The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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Teacher of the year: Ms. Glassband

Mr. Mike Garzio
Ms. Glassband with her AP Language students.

  Passionate, fun-loving, kind. These are some of the words used to describe this year’s teacher of the year,  Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Language teacher, Ms. Glassband, who has taught at South for 25 years. 

     Ms. Glassband’s teaching career started at the University of Vermont, where she was an English and Education major. She later went on to receive a Master’s degree in Literature from American University, teaching in Washington DC, Atlanta, and now West Windsor.

      “I truly loved going to school, but when I went to college, it was actually my father who said to get a teaching degree,” said Ms. Glassband. “And the minute I was in the classroom, I knew this was it, for me – I fell in love with those kids, and that was it.”

     Ms. Glassband has worked across multiple positions as a teacher, excelling in all of them. 

     “Before she taught here, she taught in schools where the demographic was underserved populations,” said Ms. Dara Sheller, an AP Literature teacher who works closely with Ms. Glassband. “She taught in a school for unwed mothers, teenage girls who were expecting babies, and I just feel like she really always gives it her all. She’s special.”

     What makes Ms. Glassband stand out is her endless passion for her subject, and her desire to convey that passion to her students and co-workers.

     “I’ve been here for 20 years, and I’ve seen her work with absolutely every kind of student, those who love school and those who don’t so much,” said Ms. Stacey Tafoya, a language arts teacher and friend of Ms. Glassband. “She has an ability to see every kid for who they are and meet them where they’re at and make them care.”

     Another language arts colleague, Mr. Novak, said,“Ms. Glassband is that rare kind of person that is just a teacher all the time.” 

     Through her work at South, Ms. Glassband has witnessed important moments as an educator. In her years teaching freshman, she taught a unit on genocide and zoned in on an important piece of literature,Anne Frank’s diary called ”The Diary of a Young Girl” . After discovering Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Frank family during the Holocaust, had turned a hundred years old, the class wanted to wish the hero a happy birthday. They were amazed when they got a response.

     “Here this woman, my hero, who had done the unthinkable, was talking to us,” said Ms. Glassband. “To have that experience with my students and see them feel the power of communicating with a person who had contributed so profoundly to the world, was just an amazing moment to share.”

     Ms. Glassband’s students as well have shared important learning experiences in class with her. 

     “Her brilliance and expertise in her subject is matched by her remarkable compassion,” said Amaidhiameya Ilangovan-Arya (‘24). “Not only did she effectively prepare us for AP exams, but she helped us grow into more thoughtful individuals.”

     Ms. Glassband’s  teaching has positively impacted South. 

     “She’s exuberant, she’s warm, and she’s very smart,” said Ms. Sheller. “She’s just a few years younger than me and yet, I look up to her.”

Her warmth and kindness is essential to students and teachers alike, and she is truly a deserving recipient of this year’s Teacher of the Year award.

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