Meet Our New Faculty

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Ms. Ciambriello
World Languages Department – Italian

Q: What do you like most about teaching?

A: Teaching keeps me on my toes – every day is different. Also, being with teenagers allows me to see a perspective I would not otherwise have. And, I love hearing my students say something new in Italian!

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?

A: I taught in Summit and South Orange, NJ several years ago. I am returning to teaching after a career in international finance. So sometimes I feel like a new teacher again.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A: Cooking, sailing, yoga and spin classes. I try to spend as much time as possible with my family, although my daughters are both away at college now.

Q: What advice would you give your students that would help them excel in class?

A: Participate! Participate! Take full advantage of the 43 minutes you have in language class everyday, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s how you learn to communicate.

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.

A: I have always wanted to be an umpire.

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Mr. Fleming

Special Services Department

Q: Where did you attend college and/or graduate school?
A: Drew University and New York Law School

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?
A: I started at Ramapo 10 years ago and then spent the last 8 years in Essex County.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Woodworking

Q: What do you like most about teaching?
A: Student Interaction

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.
A: I am just an average guy.

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Dr. Galante
Science Department

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?

A: I started teaching in January 2010 as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University teaching organic chemistry, which I did for 8.5 years. From September 2010 I was also teaching at Bergen County Academies, a magnet high school located in Hackensack, NJ. Before teaching I was a research chemist/manager in the pharmaceutical industry.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I love music and I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10 years old. I also play the ukulele, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, bass and a little piano.

Q: Why did you choose to teach at Ramapo?

A: Both of my children went through the RIH school district, one at Ramapo and one at Indian Hills. The quality of the district and being close to home, made choosing Ramapo easy.

Q: What advice would you give your students that would help them excel in your class?

A: Chemistry is a difficult subject for most people and requires more work to do well than most students realize at first. Try to focus on real understanding/learning and not memorization.

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.

A: When I was in high school I wanted to be a professional boxer.

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Ms. Kusma

Family/Consumer Science Department

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?
A: I taught at Indian Hills, Montville, Vernon and High Point Regional.

Q: Where did you attend college?
A: Immaculata University

Q: Why did you choose Ramapo?
A: It chose me! I was already teaching at Hills but due to the growth of enrollment at Po, I was needed to teach two periods at Ramapo.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Spending time with my family.

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.
A: I love sunny and quiet afternoons with a good book to read.

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Mr. Vander Molen
Social Studies Department

Q: What do you like most about teaching?
A: I enjoy making connections between our past history and events that are occurring today. I expect all of my students to keep an open mind and always ask questions. It is important that we as learners respect all viewpoints, especially if they challenge our own way of thinking.

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?

A: I taught for 5 years at Eisenhower, 11 years at Ramapo, and 2 years in Mahwah.

Q: Why did you choose Ramapo?
A: Ramapo has always held a special place in my heart. When my wife and I were engaged, we looked for houses in the FLOW district because we know how great the schools are and wanted to give our children the opportunity that we have seen firsthand.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family, including my 3 children, whether it is going to the beach or other fun activities.
Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.

A: Prior to teaching, I lived in Washington, D.C. and worked for a NJ Congressman

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Ms. Krawczyk
English Department

Q: Where did you attend college and /or graduate school?
A: I got my master’s degree in elementary education from Marymount University and my master’s degree in secondary English from Columbia University.

Q: What do you like most about teaching?
A: I’m passionate about the subject I teach (English) and I love the students! I enjoy their wit and creativity.

Q: What advice would you give your students that would help them excel in your class?
A: Have a positive attitude, work hard, and cultivate an appreciation for literature.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Yoga!

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.
A: I spent a semester in Poland in 2006.

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Mr. Zitelli

Special Services Department

Q: How many years have you been teaching?

A: I am a new teacher. I retired from corporate information technology earlier this year. I spent many years developing Internet applications.

Q: What do you like most about teaching?
A: Teaching gives me the opportunity to interact with the next generation. I want to understand the things that are important to the them and help them understand things that are important to all members of society.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I ride a bicycle with a local club. I am a member of the Montvale Planning Board and the Montvale Environmental Commission.

Q: What advice would you give your students that would help them excel in your class?
A: Stay focused and spend time studying. These years are the time of your life when you can learn with few other responsibilities. In a few years you will have a job and other responsibilities. Employers will pay you for what know. It is very hard to support yourself and learn new things at the same time. Learn as much as you can now.

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.
A: I am a baseball fan (Yankees). I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY this summer. I recommend a visit for all baseball fans.

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Mr. Smagula
Guidance Department

Q: What did you do before coming to Ramapo?

A: I have worked at Clifton and Bergenfield High Schools as well as Montclair State University.

Q: What do you like most about being a Guidance Counselor?

A: I like learning all about my students, and helping them through the college admission and post-high school process.
Q: Why did you choose Ramapo?
A: Since stepping foot inside Ramapo High School, I have been treated like family. That made choosing Ramapo very easy.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I enjoy spending my spare time with my family and trying to keep up with my three year old son and one year old daughter.

Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.

A: I enjoy playing music, and toured throughout the U.S. playing different venues and cities.

 

All Photos Courtesy of Alex Dalton

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