Why I Teach – Wayne Valley Teachers Weigh In

Ms. Sinram

Science Teacher

While studying at William Paterson, I was making some money giving soccer lessons. As I worked with one high school student, I used physics to help her understand how to improve her technique. She was appreciative of how I was able to explain soccer better by using something she understood (physics). It was at that time that I discovered that teaching was what I wanted to do. I am so thrilled that one of my coaches recommended me for that soccer training job. Funny side note: I met that young lady about fifteen years later when I worked a soccer camp that her son attended. She is now a psychologist, which is what I entered college thinking I wanted to become.


Ms. Quintino

Business Education Teacher

I’ve always wanted to make a difference and have an impact on people.  Watching someone learn something new, help them grow, and perhaps influence what they want to do with their life is super rewarding. 


Mrs. Damiani-Heller

English Teacher


I became a teacher because of 3 English teachers who made an impact on my life. My 8th grade Language Arts teacher was full of energy and encouraged us to share our own opinions about what we were reading. He was also kind enough to read my attempts at being a writer. My 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Eid, showed me that teaching can be fun. We always laughed in that class and learned so much. My 12th grade teacher encouraged me to take AP Literature, even though I wasn’t in the Honors program. He realized that I needed to be challenged. These men all shaped who I am as a teacher.


Mr. Bannat 

PE Teacher

June, July, August… just kidding, my high school PE teacher.


Ms. Fairchild

Physics Teacher

When I was in high school, the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire had just started. Everyone I knew watched the show. We were always talking about who we thought would be successful on the show. My friends and I decided that our calculus teacher was the smartest person we knew. So one day, at the start of class we asked him why he didn’t go on the show and win a million dollars. Typically, Mr. Roby would ignore such an obvious bid to waste precious class time, but when we asked him, he took our question seriously. He said if he wanted a million dollars, he would’ve made a million dollars already.  He told us, “I’m here because I want to be here.  Because it’s important.” And then he started class. It was another 15 years before I took my first teaching job, but those words stayed with me, and I eventually found my way into the classroom.   


Mrs. Ahlert

Biology Teacher

I actually never wanted to teach …ever.

My love for biology and for the human body has always been at the center of my interests. When medical school became a hurdle beyond what I could surmount, I began to consider inspiring students to be doctors, nurses, PTs, PAs, and the like. Now I know I made the right choice… what difference does it make how crooked the path, when it leads you right where you were meant to be!



Mr. Bergen

Auto Teacher 

I never did well in school. I did not like school and often wondered why I needed to know most of the stuff teachers were teaching. However, I did always like shop classes. After high school, when I decided I wanted to go to college, I realized one of the only ways to get a degree and stay with shop classes was to get an Industrial Arts teaching degree. Although at the beginning I had no real plans to teach, when I started to get involved with teaching, I realized the students were the best teachers. When they asked questions it forced me to learn more about the topic so I could be sure I could answer them. When they did not comprehend something, it forced me to learn how to communicate better, and when they misbehaved, it forced me to understand their point of view. I became a teacher by chance, and I stayed a teacher because the students have so much to give.