By Angelica Niedermeyer, Staff Writer
Trinity Hall’s STEM faculty has grown yet again, this time by four. The new members to join the science, technology, engineering and math team are Cathryn Danielczyk, Clint Gibson, Tiiu Kutt and Luis Maldonado. Hailing from a myriad of diverse backgrounds, these new faculty members shared their stories and insights with The Trinity Hall Tribune.
Danielczyk, who is a freshman and sophomore math teacher, was formerly a second grade teacher for seven years. Prior to her experience as a teacher, she was a biostatistician for a pharmaceutical company where she “analyzed new drugs to see if they were safe and effective.” In between all this, she stopped working to take care of her children.
Danielczyk said that she knew Trinity Hall was the place for her when she visited for the first time. “I just love it here,” she said, “[and now] my favorite thing is working with the girls.” Danielczyk values the connection she makes with students when they understand new mathematical concepts.
Danielczyk is also the co-adviser for The Royal Record, Trinity Hall’s yearbook, as she always wanted to be a part of that club in high school. A member of the Blue Team for the Royal Rumble, Danielczyk enjoys going to the beach, hanging out with friends and reading in her free time.
Gibson teaches ninth grade engineering and physics. Prior to becoming a Monarch, he taught at a high school in Virginia for children with learning disabilities. “I was really impressed by what I heard about the science program and where they do physics first. [Trinity’s program] is a very unique model, and I think it can have long term [effects] if you really prepare the students for a future in science,” said Gibson, who is excited to see his students grow and learn.
He is the faculty adviser for the robotics club, a field that also doubles as one of his favorite hobbies, and a member of the Blue Team for Royal Rumble. Gibson also enjoys reading and is in the process of obtaining his pilot’s license.
Maldonado is stepping in as the school’s biology teacher while Esther McCaffery is on maternity leave this term. When interviewing, he was very impressed with the mission and goals of the school. “I really think that the learning environment here is just so conducive to learning.” he said.
Before Trinity Hall, Maldonado taught biology at two public schools and was a traveling skydiving instructor. He also served in the military and worked in a hospital in hospice care. He got his degree in Biology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Compared to his previous schools, Maldonado said that Trinity Hall has “higher performing students.” He adds that there is “more of a camaraderie with the students themselves, less separation of groups of kids.” He added, “I also did not realize…how much I would laugh working in an all-girls school.” Joining Danielczyk and Gibson on the Blue Team for the Royal Rumble, Maldonado enjoys skydiving, surfing and playing the drums.
Kutt, who teaches all levels of engineering this year, decided to join the community because of the opportunity to teach STEM, especially engineering. Before coming to Trinity Hall, Kutt worked at AT&T Bell Labs in Holmdel.
“I worked in engineering there, and my most interesting project was field testing of undersea fiber optic cables on cable ships.” So far, Kutt says her biggest challenge is being a newcomer in Trinity Hall’s family and trying to get to know everyone, adding that everyone at “Trinity Hall has been warm and welcoming.”
When Kutt isn’t working or teaching in engineering she enjoys biking, skiing and cooking. Joining the rest of her fellow new STEM faculty, Kutt represents the Blue Team for the Royal Rumble.
Check back for our feature article on new faculty members for the Humanities and World Language Teams in our next issue.