The Garnet Mine

A Year in Review: Favorite Moments in the Classroom

Summer, here we come! But first, a look back at some of the amazing classes from this year.

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A Year in Review: Favorite Moments in the Classroom

Alaire Kanes, Editor

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I am in no way going to lie and say that junior year was an easy one. It wasn’t. It was pretty rough at times, and I’ve had more than enough tears, cups of coffee, and late night FaceTime calls to last me a lifetime. But even though at least some degree of junior year’s misery is inevitable for everyone, junior year at Rye High School is also, at its core, a year of community. You are never the only one struggling from an overloaded schedule, or the stress of standardized testing. Everyone else is going through the same thing, and I think that makes everyone appreciate each other, and Rye High School, more.

My fellow students have made this year much more bearable, but another reason junior year has become my favorite year of high school (so far) really boils down to the teachers. I was so lucky this year to have such incredible classes with incredible teachers, because that was what made going to school each day exciting and fulfilling.

Here are some favorite moments from each of my nine periods.


Web Journalism with Mr. Campbell:

Having Web Journalism first period has been such a great experience. Mr. Campbell gave our class the freedom to write about whatever we were passionate about and never failed to encourage us to publish our best work. And, a bonus, he was always kind enough to let us get breakfast.

“There was no better way to start my day than with Web J. You could always count on a laugh in this class… and the writing was awesome too.”-Ella Garnett

AP Language and Composition with Mr. Kelly:

I don’t think my personal boundaries have ever been stretched as far as they were in Lang this year. Mr. Kelly has taught me not only an incredible amount regarding language and composition, but also how to push myself and speak up. My lang period was one of laughs, intellectual conversations, and eye-opening discussions on how to make the best cookies.

“I have had so many fun moments in AP Lang this year. Mr. Kelly has taught me about the English language in a way unlike any other class. The three girls who sit at my table basically can talk to Mr. Kelly about whatever is on our minds.” -Amber Hufford

Physics with Mr. Coppola:

I never thought I’d say this, but, I walked into Physics everyday feeling… actually excited. Mr. Coppola’s infectious grin and constant positive attitude made learning physics genuinely fun. Our class embraced this mindset from day one, and I am going to miss our spontaneous parties and raffle tickets more than anything.

“This class has been one of the highlights of my year. Mr. Coppola never failed to give us advice on anything from physics, to college, to life, to death, to taxes, to having fun at the beach. I’ve made so many close friends from this class and Mr. Coppola’s friendly environment” -Maria Alexopolous

Gym with G:

As the only non-athlete at Rye High School, I had no possible way of opting out of gym. But, my extreme lack of athletic talent actually led to something positive as I made some unlikely friends with random people in my gym class. I also became a master at badminton, no big deal. I don’t know what I would do without G’s endearing puns and constant optimism cheering me up every day. The Gym Breakfast Club lives on.


Spanish with Sra. Nardo:

From making gazpacho in class with a blender, to playing el pato, to stepping on potatoes with our bare feet, Spanish class never fails to brighten my day and help me remember why I love to learn.

“I loved how we learned the tango and so many amazing things about hispanic culture. Sra. Nardo’s energy is so uplifting and I always am looking forward to coming to her class everyday. ¡Olé!” -Lily Polito

Pre Calculus with Mr. Valinoti:

Mr. Valinoti makes everyday of math class enjoyable, even when I have no idea what is going on. His joy for what he does is evident in every joke he makes, lesson he teaches, and tee shirt he wears (Don’t forget +C!). Val’s exuberant passion rubbed off on every single student, including Josh. (If you know, you know.)

“Val is a big part of the reason I’ve grown to really love math this year–without him I’d blow it.”-Alexandra Kirk

APUSH with Mr. Shark:

Ah. APUSH. Where do I even begin. APUSH has basically changed my life. Shark, if you ever read this, I know you don’t like mush, but thank you so much. Because of you and all of my 8th period APUSHers, I learned to really appreciate the people around me. APUSH never failed to make me smile, and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities it gave me as a person, and as a student. I can say for certain that I will never forget this class. I’ve never spent more time on a project than I did on that APUSH newspaper. Or maybe it was The Office: Diversity Day.

“I love when we’re working on a project and Shark puts on classic hits and slowly everyone just starts singing along like a big family reunion.” – Ella Garnett

AP Psych with Mrs. Dowling:

AP Psych was one of those classes that never got old. No matter what the topic, I would always learn something I had never known before about humans, and my mind was constantly being blown. AP Psych’s already interesting curriculum mixed with Mrs. Dowling’s engaging class discussions and projects made every class fun.

“AP Psych was such an interesting class, and I loved every unit we learned.”-Amber Hufford



Overall, this is really a thank you to the teachers, administration, and employees at Rye High School for making our lives as students so much better and so much easier. We appreciate all the hard work and time you put into making our education and high school experience the best it can be. Junior year has truly been a year of growth for all of us, and I couldn’t be more excited for senior year surrounded by such a great class. See you all in the fall!

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A Year in Review: Favorite Moments in the Classroom