by Jolijt T '11 by Stephanie A '11

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Jennifer Dikes

If you were to be on a stranded island with one BSGE teacher who would it be and why?
Virge because Virge would keep me alive. Because if I was stranded with Ms. You or Adam, we’d collectively starve to death.
It sounds like you have experience with that.
With Virge keeping me alive. Yeah, absolutely.

If you were stuck in a room for 48 hours and you had to bring two movies but you had to watch them over and over again, what two movies would you bring?
That is a good question. Two movies to watch over and over… Ferris Bueller’s Day Off because it would make me laugh over and over again. And then something really complicated that each time I’d watch it I’d get something out of it. Probably Momento because I’ve only seen that once.

by Stephanie A '11

Teacher of the Month: Niki Singh

You’re always surrounded by kids (family, school), where do you go to escape?
The hour-long subway ride to and from school is my escape, especially when I don’t have anything to grade.

What were you like as a teenager?
I always think of myself as being a goody-two-shoes, but I also remember  wanting to have a particular friend around because she NEVER got into trouble, whereas I always did.  I was in boarding school in India so the kinds of things that got us into trouble were feeding stray dogs and exploring the hills around. And going over

by Daniell S '12

Teacher of the Month: Dr. Helfenbein

What do you think of the school year so far?
So far it’s going well. Most of the students are working hard, and I hope it continues for the rest of the year.

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 6th year teaching, and my 4th year here teaching at BSGE.

Why did you become a teacher?
Well, I guess I was at a point in my life where I needed to make a career decision. My background was in science. I used to work as a researcher at a lab. I wanted the job to connect to my scientific background, but one in which had the chance to work with people a bit more. And when I saw that New York City was looking for new teachers that were coming from other professions, it seemed to be a match, a fit.

What were you considered to be in school? (Nerd, Jock)
Um.. Boy.. I guess

by Jolijt T '11

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Connie You

What do you love about yourself?
I think the thing I love about myself is the thing that I also dislike about myself, which is, I’m reflective. So I try to think a lot about my own feelings and thoughts.

What’s your pet peeve?
Periods and commas outside quotation marks.

What intimidates you?
I would say people who are naturally very extroverted. My sister’s that way so my sister plays a really big role in my life. We are opposites but also competitive so everything she is I kind of wish I were. And I think it might work the other way around too.

Is she your older sister?

by Jessi H '11

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Lily Shen

1. What kind of student were you in high school?
In China, there are three criteria students are graded on sports, academics, and behavior. I was a very good student, but I liked sports, mostly volleyball, track and field, and ping-pong. But I was also good at singing, which I did in chorus.

2. Did your friends play sports too?
My friends were all nerds, they paid attention to academics only.

3. Did you enjoy school?
At the time, the idea of not liking school did not even exist. Being a student was our job. There was no second thinking. You just have to do what you have to do. This whole concept of ‘I hate school’ is new to me.  In China, you had to do well.  Well, not everyone did well, but they tried.

4. Is this what made you want to become a teacher?
In third grade, I knew I wanted to teach. I admired my math

by Emi F '09

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Jim Napolitano

So Jim, did you always want to be a high school math teacher?

J:I always wanted to be a teacher, from a very young age, and originally I thought I’d wind up being a physics teacher, physics was my favorite subject in high school. It turns out that when I went to become a teacher I discovered that because my undergraduate degree is electrical engi­neering that NYS did not recognize electrical engi­neering as either science or math  but it was more easily, (by getting copies of the catalogue and course description to get them to acknowledge the electri­cal engineering courses as) acknowledged as math courses rather than phys­ics courses even though it is really related to both. It is very heavy math, so electrical engineering is es­sentially math. I previously ended up going into indus­try because I got married young and I couldn’t earn enough money so I wanted to earn money and raise a family and do all that first and by then it was too late to go get a doctorate and do all that. So I love high school and I wouldn’t teach lower grades, I wouldn’t be good at it, it’s not my thing. I envisioned myself origi­nally as a college teacher, but I love working with older kids.


How many years have you been a math teacher?

by Emi F '09

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Chris Potter

So we’ve heard that you used to play basketball. Can you tell us a little about that?

