Science teacher returns after eight-year absence

Marley Butcher, Connect Editor

Science teacher Angela Feldbush, who will replace departing teacher Kathy Gilio on Monday, is coming home.

“I had taught here before—eight years ago—when the school first opened,” Feldbush said. “But I had my third child and needed to be there. I had to have a part-time job  which West Shore did not offer so I moved to Holy Trinity.”

Feldbush will take over Gilio’s Advanced Placement Biology, honors biology and Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes.

“My main major is in biology, but when I worked at Holy Trinity they had me teaching primarily chemistry, so for me to now be teaching in my major makes me very happy. I will, however, have to learn the way of teaching AP Environmental Science, but I’m looking forward to learning something new.”

Gilio gave her notice of resignation two weeks ago in order to move to join her husband in Ohio.

“I am very disappointed that Ms. Gilio is leaving,” Principal Rick Fleming said. “However, we have hired an excellent teacher from Holy Trinity to cover her classes.”

Senior Melody Karycki, says she’s not worried about the change.

“I’m upset that Ms. Gilio is leaving, but she was a good teacher and taught us a lot,” she said. “I think we’ll be OK as far as the AP exam goes. Ms. Gilio was here the whole year and taught us everything that we need to know. She’s prepared us up until this point.”

Feldbush, who has had an AP Biology national exam pass rate of 87 percent,  has much planned for the remainder of the year.

Still, senior Tori Perry, remains concerned.

“The only reason I took AP Bio was for Ms. Gilio,” she said. “My AP Bio class wants to make a video of us looking sad and send it to Ms. Gilio’s husband. I had her last year for APES and I wanted to have her again. I’m worried about my exam grade too. With the new teacher she might have a different style of teaching that doesn’t sit well with me. ”

Holy Trinity junior Marcus Maye gives Feldbush a strong recommendation. “She is a teacher that is very demanding, but if you do what she says then you’ll be fine,” he said. “She’s fun and friendly but likes to get work done. She’ll also tutor you one-on-one if you need the extra help. She has a simple grading way by planning out the tests and homework ahead of time, so you can get ahead if you need to.”

Science department chairwoman Sherie Jenkins assisted Fleming in the interviewing process.

“I have worked with Ms. Feldbush before here at West Shore,” Jenkins said. “We taught AP Bio, and we were the dynamic duo. She is a phenomenal teacher with creative ideas and makes learning fun. I get goosebumps at the thought of working with her again.”

As for the upcoming AP exams, Feldbush has a plan.

“I’m going to continue teaching the material that they need to learn,” Feldbush said. “I do a lot of varieties while teaching. From labs, to lectures, to hands-on activities we’ll never do the same thing twice. As AP exams near I will have a practice AP exam party with food. It was a big hit when I did it years ago so we’ll see. Overall the thing I’m most scared about is the way that kids will react.”

Jenkins offered assurance for those affected by the move.

“I know change is scary,” Jenkins said. “However to all the kids who are taking the classes affected, give her a chance and I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Trust me; things are going to be great.”