Written by Stephen Zumpano |
There are many teachers at Morgan that have been part of the faculty for a long time. They were accustomed to the old building for so long that it will take some time for them to get used to the new building. Social Studies teacher Diana Rizzo, English teachers Julie Frydenborg and Paul Serenbetz, Science teachers Colleen Whittel and Chris Luther, and Mathematics teacher Alan Samet shared their thoughts on the new and old Morgan.
Having worked at the old Morgan for 12 years, Ms. Rizzo first reacted to the announcement of the new school with excitement, but she also shared, “when I drive past the old Morgan, I just get nostalgic because of all the great memories made there.” Mr. Serenbetz had a similar reaction, saying “it was my home away from home for 30+ years, and there was a lot of history there.” Mr. Samet even asked, “why can’t they fix up the old one?” Mr. Samet and Mr. Serenbetz are both 38-year members of the Morgan faculty, making them the longest working faculty members at Morgan today. However, 13-year veteran Ms. Frydenborg thought “it’s about time”, and 11-year veteran Mrs. Whittel thought, “this is a good idea.”
With this new school, there comes a lot of big changes, and some of our teachers miss certain qualities of the old school. Most teachers miss the divided hallways and being close to the members of their department. This was admitted by Mr. Luther, Ms. Rizzo, and Mrs. Whittel. The latter of these said, “the biggest change is not being able to borrow equipment from other members of the science department and not being able to collaborate.” However, Mr. Luther also mentioned that “we’re so used to being next to the same teachers, and it’s great to spend time with other teachers that are now my neighbors.” Mr. Serenbetz also added that he misses the amount of room he had for his books. Mr. Samet admitted missing his SmartBoard, “I had a very special relationship with my SmartBoard.”
Regarding the Chromebooks, teachers are finding a variety of ways to use them. Ms. Frydenborg and Ms. Rizzo are both appreciative of the fact that they use less paper because of the Chromebooks. Ms. Frydenborg said, “I’m using less paper, and as an English teacher, that’s huge.” A lot of other teachers like the fact that they can communicate and collaborate with their students easier because of them. Mrs. Whittel commented that she’s “starting to incorporate them more to try virtual labs and use Google Classroom for students to submit assignments.” And Mr. Samet likes them because “we can use Khan Academy now.”
The new school is a major upgrade from the old school, which includes new privileges and advantages for teachers. Mr. Serenbetz, Ms. Rizzo, and Mrs. Whittel all praised the new technology. The latter of those stated that the technology and wifi are “much more reliable” than those in the old school. The two formers both love the projector and speaker systems. Mr. Serenbetz also enjoys the collaboration room because “it’s great for presentations.” Mr. Luther said he is “enjoying having a prep room that Mrs. Lisy and I can share. It allows me to set up a lab before the students get there so that way it’s more organized.” Mr. Samet appreciates the fact that we have an elevator because “the elevator is good for old people.”
Based on these factors, the teachers made a decision as to which school they prefer. Ms. Frydenborg said “definitely the new building.” She enjoys “the brightness. It’s clean and the technology. Everything is just so beautiful.” Ms. Rizzo gave a well thought out answer. She said, “I prefer this building because it offers a more social and collaborative setting for students and a more academic setting for teachers. However, being a history teacher and appreciating the past, the old Morgan will always be my first home.” Mrs. Whittel said, “the new building, because the kids’ cell phones don’t work in my room, so they’re never on their phones.” She also said she appreciates the openness of the new building. Mr. Serenbetz couldn’t decide, saying that “each has its own special charm.”