Well I grew up in the Bronx and my father was my first basketball coach in the sev­enth and eight grade and he gave me a big head start over a lot of people because he taught us the basic fun­damentals. I worked my way up from being a sub to being an all-state player as a senior and then was fortu­nate enough to get a schol­arship to play college bas­ketball at Holy Cross where I started for four years we had very good teams there and at the end of that I wound up playing in Spain for a year in Madrid for what is there professionally,


What/Who is your favorite thing/person about BSGE?

I just think the stu­dents are so nice, it’s a really great diverse popu­lation, people are very toler­ant of one an­other, respect­ful and I think that goes for everyone, like not just the students, but the faculty as well, like it’s a really neat interaction among all the people here.


Would you say you like NY bet­ter than RI?

Well it’s home for me. You know I married into the state of RI and I really like RI, being down here there are things that I miss about it. When I go take a trip up there..there’s that little sense of homesickness because I lived up there for 24 years. But coming back to NY I feel like I’m really home having grown up in the Bronx.


How many countries or cities have you lived in? You said Spain and RI…

Well, Massachusetts for a couple of years while I was in graduate school. That is pretty much it, really.


And how would you say you got into teaching af­ter having played bball?

Well I taught while I was in graduate school, and at the end of graduate school I though well I have to get a real job because I was getting married so I went into banking and after my daughters were born and were growing up it seemed like a good move to go back to something that I’d liked doing while I was in graduate school which was teaching. It would give me

by Kelly V '12

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Greg Hofer

Name: Greg Hofer
Subject: Physics
Grade: 9th

What do you think of the kids in your classes?
I would say generally well-behaved. There are some people who act up a little bit or are not paying attention…but I find them pretty well-behaved.

What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Sitting eating a plate of eggs with a thunderstorm outside.

Who is the most influential person you know?
Hmm…it would be my kids. I see what they’re doing and I guess that influences me somewhat…their ideas and their thoughts and what they’re doing.

What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever done to anyone?

by Kelly V '12

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Michael McGuire

Name: Mike McGuire
Subject: Art
Grade(s): 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

What do you think of the kids in your classes? Do they misbehave or are they generally well-behaved?
Generally well-behaved…because I think the curriculum of IB art blends itself to a teenagers’ energy and its need to be free in the classroom…if they misbehave it’s behind my back when I’m not looking….oh, the eighth grade last year had a problem with their language and behavior so whenever they used some language that was not appropriate or treated each other with disrespect they would go clean. [note: he used to make us clean the sinks in the back of the classroom and the art utensils that were dirty in the sinks]

What were you considered as in school? (popular, nerdy, etc.)
I was shy…I had good friends, I wasn’t a loner…but, like, I was shy.

Ever broken a body part?
I tore a ligament in my ankle…playing soccer.

Who is the

by Kelly V '12

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Sarah Cunningham

Subject: English and Spanish
Grade(s): 8th and 7th

During this interview Ms. Cunningham was accompanied by her son, Sean.

What do you think of the kids in your classes? Did they misbehave or are they generally well-behaved?
Well BSGE has great kids. Um, they’re generally really well-behaved. The misbehavior here is like slim in comparison to misbehavior in other public schools.

What kind of person were you considered in school? (popular, nerdy, etc.)
I was the girl on the outside. I don’t think I had a label. I sat in the back row with

by Kelly V '12

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Kerri Mahaney

Subject:Algebra Grade(s): 8

What do you think of the kids in your classes? Do they misbehave or are they generally well-be­haved?

I love the kids in my classes. Yeah they misbe­have, to a normal degree.They’re normal; lovely and normal. I believe that all kids are good people. I believe that people go bad between like the ages of 22and 60.

What is the weirdest h.w. excuse you have ever heard?

Jamal H. has the best homework excuses this year. His cousin,more than

by Kelly V '12

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Mark Wolov

Name: Mark Wolov
Subject: Humanities
Grade(s): 8th and 10th

1) What do you think of the kids in your classes? Do they misbehave or are they generally well-behaved?
Well, they’re mostly well-behaved. Of course teenagers are teenagers but no one throws things at me. The kids in this school take their education seriously.

2) What is the weirdest h.w. excuse you have ever heard?
Hmm….”My brother flushed it down the toilet because there was no toilet paper”.

3) What did you do in school that got you in trouble?
It’s not what I did in school; it’s what I did in