Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Teaching the teachers

Teachers and administrators share observations on what their students have taught them over the years.

Normally, students are the ones who start each day at Strath Haven expecting to learn from their teachers, but often, the various things teachers and administrators learn from their students can be just as inspiring and powerful.

Mr. Robert Zakrzewski, English Teacher
Mr. Robert Zakrzewski
Mr. Robert Zakrzewski (Quinten Saylor ’25)

“I came into the teaching world hoping to just pass on my love for reading and writing, which was very limited to the reasons and ways that I loved it. Instead, I realized it has to be able to fit other people's lives, not just my experience. So I’ve learned that a lesson, an idea that I thought was brilliant and worked really well with one group isn't going to be the same in every group. And often, each new group brings fresh takes to things that I should be open to.”

Mr. Daniel Peterson, English Teacher
Mr. Daniel Peterson
Mr. Daniel Peterson (Quinten Saylor )

“I’ve learned that if you bring a group of teenagers to a Chinese buffet, they can do some major damage. But I guess when you get old like me, you kind of feel like you've seen it all. Still, every group of students is unique, and so it kind of reminds you that life is fun. And you get to learn stuff all the time, even if you keep doing the same thing over and over.”

Ms. Kate Plows, Visual Arts Teacher
Ms. Kate Plows
Ms. Kate Plows (Quinten Saylor )

“My students have helped me to understand that everybody has a different story and that their stories and experiences are a big part of what they bring to school. What I do with my students is, maybe an hour a day, they have a lot of other things that are going on in their world outside of what we do together. And they bring those things to the table.”

Mr. John Shankweiler, Music Teacher
Mr. John Shankweiler
Mr. John Shankweiler (Quinten Saylor ’25)

“What I have observed over my career is such a larger percentage of the student body is more accepting of everybody's uniqueness. Not that I haven't been accepting in my life, but it really has to do with the examples they set for others.”

Mr. Kevin Haney, English Teacher:
Mr. Kevin Haney
Mr. Kevin Haney (Quinten Saylor )

“She was one of my students years ago, and I'll never forget her kind of surrendering herself to the class. Her speech told her story in such a humble way. The dark twists and turns that it took to get where she was—she and her family are from Bangladesh. And I remember sitting there not processing a student's speech, but learning how to be a better human being through her.”

Mrs. Tabatha Duffy, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Tabatha Duffy
Mrs. Tabatha Duffy (Quinten Saylor )

“I think one of the things that I've learned is that people are always going through more than you think and more than you can see just from looking at them. And that makes me always want to lead with empathy and it greatly influences the decisions that I make.”

Mrs. Kathleen Freeman, Science Teacher
Mrs. Kathy Freeman
Mrs. Kathy Freeman (Quinten Saylor )

“I’ve noticed Strath Haven students tend to over-commit, but also they tend to be highly anxious because of their commitments and their desire to achieve or want to do well in everything. And so one of the things I do in my class and one of my goals as a teacher is to lower that anxiety level in my classroom.”


CORRECTION: Mr. Daniel Peterson was misquoted in the print edition. We’ve corrected the error in the online story and online version of the print newspaper. We regret the error.

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About the Contributor
Quinten Saylor '25
Quinten Saylor '25, Contributor
Quinten Saylor is a new writer for the Panther Press and is currently a sophomore attending Strath Haven High School. When not at school, he's usually outside taking nature walks to ease his mind. He loves everything related to music and is heavily involved in all kinds of bands, from small jazz ensembles to large-scale drum corps.
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