Meet the New Staff at PTHS!

Now that school has been in full swing for several weeks, it’s time to meet some of the new staff that has come to Pemberton. They might be new to the district but they all have great resumes.  Let’s meet the new Pemberton staff!

Steve Hodge- History Teacher

 

What college did you go to and what was your major? Also did you do any clubs or sports?

I attended Rutgers University for undergrad and majored in History. For graduate school I attended Rider University and earned my Master of Arts in Teaching. At Rutgers, I was involved in the university marching band and served as a section leader for two years.

 

Where did you work at before coming to Pemberton?

I worked at Hunterdon Central High School and Delaware Valley Regional High School

 

What do you teach? Do you coach or run any clubs?

I teach US History and Economics. I am not involved in sports or clubs at Pemberton yet, but am looking forward to getting involved. I currently coach debate at a high school in north Jersey.

 

What are some of the differences in coming to Pemberton?

I live in North Jersey, so the amount of Eagles fans is different. Also, everyone calls it a “hoagie”. What’s up with that?

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?/ Why did you get into teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is watching students succeed in what they want to do. When I give a difficult assignment, I love to watch the progression from frustration to understanding – that moment when students figure it out is awesome. I understand not everyone is going to use history or economics in their careers, but the skills learned in my class are useful in all walks of life.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I wish I had the power to make traffic disappear. It would make my life a lot better.  

 

If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing instead?

If I wasn’t teaching social studies, I’d be teaching music, but if I wasn’t teaching at all I’d probably be involved with politics or law.

 

What is one thing that you would like Pemberton to know about you?

Apart from knowing that I’m incredibly handsome and talented, I want our students to know that I am here for them – to help them with anything that they might be to get to where they want to go.

Jesse Jones- Guidance

 

What college did you go to and what was your major? Also did you do any clubs or sports?

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) BA in Sociology, MA in School Counseling. I was on the Varsity Tennis Team my Freshman Year, I was on the Varsity Swimming/Diving Team as a Diver my Sophomore and Junior Year. During Graduate School I was the D1 Assistant Tennis Coach at Rider University as well.

 

Where did you work at before coming to Pemberton?

Lifeguard/Swim Instructor at the YMCA, Also the Assistant Men and women’s Tennis Coach at Rider University

 

What do you teach? Do you coach or run any clubs?

I am a K-12 Certified School Counselor.

 

What are some of the differences in coming to Pemberton?

The needs of the students.

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?/ Why did you get into teaching?

Teaching kids how to advocate for themselves as well as being able to impact their lives and future is my favorite part.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to fly.

 

If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing instead?

Coaching Tennis or working in college athletics.  

 

What is one thing that you would like Pemberton to know about you?

I love to travel, I spend most of my free time off traveling to new places or hiking new trails!

 

Chris Szalma Special Education Math

What college did you go to and what was your major? Also did you do any clubs or sports?
Monmouth University for Secondary Education and Mathematics
Rowan University for Masters in Special Education
I did not play any sports in college, but I did play football while in the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2000.

 

Where did you work at before coming to Pemberton?
I worked the last 6 years at New Brunswick High School

 

What do you teach? Do you coach or run any clubs?
I teach Special Education Math.  I do not currently run any clubs, but will be in the near future.

 

What are some of the differences in coming to Pemberton?
Pemberton is much closer to my home.  I am used to traveling from classroom to classroom teaching 6 classes in 5 different rooms.  I like having my own room, the kids are awesome, and the staff is nice.

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?/ Why did you get into teaching?
I love to help students have that moment where things start to make sense.  I call it the “aha” moment. My daughter is the reason I am teaching. Having  a child, made me realize that I needed to find a career instead of a job.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I want the ability to read someone’s mind.  Too often, people will tell you that everything is fine, when it is not.  I want to be able to help with any and everything they may be going through.  Reading their mind would give me the opportunity to know what to do first.

 

If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing instead?
I could have retired next year if I would have stayed in the Marines.  To be honest, I absolutely love teaching and have no clue what I would do without it.  The impact and change I can foster in students makes everything worth it. I do want to run a scholarship program to help underprivileged students gain access to an education that otherwise would be unattainable financially.  

 

What is one thing that you would like Pemberton to know about you?
I would like them to know that I will always put them first and I will do everything I can to make their 4 years in high school as memorable as possible.

 

So if you see the new teachers. Be sure to give them a nice welcome to PTHS!