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  • Writer's pictureHelena Lew-Kiedrowska

Spotlight: New Faculty Members at EHS

Ms. Paulette Antonicelli - Science Teacher

From: Long Island, NY

Classes: 8th grade Physical Science

Favorite movie: Jurassic Park

What did you do over the summer?

I spent a lot of time outdoors renovating my backyard - I planted a vegetable garden and designed several flower beds and an outdoor space.

What inspired you to become a science teacher?

I always had a passion for learning science since I could remember. My mother always told me I was a curious child. In 9th grade, I had a biology teacher named Mrs. Catan who made learning science so much fun! She was intelligent, fun, and loved being a teacher. Her enthusiasm for science was contagious, and I wanted to be just like her.

Who is your favorite scientific figure in history?

This is a tough question because there are so many interesting individuals, but I would have to say Rosalind Franklin- she was a pioneer in her field and a strong female presence in the scientific community. She contributed, in my opinion, to one of the most important scientific findings of all time: DNA.

What do you like to do for fun?

In my spare time, I like to hike different trails around Westchester County as well as take photographs of nature.

Ms. Rebecca Capsuto - STEM Teacher

From: Yorktown, NY

Teaching: 7th grade STEM and one 8th grade class

Favorite Book: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Currently reading: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

What did you do over the summer?

I did online training for this curriculum, and I went to visit my sister. She just went to Massachusetts, so I went to help her unpack and I just hung out with my family.

What inspired you to be a STEM teacher?

I really love hands-on work and project-based learning - I don’t like to lecture. That’s what drew me to STEM, that we do these projects and have fun.

Who is your favorite scientific figure in history?

Ada Lovelace. She’s a mathematician who was friends with Queen Victoria. I really love how even though at the time women weren’t supposed to be doing those things, she did it anyway.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to do calligraphy and I love crafting. I also do yoga and I love to cook, so during quarantine I tried out different recipes. I worked on Korean recipes and Chinese and French and I had a lot of fun exploring all these culinary things.

Ms. MaryRose Joseph - Assistant Principal

Favorite book: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Best movie seen recently: Knives Out

What inspired you to work in education?

When I was younger, I was thinking of doing medicine, and, then, when I graduated college, my dad had a triple bypass surgery, so I stayed home with him a little bit. While I was home, I started tutoring some kids and the parents would be like “I think you should start teaching, this is your thing.”

Where did you start teaching?

I taught at Horace Greeley High School and was director of science research for the last thirteen years. Part of that I was in NYC. This is my 23rd year in education.

What did you do over the summer?

Because of the pandemic, we didn’t go anywhere. So I set up a vegetable garden that I wanted to have for many many years. We also started fostering a puppy, two years old, so we started puppy socialization and it’s been a lot of work.

What do you like to do for fun?

When my kids were younger - now I have a daughter who’s a sophomore at college and another who’s a junior - they picked up tennis, and I thought it was a lot of fun. So now when I have free time over the weekends I try to play tennis at least twice a week.

Mr. Laurence Leung - Science Teacher

From: Poughkeepsie, NY

Classes: Earth Science, Physics, Forensics (this semester), and Astronomy (next semester).

Favorite movie: Contact

Favorite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

What did you do over the summer?

I spent most of my free time hiking or kayaking and practicing wildlife and landscape photography.

What inspired you to become a science teacher?

I was originally inspired by my high school chemistry teacher, who showed me you can teach science while still having fun.

Who is your favorite scientific figure in history?

My favorite science historical figure is either William Herschel, who used orbital mechanics to discover the planet Uranus, or Niel deGrasse Tyson, who also shows that science and learning can be fun.

What is one thing that you’d like EHS students to know about you?

I am a better comedian than they think I am...

Ms. Elizabeth Motycka - Special Education Teacher

From: Ohio

Favorite book: Bloom by Kelle Hampton

What did you do over the summer?

My fiancé Adam and I went back to Ohio, and we saw our families. We have a little niece and nephew, so we saw them and we played with them.

What inspired you to be a special education teacher?

I have a lot of teachers in my family, and I also have an uncle who has Down’s Syndrome, so from an early age I really liked working with students and working with younger kids who have disabilities, so that’s what made me want to go into education and care for those kids.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to run. I really like to try new restaurants and to watch football games. And in the fall I like to do all kinds of fall things like apple picking and going to a pumpkin patch.

What is one thing that you’d like EHS students to know about you?

I am from a very small farm town in western Ohio and the only traffic you’d experience in my town was when you were behind a tractor that took up both sides of the road. So, this has been a great learning experience for me to move to New York, and I’d encourage everyone to break out of their comfort zones, because you definitely learn more and grow more as a person when you do that.


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