Jericho High School hired 11 new faculty members for the 2019-20 school year. The school gave a warm welcome to Joan Ameri, Melaina Badalian, Amanda Barnett, Dr. Lionel Chan, Michelle Genovese, Adrienne Nasser, Tara Pillich, Melissa Rosman, Samantha Sforza, Jennifer Unger and Raymond Velez.
Ameri teaches AP Italian, Italian IV and Italian III. She loves teaching language because “you open a student’s mind to a new culture.” She attended Rutgers University for her undergraduate degree and attended both the Università degli Studi di Firenze and Adelphi University for her graduate work.
“The students are kind to each other, eager to learn and very accepting,” she said.
Badalian is a geometry teacher, who attended Queens College for her bachelor’s degree and Hunter College for her master’s degree. She received an undergraduate degree in music, but after discovering her passion for teaching while tutoring math, she decided to earn her master’s degree in education. She believes that “if you can solve a really tough math problem, you can solve pretty much any problem that’s going on in your life.”
Badalian encourages her students to “always try your best at every single thing you do because you never really know where life is going to take you.”
Barnett is a Spanish teacher, who studied at the University of Albany for her undergraduate degree and attended the College of Saint Rose for her master’s degree. She shared how she loves that Jericho students and staff “are so motivated and everyone just wants to do their best all the time.” When she’s not in school, Barnett enjoys running, biking and going to the beach. She also loves spending time with her family.
Chan is the new world language curriculum associate. He went to New York University for his undergraduate degree, and went to City University of New York for his PhD. He chose Jericho because it’s an exciting school. He has learned Cantonese, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, French and English.
“The people here are great, the teachers are wonderful, and I think that the district has a lot of people that are very supportive of each other,” he said.
Velez is the new social worker, previously studying at SUNY Old Westbury and earning his master’s degree in social work at Stony Brook University.
His favorite part of working in Jericho is that it is such a diverse school district and it gives the students real world experiences. When Velez is not in school, he enjoys boxing and spending time with his two children. Velez hopes to provide a stress-free safe space for all students and faculty.
For the full version of this story, visit www.jerecho.org.
Caroline Gross, Andy Liu, Darien Schultz, Tyler Siegmann, Katie Tian and Qi Wang each participated in writing this piece for JerEcho.