought it

by Ergisa X '16

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Hernandez

When did you start teaching?
I started teaching in 2002.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger I really wanted to be a doctor.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Astoria, around Ditmars Blvd. Steinway Street area.

What hobbies do you have?
I like to play video games.

How old were you when you wanted to be a teacher?
I was about 24 years old.  I was working in Business, I wanted to do something to give back to society.  I was good at

by Michelle N '15

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Rajiv Mahajan

What’s the craziest excuse you’ve ever heard for missing homework?
Someone said their bag was once stolen. It’s always the deal with the subway basically. They say something like, “I left my bag on the subway” or “someone took my bag and it had all my homework in it” that’s usually as creative as they get. Usually they just kind of look down at the ground, at their shoes.

What grade do you prefer teaching?
I like them all, actually. I’m really happy with the second year french students that I have, and I’m very happy with my fourth year  students. The problem is actually when they become sophomores, they become sort of jaded. Juniors, they change, and by 12th grade they realize it was too late and they should’ve wised up a lot earlier. So that’s the only thing I don’t like. Especially when they’re past that Sophomore age and they say,