New Year New Faces

Raneem Khan, Reporter

Every year, around the beginning of September, students look down at their schedules to see what teachers they have. You see a teacher’s name and your face might light up, because according to all the upperclassmen, he or she is really lenient about late work; or in some cases, you might look at your schedule and let out a silent groan because his or her no-phone policy is ‘totally-not-fair’. But what about those times when you look down and the name doesn’t ring a bell? You don’t remember any upperclassmen mention him or her. Well, not to worry, because here you can get to know two of the new teachers here at Langley: Senora Nieves and Mrs. Kizelewicz. Maybe even stop by to give them a warm welcome and say hello!

Senora Nieves loves being a teacher and hopes to see her students speak fluent Spanish

Senora Nieves loves being a teacher and hopes to see her students speak fluent Spanish

When Langley was in need for a new Spanish teacher, it found the perfect fit with Senora Nieves, a native Spanish speaker originally from the Dominican Republic. Senora Nieves is a former Langley teacher who taught Spanish 3 and AP Spanish here 10 years ago. After her time here at Langley, she transferred to Fairfax High School where she has been teaching for the last nine years. Fairfax County isn’t the only place she’s been teaching though. Totaling up to 24 years, Senora Nieves has enlightened the minds of students in North Carolina, Oregon, Florida, and Virginia. When asked how she’s been liking her time returning to Langley she said, “It’s been great! The staff is amazing and the students are wonderful and very polite.” Emily Shin, a sophomore at Langley, said, “Spanish isn’t my favorite subject, but Senora Nieves is really sweet and makes it a little more enjoyable.”

Senora Nieves continues to explain some of her favorite things about Langley, “the warm and friendly staff, the great sense of community that everybody has and the interaction that Mr. Amico has with the students.” Despite the many ups, there are some downsides about the school too, such as construction, “While there are some minor inconveniences, I know that in the long run it will be great.  It doesn’t bother my students and therefore it doesn’t bother me either” she said. Finally, she said that her future goals here at Langley are “To have my students love the Spanish language and culture, and for them to become fluent (in the language).” Senora Nieves, who also loves to travel and learn about different cultures, is very happy to have returned to Langley High School.

When you think of a classic science teacher, Ms. Frizzle might come to mind, although Mrs. Kizelewicz, one of Langley’s new chemistry teachers, isn’t too far from the childhood favorite. Unlike much of Langley’s new faculty, Mrs. Kizelewicz isn’t from around Virginia; In fact, she recently moved from Florida this summer “because we [her family] wanted to live somewhere with seasons” she said. As for her teaching experience, she explained how she’s been teaching for 12 years in 3 different counties in Florida including Alachua County, Marion County, and Orange County. Mrs. Kizelewicz is new to the Langley atmosphere, but she seems to be liking it. “So far I’m very impressed with Langley, all the other teachers have been very helpful and very friendly and the students are super polite; everybody’s saying thank you when they walk out of the classroom, that’s new for me and kind of nice and (students) have very high expectations for themselves and teachers too which is really awesome to see people automatically going above and beyond,” she said.

Mrs. Kizelewicz loves her job and describes her teaching as very “Hands on” in order for her students to succeed

Mrs. Kizelewicz loves her job and describes her teaching as very “Hands on” in order for her students to succeed

Construction has been a large problem for Mrs. Kizelewicz. She said, “Right now my biggest negative [aspect about Langley] is just that I feel very cramped in my classroom; I’m used to having room to make my way around the classroom and I’ve had to adapt to the way I do things because I can’t easily get around,” but she continues to say “I am going to be really excited when we get to move out of this right now, but the end will be worth it.”

Despite construction, Mrs. Kizelewicz tries her best to stay up to date with class work and help her students out at all times possible. “I try to be very hands on and collaborative in my classroom; I want kids to be doing things when they’re in here with me rather than passively absorbing information.” Her students seem to love this style of teaching as well; Sophomore Kiana Koshnoud said “I really like how [Mrs. Kizelewicz] is super interactive in her class because having her first period, I’m always really sleepy, and her cheerful attitude keeps me paying attention” One of Mrs. Kizelewicz’s favorite sayings, which she told her students on the first day of school, is the term “Chem-is-try.” She believes that as long as her students keep making an effort, she will continue to help them learn the material. “I try to be very supportive so we’ll be learning and we’ll be making mistakes, but we’ll be improving, and the goal is knowledge not grades, per se,” she said.

As for being a new teacher in a school full of welcoming faces, the chemistry enthusiast said “It feels a little overwhelming (to be new) because there’s a lot going on, and I’m trying to figure out a lot of things all at the same time. I know it’ll all calm down, but it’s a lot to figure out blackboard, and SIS, and all the things that are going on; it’s just a lot at the same time. Even the schedules are different, everything’s different, so I’m getting used to a lot.” Mrs. Kizelewicz, who’s looking forward to working with a brand new set of students, finishes off with a sincere message to Langley. “I would like people from Langley to know that I love my job, I love teaching chemistry, and this is what makes me happy,” she said. From Florida all the way to Virginia, don’t be shocked if Mrs. Kizelewicz soon becomes a favorite of years of chemistry students here at Langley. All in all, these two new teachers here at Langley, among the long list of new faculty, are a great and well-awaited addition to Langley’s staff.