Four classmates shared what they love most about being members of the faculty.
Annabelle Baylin studied mindfulness education at NYU’s Gallatin School. She is an Associate Teacher in the Pre-K Fours and is earning her masters in early childhood and special education from Brooklyn College. Tiffany Zarabi-Aazam majored in Middle East studies at Brown University. She is an Associate Teacher in the Fourth Grade. Louis Minsky studied computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is an Upper School computer science teacher. Suzy Storr graduated from Camberwell College of Arts (University of the Arts London) and is a long-term substitute art teacher in the Lower School.
What is one thing about your tenure as a student that would surprise your current students?
Annabelle: I think they might enjoy knowing that many of the people who were in my Kindergarten class are still some of my closest friends now. It’s fun to imagine the 4- and 5- year-olds I now teach at age 27, all friends, maybe working at Packer!
Louis: Packer might actually be Hogwarts. As a student I spent a lot of time exploring the building. If you had asked me back then, I would’ve said that I knew about all of the secret passages and rooms, but I keep learning about new ones.
Suzy: It might surprise them to know that I was convinced I was going to become a neurosurgeon like my grandfather. I took an anatomy class with former science teacher Judy Kemlitz. I thought I was studying the body to become a doctor, but in the end those lessons helped me to understand the human form so deeply that in college I became a figurative painter instead!
Tiffany: I became studious in Upper School, but I was much more focused on sports, friends, and adventure up through Middle School. Also, I still think of Tim as “Mr. Jensen.”
Some of your teachers still work in the building. What is the best part of having them as colleagues?
Annabelle: It’s wonderful to have people in the same community who have known me for so long and in multiple capacities. I find that it makes my experience as a Packer teacher very multidimensional and rich.
Louis: I think back on what a huge impact many of the teachers at Packer had on me and how many of their lessons I still remember. Now I get to work alongside people like Dr. Lurain, Ms. Fahy, and Mr. Snook, and I can only hope to inspire my students as much as they inspired me.
Suzy: Working at Packer allows me the privilege to watch and learn from the teachers who inspired and nurtured me as a child. It’s a treat to learn more about their lives outside of Packer and hear stories and advice from their early days as educators.
Tiffany: The best part is to be able to walk with the greats. In true full circle, each 4th Grade class has a student whose parent was once my teacher: Noah Reinhardt was my 7th Grade math teacher, Richard Brownstone was my 11th Grade English teacher, and Peter Melman was my 12th Grade creative nonfiction writing teacher. Maybe one day their kids will teach my kids!