September 24, 2020

Featured Teacher: Kaczmarek helps students conquer chemistry

Dr. K spends most of her time in the chemistry labs "experimenting" with her passion for science. (Photo by Celia Golod '17)

Ever walk by a sophomore chemistry class and wonder who that upbeat German chemistry teacher was? Some consider chemistry to be a subject that is sometimes impossible to understand no matter who is teaching it to you. However Dr. Sylvia Kaczmarek works every day to make that task slightly less daunting for her students.

Dr. Kaczmarek, or Dr. K, as she is affectionately called by her students, is in her 11th year teaching Chemistry at the high school and continues to enjoy every second of it.

Kaczmarek moved to Massachusetts after growing up in Germany and receiving her PhD in Chemistry from a university in Germany. Following school Kaczmarek moved to Hawaii where she worked in research at the University of Hawaii. After meeting her husband during her time in Hawaii, Kaczmarek decided to give up research and pursue her lifelong dream of teaching.

“Ever since I was a kid I had always wanted to be a teacher. I was always drawn to the interactive aspect of teaching. Research can be very isolating and I consider myself more of a people person,” said Kaczmarek.

Ever since she moved to Massachusetts, Kaczmarek has found a home teaching at the high school. She enjoys working with every member of our community both at the high school and around town. “I love the people I work with, I love the students and community, and mostly how valued education is in this town and the level of dedication from the students, parents and the town,” said Kaczmarek.

As evident in her demeanor in the classroom, Kaczmarek’s enthusiasm for chemistry is unrivaled by other teachers at the high school. Kaczmarek hopes to spark similar enthusiasm in each of her students.

“I am very enthusiastic about my subject and hope to spark some, or some more, interest and enthusiasm for Chemistry in my students,” said Kaczmarek.

While teaching chemistry at the high school takes up a lot of her time, Kaczmarek makes sure to make time to do fun things outside the classroom. “Outside of school I love spending time with my kids, and they take up pretty much all my free time. I also enjoy reading and travelling,” said Kaczmarek.

As for the future, Kaczmarek has enjoyed teaching at the high school and doesn’t see that changing anytime in the near future. “Right now I am very happy teaching at the high school, so I don’t have any plans in the near future to change that,” said Kaczmarek.

(Peter Santo ’16, Sports Editor)

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