New English teacher enjoys SHS experience

October 20, 2009 — by Karthik Sreedhara
Herzman, Suzanne

English teacher Suzanne Herzman

New English teacher Suzanne Herzman has been enjoying the “intellectually stimulating” environment in her classes during her first few weeks.

Herzman, currently teaching English 9 and 11H, has taught for the past 10 years at Albany High School, Scotts Valley High School and Branham High School.

She was part of the International Baccalaureate program at Scotts Valley and enjoyed teaching there tremendously because of its emphasis on “critical thinking and making connections in the world beyond the text.”

“(My) former colleague (at Scotts Valley) Ms. Ritchie kept bragging about her job here, so I came to visit,” said Herzman. “I sat in on some classes and saw how engaged and excited students and teachers were about what they were doing.”

Herzman has enjoyed her classes so far.

“My juniors get me to see things in ‘Othello’ that I hadn’t seen before,” said Herzman. “My freshmen are making amazing connections in the literature they are reading. I love that my students are so willing to ‘nerd out.’”

She is excited at the fact that her students are not afraid to discover the deeper meaning of text and relate it to the real world.

Herzman, originally from New York state, went New York University for her bachelor’s degree. Herzman then moved to California where she went to Stanford University for her master’s degree in education and her teaching credential.

So far, Herzman is extremely happy about her decision to work here.

“I feel really motivated because my students and colleagues are so motivated,” said Herzman. “Also, compared to other schools where I’ve taught, SHS has so much: an amazing library and research center, spectacular sports complex, clean and bright facilities, ample supplies . . . the list goes on.”

Before starting her job, Herzman thought she might find “a sense of entitlement” among students but actually found the opposite in her classes.

“I have students thank me when I pass out a quiz!” said Herzman.