By Ryan Bernstein
This past week, I had the privilege of talking with Ms. Smith, Byram Hills’ newest addition to the Social Studies department. Last year, when Ms. Smith filled in for Mrs. Fallon’s AP World History class, students remarked on her vivacious and infectious energy, so the Byram Hills community is extremely fortunate to have Ms. Smith returning this year!
The first quarter of this school year has been all but normal, but Ms. Smith has described her experiences as a 10/10: she is enamored with the “very large community aspect” and the fact that “everybody is a hard worker from the students to the teachers.” However, these unprecedented times have led to obstacles. Smith prides herself on her relationships with students, and “has been struggling to build [these relationships],” as have many other teachers, due to a myriad of difficulties ranging from mask-wearing to a hybrid schedule.
Prior to her taking this new position at Byram Hills, Ms. Smith studied abroad in Cork, Ireland, which is just three hours south of Dublin, to further her knowledge of history. One class that particularly stood out to her was a class on the Holocaust taught by a German professor. Smith brings these various perspectives of history to the Byram Hills curriculum. This time spent abroad only further cements both the passion and knowledge Ms. Smith has for education and teaching world history.
Ms. Smith is exactly what Byram Hills needs: a scholarly and exciting teacher emphasizing the development of strong relationships with her students. She describes the most rewarding aspect of her career as “knowing you may have had some role in a student’s success,” and given her dedication to the subject, Ms. Smith is bound to do just that!