After graduating from Princeton in 2013 and working in healthcare analytics consulting for a year and a half, I was ecstatic that TPP welcomed me back during the spring of 2015. Teaching four sections of college prep chemistry at a local, public high school provided me with the unique opportunity to hone individual lessons. My cohort of sophomores and juniors was highly energetic, and they pushed me to be the best instructor that I could be. I especially remember our lessons on chemistry in careers during my original unit plan.
Beyond The Classroom
In September of 2018, I started my 26th year in the Counseling Department of Haddonfield Memorial High School. I continue to appreciate profoundly the opportunity to work at a school that has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best educational institutions in southern New Jersey, the whole state, and even the nation.
Through the Teacher Prep program, I became certified to teach high school English, but did not pursue teaching as a career. In the 6 years immediately after graduating from Princeton and TPP, I earned an EdM from Harvard, worked at Harvard University in academic planning, and then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. For the next few decades, I worked for several businesses, including Newsday, a major New York newspaper.
After graduating, I spent one year teaching English/Language Arts, English as a Second/Additional Language and Drama to grade 6 - 9 students at an international school in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Following this, I moved to Berkeley, California where I have been working for 1.5 years at a non-profit that supports the education of foster youth in Bay Area middle and high schools. The organization is called SOAR for Youth.
After graduating from Princeton with a degree in Economics and certificates from Teacher Preparation and Environmental Studies, Réka taught Math, English, Literature, Science and Arts for 3-11th graders in Sri Lanka for a summer.
She is currently pursuing the Economics PhD program at Stanford University with the goal to learn more and do research about the role education systems and other factors play in reducing inequality within and across countries.
Immediately after graduating from TPP I worked as a substitute teacher at the Bayonne Board of Education. That fall I started work as a Biology Teacher in North Bergen with Hudson County Schools of Technology. I taught there from September 2011-June 2013 before resigning so I could move to North Carolina since my husband received orders to be stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. When his unit deployed I returned to New Jersey and taught Chemistry as a permanent substitute.
I was an East Asian Studies (Chinese) major at Princeton, class of 1973 , with education (TPP) as my minor field of study. My career aspirations and interests included education as well as journalism and communications. My teaching certification was in social studies as well as Chinese language. I was the first teacher of Chinese to be certified in the State of New Jersey.
After graduating from the Teacher Preparation Program in 2001, I worked as an affiliated artist in a nonprofit storytelling organization founded by Princeton alumna, Susan Danoff. Through TPP, I attended several of Susan's teacher workshops, which were held on Princeton campus, and I became her intern. When I did my practice teaching in the 5th grade in the Montgomery School district, I designed a storytelling unit for the students. In their evaluations, many of them said that this had been the best part of my teaching because I so clearly loved what I was doing.
Since graduating from TPP in the Fall of 2006, I have continued to work in schools in various capacities, mostly in student support, operations and leadership roles.
I was offered a job in March of my senior year, 1977, to teach at Escuela Campo Alegre , an independent American School in Caracas, Venezuela. I flew to Venezuela that August. I taught 8th and 9th grade science and still think it was the most fun I ever had that generated a paycheck. Less than half the students were American citizens, and even most of the "American' kids had never lived in the USA. My students spoke English in class with me, Spanish with their pals, then French or Swedish or Dutch at home.